Roma have officially appointed ex-Lille manager Rudi Garcia as their new Coach. "He's a proven winner."
The announcement had been considered imminent since Tuesday, but only arrived this evening from President James Pallotta’s NYC office.
“We are very excited and confident that Rudi Garcia is the right coach for AS Roma,” said Pallotta in a statement.
“He is a proven winner with a great football mind who we believe fits in perfectly with our vision for the future.”
CEO Italo Zanzi added: “We welcome Rudi Garcia to AS Roma. He will continue to develop our existing talent base while giving us the best opportunity to win now. We are looking forward to this season more than ever.”
The 49-year-old French tactician won the Ligue 1 title and the Coupe de France with Lille in 2011.
He has agreed a two-year contract said to be worth €1.5m per season with an option for a third season.
Massimiliano Allegri had been the initial favourite, then Garcia won the race with Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa.
Garcia becomes the third Roma Coach in just over 12 months, as Zdenek Zeman was fired in February and Aurelio Andreazzoli not kept on as Interim Manager.
The new Coach is French, but the name confirms his Spanish roots in Andalusia, even if it is pronounced in the French style.
“He’s named after German cyclist Rudi Altig, who was a popular figure in the Garcia household. His surname is pronounced à la francaise, with the stress on the final 'a',” explained the official Roma website.
Other than Lille, he has only worked at Saint-Etienne, Dijon and Le Mans, so could be considered something of a gamble for the Giallorossi.
“Garcia is an attack-minded Coach whose preferred playing systems are 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, his players given an attacking license while ensuring the team's overall balance,” read another Roma statement.
“Speed, off-the-ball movement and quick passes are the basic tenets on which he has built his success.
“Barcelona’s “associative” football is a model to be followed, as is the pragmatic approach of his friend Rafa Benitez.
“A charismatic figure, he's a strong leader in the locker room and knows how to command respect: ‘The players need to feel comfortable, you must never forget a birthday, sometimes it’s the little things that count. I train as I Coach, I don’t command, I discuss things, tweak things and bring the players along’ is his long-held philosophy.”