Ralf Rangnick before his first match as national coach of Austria – Football

Ralf Rangnick made his debut as team manager in Austria on Friday. The expectations of the original Backnanger are high. With Rangnick’s help, Austria wants to go to the 2024 European Football Championship.

Ralph Rangnick started his coaching career at his hometown club, Victoria Bucknang. From 1983 to 1985, with Rangnick’s help, Backnang moved up from the county league to the league. This was the starting signal for a training career that took him from boycotting football to positions in the second and first leagues of the German Bundesliga. Rangnick has been on the training bench at SS in Ulm, in FB Stuttgart, in Hannover, at Schalke 04, at TSG Hoffenheim, in Leipzig, and most recently even in the Premier League, at Manchester United. And now the 63-year-old coaches the Austrian national team.

Rangnick starts with big ambitions

No doubt: Rangnick has a difficult task ahead – after all, expectations from him are huge. Rangnick was partly to blame – prior to his debut in Austria. “It has been a long time since Austria drew attention to itself with heroic deeds,” Bucknanger said, referring to the FIFA world rankings in which his team is currently only 34th: “It’s countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Wales, Sweden and Iran in front of us. I don’t know if we should. That it be so.” The big words Rangnick now has to follow after his time at Manchester United.

Austrian players welcome Rangnick’s commitment

While former international players such as former Bundesliga coach Peter Bacolt have complained that the Austrian coach is coming from abroad for the third time in a row, the players’ reaction has been consistently positive. “Now the Austrians are looking forward to a new team captain – and we Austrians are not easy to convince,” said Christoph Baumgartner of former Rangnick club TSG Hoffenheim, sparing his praise: “It is, in my opinion, the best that Austria can get.” Midfielder Konrad Laimer from Leipzig sees it very similarly. Rangnick “A very ambitious person who wants to achieve maximum success. I am very confident that we will have a very successful time.”

Because of his past in Leipzig, Rangnick stands for “Red Bull Football” which was practically invented in Austria. However, Ralph Rangnick can also count on the support of David Alaba and Sasa Kalajdzic. Alaba travels to Austria as the Champions League winner with Real Madrid, with a great deal of self-confidence. After keeping up with the Stuttgart team, Kalajic wants to shine on the international stage. The attacker, wishing to change, would like to advertise on his behalf. Rangnick also counts on the 24-year-old striker: “Why shouldn’t Sasa Kalajdic, who has exceptional skills in the penalty area, be able to collectively put opponents under pressure?” , the 63-year-old replied. The question of whether the VfB striker fits with the idea of ​​his game.

Rangnick goal: EM 2024

Ralf Rangnick wants to go to Euro 2024 with the Austrian national team, and Backnanger subordinates everything else to that goal. Also because expectations among football fans in Austria are high. That is why Rangnick voluntarily renounced his dual role at Manchester United. He has already wanted to work as a consultant for Manchester until 2024, but his full focus must now be on his first job as national coach.

Croatia, Denmark and France are waiting to start

Initially as coach of Austria, two other heavyweights await in the Nations League alongside Croatia, Denmark and France. In his first match, Rangnick still wanted to dispense with the extremists Alaba. The Real Madrid defender should be rested against Croatia after the Champions League woes. “He will then start against Denmark,” Rangnick said. As Austria missed the Winter World Cup in Qatar under Franco Foda, Rangnick has long been thinking about the long-term. However, miracles cannot be expected at first. Still full of energy. “The anticipation is great. The goal is clear, we want to play a good opening game and win of course.” At the same time, the new Austria coach impatiently confirms: “It’s time to go!”

However, the statistics speak for themselves. Austria suffered five defeats in five matches against Croatia and the vice world champion has not lost its last 13 caps at home in Osijek. So the euphoria around new Austria coach Ralf Rangnick was likely to subside from the start.

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