Rudi García

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Rudi García
Rudi Garcia (Flickr, 2011).jpg
Personal information
Full name Rudi García
Date of birth (1964-02-20) 20 February 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Nemours, France
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Roma (manager)
Youth career
1970–1979 l'ASCE
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 13 (0)
1991–1992 l'ASCE 13 (0)
Total 134 (5)
Teams managed
1994–1998 l'ASCE
2001–2002 Saint-Étienne
2002–2007 Dijon
2007–2008 Le Mans
2008–2013 Lille
2013– Roma
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Rudi García (born 20 February 1964) is a French football manager and former midfielder. He is currently the manager of Italian Serie A club Roma.[1]

Early career[edit]

Rudi García's father, José, was a Spaniard expatriate who played football at a professional level for Sedan and Dunkerque.[2] Rudi García's grandparents had left Andalusia for the Ardennes region during the Spanish Civil War.[3]

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 didn't 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, Rudi García'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, García netted to earn his side a win over the Parisian club. He made about 170 appearances for the Northern club which he left in 1988.

After Lille, Rudi García joined Stade Malherbe 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.

Between 1992 and 1994, García stayed away from football pitches. He 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. In parallel, he worked for CanalSatellitle, first as a reporter for post-match interviews, and then as a studio pundit.

Managerial career[edit]

Early years[edit]

In 1995, García 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, García acted as player-manager for the club Ile-de-France 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-Etienne'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, Rudi García 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 García/Wallemme duo failed to reverse the trend and, in May 2001, Saint-Etienne were effectively relegated to the French second division. The following month, Wallemme left the club while García was fired in August 2001. The two men, a decade later, would manage Lens and Lille respectively.

Rudi García 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 sping 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 2003-2004. The Bourgogne club even appeared in the semi-final of the Coupe de France where Châteauroux defeated it 2-0.

In June 2007, he left Dijon for Le Mans, another club he set on to transform in just one season. With players like Romaric, Marko Basa and Yohann Pelé, the Sarthe club played some pleasant football which brought results as well. Le Mans ended in 9th position of Ligue 1 standings and competed in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final.

Lille[edit]

On 18 June 2008, García rescinded his contract with the club to join Lille OSC, the club where he had spent six years as a player in the 1980s.

In his first season, the North France club developed a stylish and attacking approach, contrasting with previous coach Claude Puel's cautious and often boring tactics.[citation needed]

García'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. García also gave a lot of playing time to promising youngster Eden Hazard, later of Chelsea F.C.

On 2 June 2009, the board of directors sacked Rudi García, who had just led the club to their best league finish for 3 years and qualified it for the Europa League. It was alleged that the sacking was due to differences of opinion between the manager and member of the board Xavier Thuilot. The latter was himself 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 García, 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, Rudi García is seen, together with 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 5th place finish of 2008-09. With 72 goals scored, the club had the division's best attack, even bettering champions Olympique 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, García 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 Paris Saint-Germain which ended in a 2-2 draw. In the Trophées UNFP du football, Rudi García 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]

On 12 June 2013, Roma's president James Pallotta announced that García had been appointed the new manager of A.S. Roma,[1] news that were 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.[4] 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 Serie A title rivals Napoli.[5] During this 10-match winning run, Roma scored 24 goals while conceding just one goal, away to Parma. Its Serie A 10-match winning streak came to an end on 3 Nov 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.[6] He also guided Roma to the Champions League for the first time since 2008. Roma, however, lost the title by a record 17 points and finished 2nd.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 18 May 2014
Team Nation From To Record
G W D L Win %
Saint-Étienne France 2001 2002 15 2 4 9 13.33
Dijon France 2002 2007 214 93 61 60 43.46
Le Mans FC France 2007 2008 44 18 11 15 40.91
Lille France 2008 2013 204 106 59 39 51.96
Roma Italy 2013 Present 42 29 7 6 69.05
Total 519 248 142 129 47.78

Honours[edit]

Manager[edit]

Club[edit]

Lille

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "06/12/2013: RUDI GARCÍA". asroma.it. Rome: A.S. Roma. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  2. ^ (French)"Rudi García at work". Le Bien Public. 22 May 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Rudi García the right call at Roma" by James Horncastle, ESPN, 15 June 2013
  4. ^ "Borriello header makes it a perfect ten for Roma". www.uefa.com. 31 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Roma set record for best start to Serie A season". BBC Sport. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Torino halt Roma's run, Inter cruise to victory". www.uefa.com. 3 November 2013.