Ralf Rangnick Austria Euro 2024 GFXGOAL

Ralf Rangnick: How Man Utd punchline turned Austria into Euro 2024 dark horses and earned Bayern Munich manager offer

On May 22, 2022, Ralf Rangnick attended his final post-match press conference as interim Manchester United manager. This writer was among the journalists gathered at Selhurst Park and I can still picture the thoroughly underwhelming scene now.

United pressers are usually filled to bursting, but there were heaps of empty seats for this one. On that final day, like so many times previously in recent years, the Red Devils simply weren't the story. The biggest jeopardy they faced was potentially dropping down into the Europa Conference League for the following season. Manchester City and Liverpool's tense Premier League title race, as well as Arsenal and Tottenham's top-four battle and a relegation scrap, were playing out elsewhere.

Such was the lack of interest, there was an ominous silence when the press officer asked for the opening question following Palace's 1-0 victory, and the same staff member was soon forced to ask for quiet as some techies loudly chatted while setting up a camera to capture Eagles boss Patrick Vieira's last press conference of the campaign.

When he was eventually free to speak, Rangnick expressed himself eloquently and without a filter, as he always did during his time at Old Trafford. He addressed topics ranging from Bruno Fernandes' role in Palace's winner, the imminent exit of Edinson Cavani and what type of players United should be targeting in the summer transfer window.

And with that, he was off, firing a thank you to the media folk in attendance. At that time, Rangnick had been pencilled in for a continued consultancy role at Old Trafford following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent successor, a job he would juggle with his new responsibilities as Austria head coach.

However, just seven days later, his permanent exit was confirmed in a short statement posted on the club's website. "We would like to thank Ralf Rangnick for his efforts as interim manager over the past six months," it read.

"By mutual agreement, Ralf will now focus solely on his new role as manager of the Austria national team and will not therefore be taking up a consultancy role at Old Trafford. We would like to wish Ralf the best of luck in this next chapter of his career."

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