Ex-Roma manager Rudi Garcia recounts his time in the capital

Andy Mattioli

Former Roma boss Rudi Garcia, after concluding his time at Lyon at the end of last season, shared a few words with Corriere dello Sport where he talked about his love for Roma, Totti and his biggest achievements at the capital club.

On reaching second place twice and giving Lorenzo Pellegrini an opportunity to shine for the first time”

“How good is Lorenzo! He has everything to be a great footballer. He is technically strong, he is tall for a midfielder and above all he has an uncommon tactical mindset.”

“You tell him something and he absorbs it right away, he’s very smart. The aspect in which he has been improving for a few seasons concerns the numbers: he knows how to score and assist, he is a complete player.”

“He can play anywhere, he knows how to do everything, I see him doing well in recent months because he has more freedom in the offensive phase, he faces the goal.”

“He’s got character and knows how to be respected. On the pitch he shows up, he wants the ball, he doesn’t hide when things go wrong. He is a player you can count on. For a coach he is the ideal.”

On his famous run of 10 straight wins with Roma:

“I am very fond of that memory. I have all ten victories in mind, including the eleventh in Turin, where we had to win. I also remember the tenth, against Chievo, we struggled and Borriello’s goal came at the end. I remember each one of those beautiful victories.”

“We had a team that wanted to redeem itself, a complete, technical team with many warriors. It was a great season. In Rome I only missed one victory, the first year we were close.”

About his famous ‘violin’ gesture in the match against Juventus:

“We were ahead, then Juve scored the equalizer but there was a foul on Benatia. It was an instinctive gesture, I have always defended the clubs where I coached. In that case I did not want to endure an injustice, a great injustice. Was that an elegant gesture? I leave the interpretation to you.”

On whether Roma can reach Champions League football this season:

“There is a lot of competition in Italy. The title race is wide open. Dzeko arrived at Inter, but they lost Lukaku, they changed coach. I am very curious to see what happens. Milan are back, they haven’t qualified for the Champions League in a long time, there are other great teams, Napoli, Lazio and Atalanta, which is no longer a surprise. Roma will have to contend with them.”

On his relationship with Totti:

“The captain was still a great player, he has always been a champion, before me, with me and after me. I had never met someone like Francesco. He sees everything before others, no one is like him. He has a terrific shot. I am very proud to have been his coach, we still send messages, I hope to come to Rome to meet him.”

On Roma not having the likes of Totti and De Rossi anymore:

“It’s strange but there is a time for everything. They are immortal players because they made the history of Italy and Rome, they were world champions, but then there must be someone who takes the baton. It happened first to Florenzi, now to Pellegrini.”

“I have always valued the players who grew up in the ranks of the clubs where I have been. They have a special love for the colors, they understand certain nuances.”

On the Friedkins:

“I don’t see their statements, but I know they are very present. I like the way they act, they don’t talk much but they act. This past summer proves it: the arrival of Mourinho, having built a strong team.”

On Mourinho:

“He is a coach who has won everywhere, at a great level. This does not change over the years.”

On his relationship with former owner James Pallotta:

“Up to a point I had a good relationship with club executives. Then I think they didn’t like a phrase I used after the last game of the second year, when we still finished second. I said that the gap with Juve was unbridgeable, it was the truth.”

“Even in the third season we were first in October, then too many draws, but I was convinced that we could still reach the Champions League. But things turned out in another way. I only keep the good memories, I would like one day to return to coach Roma, or even elsewhere, in Italy. I love the language, the country, Serie A.”

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MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45