Sunday September 8 2013
Garcia: 'Totti among best in history'

Rudi Garcia is surprised by the “passion” at Roma and sees Francesco Totti as “one of the very best players in the history of the sport.”

The former Lille Coach took over this summer and is having a great start to his Serie A career, winning both opening games against Livorno and Verona.

“It’s clear that it’s a place where you feel the passion of the supporters. You can’t compare it to Lille, really. It’s more like Marseille to the power of 10,” he told World Soccer.

“I think that one of the qualities a Coach needs is to be able to adapt himself to different situations. He has to understand his different audiences and know how to adjust the role that he plays.

“I read a lot of biographies and articles about football managers, but also high-achieving sports people in general. There are valuable things to be learned from all kinds of different personalities; it’s up to me to interpret those things in my own way.

“I don’t have one manager who I try to model myself on, but I have a huge respect for all my colleagues who have succeeded in reaching the top level of the game. In the end, everyone needs to have their own personality. I have mine, so I don’t need to copy anybody else.”

Garcia is trying to find a middle ground between the all-attack philosophy of Zdenek Zeman and other more practical tacticians at Roma.

“I think football is a spectacle and people come to watch a spectacle. At the same time, we must not forget that they will be happiest if we are winning games. But personally I think that playing well gives us the best chance to win matches – and give a good spectacle at the same time.”

He confirmed he will try to form a ‘council of wise men’ within the squad to help advise him of their mood, starting with captain Totti.

“Francesco is not only a formidable player – a “fuoriclasse” as you say in Italy – but also a man with great qualities outside of football.

“For me he is one of the very best players in the history of the sport. What I would really love is to win something with him at Roma.”