Rudi José Garcia (French pronunciation: [ʁydi gaʁsja]; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈruði ɣaɾˈθi.a];[a] born 20 February 1964) is a French professional football manager and former player who is the current manager of Serie A side Napoli.

Rudi Garcia
Garcia in 2011
Personal information
Full name Rudi José Garcia[1]
Date of birth (1964-02-20) 20 February 1964 (age 59)
Place of birth Nemours, France
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Team information
Current team
Napoli (head coach)
Youth career
1970–1979 Corbeil-Essonnes
1979–1982 Viry-Châtillon
1982–1983 Lille
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1988 Lille 64 (4)
1988–1991 Caen 57 (1)
1991–1992 Martigues 15 (0)
1994–1996 Corbeil-Essonnes
Total 134+ (5+)
Managerial career
1994–1998 Corbeil-Essonnes
2001 Saint-Étienne
2002–2007 Dijon
2007–2008 Le Mans
2008–2013 Lille
2013–2016 Roma
2016–2019 Marseille
2019–2021 Lyon
2022–2023 Al Nassr
2023– Napoli
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

As a manager, Garcia won the Ligue 1 title with Lille in 2010–11. He subsequently also coached Roma, Marseille, Lyon and had a season in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr before being appointed by Napoli in June 2023.

Early life Edit

Rudi Garcia's father, José, was a Spanish expatriate who played football at a professional level for Sedan and Dunkerque.[2] His grandparents had left Andalusia for the Ardennes region during the Spanish Civil War.[3] Garcia is named after German cyclist Rudi Altig.[4]

Between 1992 and 1994, Garcia enrolled for university, and gained a DEUG and a STAPS degree at Orsay, as well as French qualifications that entitled him to manage a youth training centre.

Club career Edit

When José became the coach of local team Corbeil-Essonnes, he drafted his son into the squad, where Rudi played until cadet level. As Corbeil-Essonnes did not have a national cadets side, Rudi joined the Viry-Châtillon team. He was 18 when he obtained his baccalauréat and signed for Lille, where he would spend two years as an intern and four as part of the professional squad.

Playing as an attacking midfielder, Garcia's first goal for Lille was a notable affair. In December 1984, Lille travelled to the Parc des Princes to face Paris Saint-Germain. With both sides tied at 2–2, Garcia netted to earn his side a win over the Parisian club.

After Lille, Garcia joined Caen, where he was coached by Robert Nouzaret and Daniel Jeandupeux. In 1991, he opted to join Martigues rather than signing on with the Normandy club. Serious injuries to his back and knee forced him to retire from professional football at the age of 28, in 1992.

Managerial career Edit

Early career Edit

In 1995, Garcia returned to Corbeil to manage the Division d'Honneur side with two months remaining in the season. He guided the club out of relegation. Then, in the seasons that followed, one ended with the club in mid-table and another in a second-place finish.

Between 1994 and 1996, Garcia acted as player-manager for the club before taking on managerial duties only between 1996 and 1998.

In the late 1990s, for two years he was a physio. Then, he became a scout, studying opponents and assisting in the elaboration of Saint-Étienne's tactics. Gradually, his role shifted to that of an assistant coach, a position he occupied alongside Nouzaret as from July 2000 and John Toshack afterwards.

In early 2001, when Toshack returned to Spain, Garcia took over first-team duties in collaboration with Jean-Guy Wallemme. Les Verts were then in the midst of a miserable season. Poor performances on the pitch were compounded by the club's implication in various affairs involving forged passports. The Garcia/Wallemme duo failed to reverse the trend and, in May 2001, Saint-Étienne were effectively relegated to the French second division. The following month, Wallemme left the club while Garcia was fired in August 2001. The two men, a decade later, would manage Lens and Lille respectively.

Garcia resumed his activities as a football pundit. At the same time, he was passing his Diplôme d'Entraineur Professionel de Football, the French equivalent of the professional coaching badge. In the spring of 2002, he was contacted by Dijon and signed with them on 21 May 2002. He helped the club to climb to Ligue 2 in 2003–04. The Bourgogne club even appeared in the semi-final of the Coupe de France, where Châteauroux defeated it 2–0.

In June 2007, Garcia left Dijon for Le Mans, another club he set on to transform in just one season. With players such as Romaric, Marko Baša and Yohann Pelé, the Sarthe club played some pleasant football which brought results as well. Le Mans ended in ninth position of Ligue 1 standings and reached the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final.

Lille Edit

Garcia during a press conference after the Trophée des Champions match defeat against Marseille with Lille in July 2011

On 18 June 2008, Garcia rescinded his contract with the club to join Lille, where he had spent six years as a player in the 1980s. In his first season, they developed a stylish and attacking approach, contrasting with previous coach Claude Puel's cautious and often boring tactics.[citation needed]

Garcia's approach ostensibly enabled players such as Ludovic Obraniak and Michel Bastos to develop, the latter becoming the club's top scorer in the league with 14 goals. Garcia also gave significant playing time to promising youngster Eden Hazard, later of Chelsea and Real Madrid.

On 2 June 2009, the board of directors sacked Garcia, who had just led the club to their best league finish for three years and qualified it for the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. It was alleged that the sacking was due to differences of opinion between the manager and a member of the board, Xavier Thuilot. The latter himself was sacked from the board later in the month and on 18 June 2009, Michel Seydoux, the club president and major shareholder, offered the manager position again to Garcia, who accepted.

Aimé Jacquet, at the time, expressed his belief that the Nemours-born coach was one of the "brightest prospects" among French football managers.[citation needed] In a country otherwise reputed[by whom?] for the defensive approach approved by most of its coaches, Garcia is seen, together with former Paris Saint-Germain manager Antoine Kombouaré, as part of a small group of managers who advocate attacking football as the best means to achieve results.[citation needed]

In the 2009–10 season, Lille continued to improve in the league, finishing one place above their fifth-place finish of 2008–09. With 72 goals scored, the club had the division's best attack, even bettering champions Marseille. This led French media and pundits to dub the entertaining side "the Barça of the North".

The 2010–11 season was the club's breakthrough. In May, Garcia led les Dogues to triumph in the Coupe de France against Paris Saint-Germain, their first win in the trophy since 1955. The same month, on 21 May, the league and cup double was complete, again after a game against PSG that ended in a 2–2 draw. In the Trophées UNFP du football, Garcia was awarded the prize for best Ligue 1 coach of the 2010–11 season. During the ceremony, he dedicated his trophy to his late father José, even saying a few words in Spanish as a tribute to his father's origins.

Roma Edit

Garcia taking charge of a training session as Roma manager in August 2014

On 12 June 2013, Roma President James Pallotta announced that Garcia had been appointed the new manager of the club,[5] news that was initially received very cautiously by Roma fans.[3]

Roma began the 2013–14 season by winning its first ten Serie A matches. The previous best ever start in the history of the Serie A belonged to Juventus in the 2005–06 season, when the Turin club won its first nine Serie A matches.[6] Roma's perfect start to the 2013–14 Serie A season included a 2–0 derby win over city rivals Lazio, a 3–0 away victory against Internazionale and a 2–0 home win over title rivals Napoli.[7] During this ten-match winning run, Roma scored 24 goals while conceding just one goal, away to Parma. Its Serie A ten-match winning streak came to an end on 3 November 2013 when it was held to a 1–1 draw at Torino. During that match, Roma conceded its first goal in 743 minutes of Serie A football.[8] Roma, however, eventually finished second in the Serie A, a massive 17 points behind champions Juventus. In finishing second, Roma qualified for the following season's UEFA Champions League; its last appearance in the Champions League had been during the 2010–11 season.

Before the start of the 2014–15 season, Garcia asked to bring in young talents and also experienced players for squad depth ahead of the next season. Roma had an impressive summer transfer activity, where they bought young talent Juan Iturbe, Salih Uçan and Antonio Sanabria. Roma also signed Italian defender Davide Astori and veteran players Ashley Cole and Seydou Keita.

Garcia's men began the 2014–15 Serie A campaign with 2–0 win over Fiorentina, with goals from Radja Nainggolan and Gervinho. Roma continued their winning form and won the second fixture in the league 1–0 against Empoli. Garcia then lead Roma in their first Champions League appearance since 2010–11 to an impressive 5–1 victory against CSKA Moscow in their first match of Group E of the group stage. Roma finished third in the group and was hence transferred to the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League knockout phase.[9]

On 5 October 2014, Garcia was sent off by the referee during a Serie A match against Juventus after protesting the referee's decision to award Juve a penalty with a violin gesture. The controversial match ended with Juventus winning 3–2. After the match, Garcia said, "It a pity that here [in Turin] the penalty area is 17 metres. But I'm happy with my team, who showed great personality. There were many incidents today but it was also a little bit of our fault that we lost."[10] Roma ultimately finished the season in second place in the 2014–15 Serie A, 17 points behind Juventus, just like the previous season.

Roma was on top of the Serie A table after matchdays 9 and 10, in late October, of the 2015–16 season. The club had also qualified for the knockout phase of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League by finishing in second place in their group with a tally of just six points.

Garcia managing Lyon in a Ligue 1 game against Dijon in October 2019

On 13 January 2016, Garcia and his coaching assistants, Frédéric Bompard and Claude Fichaux, were sacked by Roma after a poor run during which the club managed to win only one out of their last ten matches in all competitions, and only one out of their last seven Serie A matches. Roma had been eliminated on home ground on penalties from the 2015–16 Coppa Italia at the first hurdle on 16 December 2015 by Serie B side Spezia. News of the decision to sack Garcia came via Roma's official website, with club president James Pallotta thanking him for his efforts: "On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I would like to thank Rudi Garcia for all of his hard work since joining the club. We have all enjoyed some great moments during his time at Roma but we believe that this is the right time for a change."[11][12][13] In his two-and-a-half years in the Roma dugout, Garcia recorded 60 wins, 32 draws and 22 defeats in 114 matches. On 20 October 2016, Roma confirmed that the contracts of Garcia and his coaching assistants had been terminated by mutual consent.[14]

Marseille Edit

On 20 October 2016, on the same day that he was finally released from his Roma contract by mutual consent, Garcia was appointed manager of Marseille on a three-year deal. He succeeded the interim manager Franck Passi.[15] Garcia's appointment was made only three days after Frank McCourt completed the takeover of the club from Margarita Louis-Dreyfus by paying a reported €45 million.[16][17] On 23 October, Marseille recorded a goalless draw away against Paris Saint-Germain in a Classique match in Ligue 1, Garcia's first competitive match as manager of the club. He left the club on 22 May 2019.[18]

Lyon Edit

On 14 October 2019, Garcia moved to rivals Lyon to become their new manager, taking over from Sylvinho.[19] During the 2019–2020 Champions League campaign, Garcia guided Lyon from the group stages, where they later beat Juventus in the round of 16. He led them to the semi-finals after they defeated Manchester City, but eventually lost to the eventual champions Bayern Munich.[20] However, he left Lyon at the end of the 2020–21 season, after finishing fourth in the league table and missed out on the UEFA Champions League places.[21]

Al Nassr Edit

On 29 June 2022, Garcia became the head coach of Saudi club Al Nassr.[22]

On 13 April 2023, Al Nassr announced that Garcia has left the club by mutual agreement.[23]

Napoli Edit

On 15 June 2023, Garcia was named the new head coach of Napoli, taking over for the resigning Luciano Spalletti. This marked Garcia's return to Serie A after leaving Roma seven years prior.[24][25]

Media career Edit

Garcia has worked for CanalSatellite, first as a reporter for post-match interviews, and then as a studio pundit.

Personal life Edit

Garcia has three daughters, named Carla, Eva and Léna.[26] Since 2014, he is in a relationship with Italian sports journalist Francesca Brienza, who formerly worked for the AS Roma TV channel during Garcia's time in charge of the Giallorossi.[26] In June 2023, they announced they are expecting their first child together.[27]

After the Paris Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015, Garcia gave out symbolic pencils to all journalists at his press conference, saying, "What happened in Paris was an attack on freedom. But things mustn't change; this freedom should last forever."[28]

Managerial statistics Edit

As of match played 27 September 2023
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win % Ref.
Saint-Étienne 4 January 2001 August 2001 17 5 5 7 029.41 [29]
Dijon 21 May 2002 8 June 2007 210 90 61 59 042.86 [30]
Le Mans 8 June 2007 18 June 2008 44 18 11 15 040.91 [30]
Lille 18 June 2008 3 June 2013 256 127 73 56 049.61 [30]
Roma 12 June 2013 20 October 2016 152 81 43 28 053.29 [30]
Marseille 20 October 2016 14 October 2019 151 72 38 41 047.68 [30]
Lyon 14 October 2019 28 June 2022 126 65 32 29 051.59 [31]
Al Nassr 28 June 2022 1 June 2023 34 22 7 5 064.71
Napoli 1 July 2023 present 7 4 2 1 057.14 [24]
Total 996 483 272 241 048.49

Honours Edit

Manager Edit





Notes Edit

  1. ^ In isolation, Garcia is pronounced [ɡaɾˈθi.a]

References Edit

  1. ^ "Rudi Garcia version espagnole" [Rudi Garcia Spanish version]. Le Journal du Dimanche (in French). Paris. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Rudi García at work" (in French). Le Bien Public. 22 May 2002. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Rudi García the right call at Roma" by James Horncastle, ESPN FC, 15 June 2013
  4. ^ "Marseille-Coach Garcia bastelt an seinem dritten Titel". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). Austria Press Agency. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  5. ^ "06/12/2013: Rudi García". A.S. Roma official website. Rome: A.S. Roma. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Borriello header makes it a perfect ten for Roma". 31 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Roma set record for best start to Serie A season". BBC Sport. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Torino halt Roma's run, Inter cruise to victory". 3 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Italy - AS Roma - Results and fixtures - Soccerway".
  10. ^ "Garcia: I didn't know the penalty area was so big at Juventus |".
  11. ^ "Roma have sacked coach Rudi Garcia after one win in last 10 matches". Sky Sports.
  12. ^ "Roma sack coach Rudi García after run of one win in seven Serie A games". The Guardian. 13 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Luciano Spalletti Officially Named Roma Manager After Sacking of Rudi Garcia". Bleacher Report. 13 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Garcia contract terminated by mutual consent". AS Roma official website. 20 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Marseille confirm Rudi Garcia's appointment". 20 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Marseille: Frank McCourt promises £180m investment after buying Ligue 1 club". BBC. 17 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt quickly makes moves after purchasing Marseille". Los Angeles Times. 21 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Stubborn OM keep PSG at bay". Ligue 1. 23 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Rudi Garcia à Lyon, c'est bouclé". L'Équipe (in French).
  20. ^ "Lyon 0–3 Bayern". UEFA. 19 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Official: Rudi Garcia leaves Lyon". Get French Football News. 23 May 2021.
  22. ^ Xavier Béal (29 June 2022). "OFFICIEL | Rudi Garcia est le nouvel entraîneur d'Al-Nassr". (in French).
  23. ^ "‎نادي النصر السعودي‎ on Instagram: "قررت إدارة نادي #النصر رسميًا إنهاء العلاقة التعاقدية مع مدرب الفريق الأول السيد رودي جارسيا. مثمنين له كافة الجهود التي بذلها مع #النصر ، ومتمنين له التوفيق . AlNassr can announce that Head Coach Rudi Garcia has left the Club by mutual agreement. The board and everyone at AlNassr would like to thank Rudi and his staff for their dedicated work during the past 8 months."". Instagram. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  24. ^ a b "Rudi Garcia è il nuovo allenatore del Napoli. De Laurentiis: "Benvenuto e un grande in bocca al lupo"" (in Italian). SSC Napoli. 15 June 2023. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  25. ^ Brendan Madden (16 June 2023). "Rudi Garcia appointed coach of Serie A champions Napoli after Luciano Spalletti's departure".
  26. ^ a b "Garcia esce allo scoperto: "Francesca fa parte della mia vita privata, e non da ieri"" (in Italian). 19 September 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  27. ^ "Francesca Brienza incinta, in arrivo il primo figlio con Rudi Garcia (che ne ha avuti 3 con l'ex moglie)" (in Italian). Il Mattino. 18 June 2023. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  28. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: French sporting stars pay tribute to dead". BBC Sport. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Rudi Garcia à l'ASSE". (in French). Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  30. ^ a b c d e "Rudi Garcia at". Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  31. ^ "Rudi Garcia managerial statistics". Soccerbase. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  32. ^ "How Lille won the Ligue 1 title". Goal. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  33. ^ "Lille move to brink of historic double". France 24. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  34. ^ "Atletico Madrid win Europa League with 3-0 victory over Marseille". BBC. 16 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Paris St-Germain beat Lyon in French League Cup final for another treble". BBC Sport. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  36. ^ "Palmarès Trophées UNFP - Oscars du football - Meilleur entraîneur de Ligue 1" (in French). Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  37. ^ Garin, Erik; Pierrend, José Luis (18 January 2018). "France – Footballer of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 8 October 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.

External links Edit