Following his appointment as the head coach of Napoli, the defending Italian champions, Rudi Garcia said on Thursday that he was “as motivated as ever.”
In place of Luciano Spalletti, who resigned after leading the southern club to their first Scudetto in 33 years, comes ex-Roma manager Garcia, 59.
Only months after Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, signed in a transaction for tens of millions of dollars, Garcia was fired by Al Nassr, the Saudi Arabian team second in the standings.
How wonderful it is to take on the Napoli project. What a pleasure to be back in Italy,” Garcia tweeted.
“I am as motivated and as ambitious as I have ever been,” he said.
Prior to the club making the announcement on social media, Aurelio De Laurentiis, the president of Napoli, had already confirmed Garcia’s arrival.
De Laurentiis said on Twitter, “I have the pleasure to announce that Mr. Rudi Garcia will be the next coach of Napoli after having met and spent time with him throughout the previous 10 days.
He said, “A big good luck to him and a sincere welcome!”
Garcia, a native Italian speaker, led Roma to Champions League qualifying in 2014 and 2015 after winning the French double with Lille in 2011.
In his own country, he has also led Lyon and Marseille.
Former Barcelona and Spain coach Luis Enrique was the front-runner to succeed Spalletti, according to Italian media, while former Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier was also mentioned as a candidate.
De Laurentiis had said that he has a shortlist of 40 candidates to replace the charismatic Spalletti.
Following 64-year-old Spalletti, the oldest coach to win the Scudetto and the man who took Napoli to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time, Garcia will have enormous shoes to fill.
Cristiano Giuntoli, the sports director, has left his role and left Naples to return to his Tuscan vineyard on gardening leave.
Garcia’s key goal will be to maintain the unity of the championship team as they attempt to emulate Diego Maradona’s achievements from 1990.
By winning the league in 1990, Napoli emulated Diego Maradona’s achievements. Garcia’s key goal will be to maintain the unity of the championship team.
Kim Min-jae of South Korea has a 50 million euro ($54 million) release clause, and Manchester United and Bayern Munich are apparently interested in signing him. His outstanding season at center-back swiftly made supporters forget Kalidou Koulibaly.
With five games remaining in the league season, Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen is also a target after scoring 30 goals across all competitions, including the goal against Udinese that clinched the Scudetto.
Osimhen has acknowledged his desire to compete in the Premier League.
Garcia’s contract is good until 2027, so he can expect to work with Georgia’s wing wizard Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.