Ronaldo has scored 12 goals, with his six in the Champions League securing all 10 of their points to qualify from Group F, while Ronaldo has scored in all four of United’s Premier League wins since he rejoined United in August.
The 36-year-old’s role in the team has been peculiarly debated by some pundits since United’s slump in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the arrival of Rangnick has intensified the scrutiny.
At his press conference unveiling at Old Trafford on Friday morning, Rangnick dismissed the suggestion Ronaldo would have to adapt to his intense demands.
“You always have to adapt your style or your idea of football to the players you have available, not vice versa,” Rangnick said.
“Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second-half at the age of 36, an amazing top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit. He’s still a player who can easily make the difference.
“So yes, it’s about how we can develop the whole team not only Cristiano. We play in the most competitive league in the world so we need all the players on board.
“What I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he is more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team. His team-mate will have to do the same.”
Rangnick is a self-confessed Anglophile who studied at the University of Sussex in the late 70s and early 80s, playing for non-league Southwick. The 63-year-old was interviewed for the England coach’s role in 2016 to replace Roy Hodgson but the former United chief executive, David Gill, and the then Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn opted for Sam Allardyce.
“As you all know, I studied English when I was a young student at university to become an English teacher,” Rangnick added. “English and PE back in the late 70s and early 80s. I lived in Brighton, and since then I fell in love with English football.
“In the 80s. I took the fast train to Victoria station to watch games every three days at the old Highbury and the old White Hart Lane or even in Liverpool. I went to Goodison. I was not here at the time because that was too far from Brighton but since then I have always very much cherished the way that teams are being supported and even yesterday, I think this is absolutely unique.
“You will find very few football clubs in the world with that much support,” Rangnick said, gesturing to the stadium outside. “For me, that is football in the purest sense as it was in those times and, as I said, it’s more than exciting to be part of that atmosphere. That should help any team and especially our players to get on track and play at their highest possible level.”