Ralf Rangnick addresses Cristiano Ronaldo captaincy claim amid Harry Maguire criticism

Maguire has come under fire for his performances since being named Manchester United captain, with some insisting that Ronaldo should be handed the armband instead

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Ralf Rangnick previews Aston Villa clash

Interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has addressed the claim that Cristiano Ronaldo should be made the captain of the Red Devils amid criticism of Harry Maguire.

Maguire has suffered a downturn in performances since returning to Old Trafford from Euro 2020, with the defender coming under fire for his leadership of his team on the pitch.

The England international was named United skipper less than six months after his record-breaking arrival from Leicester City, but many believe that decision came too quickly into his Old Trafford career.

The 28-year-old has found it difficult to live up to the status that comes with being the Red Devils’ leader on the pitch and has been ridiculed for his frequent apologies about United’s poor performances.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who do you think should be Manchester United’s captain? Comment below.

Ralf Rangnick has made his position on Manchester United’s captaincy clear

Former United icon Rio Ferdinand believes that Rangnick needs to strip Maguire of the captaincy in order for the defender to rediscover his form.

“I think he was given it too early,” Ferdinand told his Vibe with FIVE podcast.

“It’s a hard enough job coming into Manchester United, getting your feet under the table and starting to feel comfortable as it is without the added pressure of being captain.

“Being captain is a massive responsibility, there is history that goes with it, a big weight on your shoulders. You need to experience being there for a period of time to carry that weight.

“It was more important for Maguire to come in and concentrate on becoming a Manchester United mainstay than being captain.”

The leading candidate to take over from Maguire would be Ronaldo, who has vast experience of being a captain.

The superstar has skippered Portugal to winning Euro 2016 and regularly wore the armband during his nine-year spell at Real Madrid.

Since returning to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window, Ronaldo has been named captain once, for the defeat to Wolves.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named captain for United’s defeat to Wolves, with some calling for him to take on the armband full-time


Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

But Rangnick has insisted that Ronaldo will only been handed the armband if Maguire is unavailable, instead calling on the veteran to lead in a different way.

“Right now, I don’t see a reason to do that, because Harry has been the captain so far and as long as Harry is playing, he will be the captain,” Rangnick said.

“If he’s not playing, then someone else will have to be the captain. This can change from game to game, depending on who is playing.

“It’s not only Cristiano we have. Edinson, we have. Harry, we have, quite a few other older players, David de Gea in goal, Victor Lindelof, Bruno [Fernandes].

“We have enough experienced older players who can not only be role models themselves in training, on the pitch and in games.

“But also in all those conversations that happen in the locker room or when they are together in the hotel for away games or home games, this has to happen.”

Having missed Monday’s FA Cup third round win over Aston Villa, Ronaldo is set to available for Saturday’s Premier League clash against the same opponent.

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