New Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick reveals how his love for English football began in Brighton and Southwick

Manchester United's new interim manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed how his time living in Brighton and playing for Southwick shaped his football career.

New Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick (RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
New Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick (RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangnick, who studied at the University of Sussex and made several appearances for Southwick FC back in the 1979-80 season, will take charge of Manchester United for the first time against Crystal Palace on Sunday (December 5).

The German was studying on a guest year in England when he starred for the Wickers.

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In a sit-down interview with MUTV, the 61-year-old was asked if it had always been an ambition of his to manage in the Premier League.

"It's not a point of wanting to be there," he replied.

"Having the background of the English culture and the English language, I've always been interested in football.

"Since that, here in the early 1980s, I've been infected in a positive way by the way that football is being played by the way of the atmosphere in the stadiums. I very much enjoy that.

"In that year when I played myself here at Southwick, I also had that experience of how much the players would encourage themselves on the pitch so I became a different type of player and later on a different kind of coach by encouraging players in training sessions and in the game.

"This is something that is not so usual in Germany.

"That helped me a lot to develop myself as a player at the time and as a coach."

Rangnick, who left his job as head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow to take over the vacant role at Old Trafford, also mentioned his years in Sussex during his first press conference on Friday.

He said: "I studied to be an English teacher, back in the late 70s, early 80s and I also lived in Brighton and, since then, I fell in love with English football.

"In the late 80s, I would take the fast train from Brighton to Victoria every three days and would watch a home game at Highbury, White Hart Lane or even in Liverpool at Goodison.

"I never came here to Manchester because it was too far away from Brighton but I always cherish the way the teams are supported.

"Even yesterday (Thursday), I think this is absolutely unique, there are very few football clubs in the world with that much support.

"For me, this is football in the purest sense.

"For me, it’s more than exciting to be a part of that atmosphere and this should help any team and our players to play at their highest possible level.’’