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Rudi Garcia Biography

Thu 22 July 2021 | 19:29

Although injuries forced him to retire from playing very early, he managed to establish himself as one of the best French managers of his generation. In this article, we will take a look at Rudi Garcia biography.

Rudi Garcia, born on 20 February 1964 in Nemours, is a former French footballer who became a coach. He began his professional career at Lille OSC in 1982. He moved to SM Caen in 1988, where he played until 1991, after which he joined FC Martigues, where he would retire in 1992 due to a series of knee and back injuries.

He spent the next two years away from the world of football, obtaining a degree in science and physical activities and sports techniques at university. After a successful career as a professional footballer, in particular with Lille OSC, Rudi Garcia became coach at his training club, AS Corbeil-Essonnes.

He later joined AS Saint-Étienne, where he had several roles up to the first-team bench in Division 1. In 2002, Garcia was signed by Dijon FCO and took them up to Ligue 2. He then moved to Le Mans UC in 2007, where he had a successful season, which persuaded LOSC to sign him.

He helped the team qualify for the UEFA Champions League on his debut and won the league and cup double in 2011. Two years later, Garcia left the club to join AS Roma. He made a record-breaking start and twice took the team to second place, before being sacked in the third season.

All You Need to Know About Rudi Garcia Biography

Following his debut as a consultant for Euro 2016 in France, Garcia signed for Olympique de Marseille, leading them to the 2017-2018 Europa League final before resigning at the end of the following season. He would then join rival Lyon from October 2019 to May 2021.

Rudi Garcia Information

Now that you know him better, in this section of

Rudi Garcia biography

, we will share the same general information about him such as

Rudi Garcia nationality

to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Rudi Garcia Bio

  • Full Name: Rudi José Garcia

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Coach

Rudi Garcia Physical Stats

  • Weight: 68 Kg

  • Height: 1.80 m

  • Eye Color: Green

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Rudi Garcia Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 13

  • Professional Debut: 1983

Rudi Garcia Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 20 February 1964

  • Birth Place: Nemours, France

  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces

  • Nationality: French

Stay tuned to this section of

Rudi Garcia biography

as we will share some information about

Rudi Garcia childhood

and more.

Rudi Garcia Early Life

Rudi Garcia has been involved in the world of football from an early age: his father José was a professional player for the USL Dunkerque. He then became the manager of AS Corbeil-Essonnes, where his son Rudi was active until the youth level.

However, since Corbeil did not have a team, Rudi moved to ES Viry-Châtillon in 1979 to play for the national youth team. There, he already demonstrated his ability to play as an attacking midfielder, who could pass the ball more than score.

He was called up to the first team, which was playing in Division 3 from 1981 to 1982, before leaving the club to play in the second division. After obtaining his baccalaureate, he signed for Lille OSC when he was 18.

Rudi Garcia spent two years at Lille OSC as a trainee and then played four seasons as a professional. His first goal for

Lille

was scored on Friday 14 December 1984, against Paris Saint-Germain in the 20th matchday of the first division at the Parc des Princes. He netted the third goal for his team as they won 2-3. He appeared in about 170 games for the French club until 1988. There he scored four goals as an attacking midfielder with Lille.

After his long contract with Lille, he left for

Caen

, which was promoted to the top flight, coached by Robert Nouzaret and later by Daniel Jeandupeux. After three years, he had the chance to stay at Caen, but he wished to re-launch himself by joining Martigues. However, a series of back and knee injuries meant that he had to end his professional career early at the age of 28.

Between 1992 and 1994, he took a break from the game. He attended university with a view to his career transition. He earned a DEUG and a licence in STAPS at the University of Paris-Sud XI, as well as first- and second-degree state diplomas in football coaching and a certificate to manage a football training centre. Meanwhile, he also worked for CanalSatellite, initially performing field interviews, then later becoming a consultant in the booth.

Rudi Garcia Profile

Rudi Garcia went back to the game in 1994 as an amateur at AS Corbeil-Essonnes in the Division d'honneur. Just two months before the end of the first season, he was appointed player-coach until the end of the following year (1995-1996). After that, he focused solely on the role of coach.

During his three full seasons on the bench, he managed to keep the club in the league, a mid-table season and a runner-up finish in a play-off for promotion to the second division.

Saint-Étienne

With the help of Gérard Soler and Robert Nouzaret, Garcia moved to AS Saint-Étienne, which was playing in the second division. As a physical trainer in 1998-1999, he was responsible for studying the strategy of the opponents and for elaborating and watching the game of Les Verts.

He gradually became an assistant to Robert Nouzaret starting in July 2000, followed by John Toshack the following autumn. In the winter of 2001, Saint-Etienne had to deal with the fake passport affair and the team's performance on the pitch was disappointing.

As a result, the Welsh coach Toshack resigned from the Forez and the assistant Garcia took over, backed by Jean-Guy Wallemme (player-coach). However, despite this difficult situation, the duo of Garcia on the bench and Wallemme on the pitch made their debut by beating Nicolas Anelka's Paris Saint Germain (1-0). After that, the Greens suffered six defeats, four draws and only one victory.

The team could not avoid relegation, with seven penalty points (linked to false passports). In June 2001, the duo was succeeded by Alain Michel.

At the time, Rudi Garcia's future was in doubt, as he was not happy with the various positions that the Forézien club wanted to give him and he was dismissed in mid-August 2001 when all the clubs had already found their coach for the 2001-2002 season. He then resumed his activity as a consultant and took his professional football coaching diploma.

Stay tuned to this section of

Rudi Garcia biography

as we will share some information about his coaching career at

Dijon

.

Dijon

In the spring of 2002, Garcia was approached by Dijon FCO, then struggling to survive in the French National League. On May 21, 2002, Garcia was appointed as coach of Dijon FCO. Dijon's start to the 2002-2003 season was mixed: they won three games, drew three and lost three after nine games. The next stage was better, with a fourth-place finish in the third division.

The 2003-2004 season ended in third place and was a historic rise to

Ligue 2

. Dijon striker Sébastien Heitzmann was top scorer. The Burgundian club also made it to the French Cup semi-final against

Rennes

, where they were defeated 2-0.

Having advanced to the second division, Garcia and Dijon were close to securing a second promotion but ended up in fourth place in the 2004-2005 Ligue 2, equal to two other teams, yet 11 points behind the third and last promoted team and only two points behind the ninth. After being knocked out in the seventh round of the French Cup, the team made it through three rounds of the League Cup, reaching the round of 16.

In the 2005-2006 season, the situation was similar, the team finished fifth in the league, just six points off the top, but made it through five rounds of the Coupe Nationale (round of 16) and two in the Coupe de la Ligue (round of 16).

Results in 2006-2007 were down with an eighth-place finish in Ligue 2 (tied seventh), with sixteen points from promotion and fourteen from relegation. Garcia's Dijon FCO was knocked out of the Coupe de

France

by a National team in the seventh round, while they made it through three rounds of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Le Mans

In the summer of 2007, Rudi Garcia returned to

Ligue 1

when he joined Le Mans Union Club 72, whose goal was to keep the club in the top flight. The start of the season for

Le Mans

was excellent, with three wins and a draw in four games.

They finished fifth at the halfway stage of the league with players such as Daisuke Matsui, Stephane Sessègnon, Gervinho, Grafite and Tulio De Melo, although Garcia and his attack-minded team ended up in ninth place. They were also semi-finalists in the League Cup.

Stay tuned to this section of Rudi Garcia biography as we will share some information about his successful coaching career at LOSC.

Lille

He terminated his contract with Le Mans on 18 June 2008 to join Lille, replacing Claude Puel. LOSC took just one point from their first three Ligue 1 games, with only two goals scored. However, Lille went undefeated in their next ten matches and qualified for the new Europa League.

In a surprise move on 2 June 2009, he was fired by the club, despite having just qualified for the Europa League, because of a poor relationship with general manager Xavier Thuilot. The club's management decided to reverse its decision on 18 June 2009 and to part ways with the director.

Michel Seydoux, the club's president and shareholder, then offered Rudi Garcia the opportunity to come back to coach Lille, which he accepted. In his second season in charge, the coach was assisted by his former player at Le Mans, Gervinho. He scored 18 goals in the league, and the club came fourth in the league. Aimé Jacquet said he saw him as one of the best talents on the French bench.

His first major title came in 2010-11 when he defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup final by a score of 1-0. His club achieved a historic double on 21 May 2011 at the Parc des Princes, when they won the Ligue 1 title after a 2-2 draw against the same team. He was elected best coach of the season at the UNFP Football Awards. He was also one of the ten coaches nominated for the title of World Coach of the Year 2011.

In his fourth season at the Villeneuve-d'Ascq stadium in 2011-2012, LOSC returned to the Champions League, but lost the 2011 Champions Trophy to

Marseille

, when they took a 3-1 lead in the 72nd minute but lost 4-5 before the end of normal time. LOSC ended up third in Ligue 1.

During his fifth and final year in the north of France, Rudi Garcia moved into the new stadium (which was later named Stade Pierre-Mauroy) and participated again in the Champions League. Following the many departures of key players from year to year, the club lost Eden Hazard that season and dropped down the league table (sixth). He then decided to end his contract with LOSC.

AS Roma

Rudi Garcia was appointed coach of

AS Roma

on 12 June 2013 for a period of two years. He was reunited with his favourite player, Gervinho, who had been recruited from Arsenal and with whom he had won the French league in 2011.

In the process, Rudi Garcia made the best start in Serie A history by winning his first ten matches, better than the eight victories of Giovanni Trapattoni and Michel Platini's Juventus in 1985-86. In doing so, they also broke a European record then held by Real Madrid 1968-1969 and Chelsea of 2005-2006, only to be equalled in 2015-2016 by Bayern Munich.

The Italian club took the lead in a league they had not won since 2001. However, the draw at Torino was not enough to match Tottenham's record of 11 wins in 1960. However, Roma could not keep up the pace and was eventually overtaken by Juventus, who were 17 points clear at the end of the season. This was the first time since 2009-2010 that the team second place.

The second season was similar to the previous one. In fact, Roma was able to compete with Juventus until the middle of the season. Nevertheless, Roma failed to maintain the pace and fell behind Juventus and struggled for second place, together with neighbours Lazio Rome. In the summer of 2015, according to La Repubblica, he was contacted by Real Madrid to replace Carlo Ancelotti but rejected the offer. The Spanish club then turned to Rafael Benítez.

Following a worse start to the 2015-2016 season than previous ones, with elimination from the Italian Cup in the last 16 but remaining qualified for the Champions League and a European place in

Serie A

at mid-season, Garcia was sacked on 13 January 2016 and replaced by Luciano Spalletti.

Olympique de Marseille

Rudi Garcia was appointed coach of Olympique de Marseille on 20 October 2016, when the club was bought by Frank McCourt. He almost joined OM at the end of 2001, when the sporting director of OM Bernard Tapie was in search of a successor to Tomislav Ivić on the Olympic bench. Eventually, Albert Emon was appointed coach.

He started his career with Marseille with a goalless draw in the "classic" away match against

Paris Saint-Germain

, putting an end to a series of ten consecutive defeats by Marseille against their rivals. Marseille then went from good to bad (two wins, two draws and two defeats). In the winter transfer window, the club was strengthened with the return of Dimitri Payet and the signings of Morgan Sanson and

Patrice Evra

. By the end of the 2016-2017 season, he and OM finished fifth and earned a place in the Europa League.

When the 2017-2018 season began, the club was struggling to find a replacement for Bafétimbi Gomis and signed Kóstas Mítroglou on the last day of the transfer window. With Luiz Gustavo on board, OM struggled for the top of the table until the final day but ultimately finished fourth in the league. In Europe, the club made a long journey (18 games) and made it to the final after defeating Red Bull Salzburg (3-2). Rudi Garcia's men lost to Atlético Madrid in the final (0-3 in Lyon).

In 2018-2019, the coach had three world champions in his squad with Steve Mandanda, Adil Rami and Florian Thauvin. In the 2018 summer transfer window, Garcia signed Kevin Strootman, a player he had previously worked with at AS Roma, to join Olympique de Marseille. He participated in the 20th UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon on 5 September 2018, alongside his foreign counterparts such as Diego Simeone, José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri and Rafael Benitez.

This forum addressed topics related to the technical and tactical aspects of the game and its development, the harmonization of transfer periods and refereeing issues. He extended his contract with Olympique de Marseille on 27 October 2018 until 2021, with the club finishing fifth in Ligue 1 and being the first team not to qualify for the UEFA

Champions League

. In a press conference on 22 May 2019, he announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the 2018-2019 season.

Olympique Lyonnais

Rudi Garcia joined Olympique Lyonnais on 14 October 2019 to take over from Sylvinho until 30 June 2021. He arrived in Lyon with his assistant Claude Fichaux. On 19 October, Garcia made his debut with Lyon by hosting Dijon in Ligue 1 (0-0) before travelling to Benfica on 23 October in the Champions League (2-1 defeat).

The following three games in the Champions League ended in a 3-1 win against Benfica, a 2-0 loss to Zenit St Petersburg and a 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig. Meanwhile, the global Covid 19 crisis brought the 2019-2020 season to a halt; when the league was called off, there were ten games left to play but Lyon was in seventh place and therefore finished in this non-qualifying position for European competition.

Rudi Garcia and his players advanced to the League Cup final on 21 January 2020, later losing on penalties to Paris Saint-Germain in the final of the competition on 31 July 2020, after the post-Covid resumption.

Lyon knocked out Juventus Turin in the last 16 of the Champions League (after winning the first leg 1-0 and losing the second leg 2-1 away from home) to become the first French club to achieve this feat. On 15 August 2020, Lyon managed to eliminate Manchester City and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Both of these major successes were directly linked to coach Garcia and to his work on the Lyon team: from the 3-5-2 system of play to the successful upgrading or replacement of players such as Maxwell Cornet, Fernando Marçal or Marcelo, followed by the rise of youngsters such as Maxence Caqueret, passing through strong tactical choices such as the starting of Karl Toko-Ekambi in place of Moussa Dembélé, and above all in his management of the team, both with the coaching during the matches and more generally their state of mind.

Although his team was finally defeated by

Bayern Munich

in the semi-final of Europe's top competition, the score of the match (3-0) was not a reflection of the game's nature, where Lyon's playing system managed to annoy a great team. However, Lyon failed to convert their chances, and Bayern's stars demonstrated their technical prowess in all three German goals.

In the following season, Rudi Garcia and Lyon made it to the quarter-finals of the French Cup, beating AC Ajaccio, FC Sochaux and Red Star, but were knocked out by AS Monaco. The club became autumn champions in the league before dropping down the table from 2021 onwards.

Lyon finally finished fourth behind champions Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco after a 2-3 defeat at the Groupama Stadium on the last day of the league against OGC Nice, which prevented them from qualifying for the Champions League, as RC Lens drew with Monaco, who was ahead of them by one point. Lyon, therefore, qualified for the Europa League and Rudi Garcia failed to qualify for the Champions League in two seasons.

On the same evening, after several months of rumours which were more inclined towards a possible decision not to renew his contract according to the words of the president Jean-Michel Aulas, he announced that he would no longer be the coach of Lyon the following season.

Rudi Garcia's contract was terminated on 24 May 2021, the day after the 2-3 defeat to OGC Nice, following a mutual agreement between the directors of Olympique Lyonnais. The coach then gave an interview to the sports daily L'Equipe in which he criticized his relationship with the sporting director, Juninho. As a result of this interview, the club and the fans were strongly criticized.

Stay tuned to this section of Rudi Garcia biography as we will share some information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

Rudi Garcia is a renowned tactician who almost exclusively plays with a 4-3-3 formation and a determinedly attacking game. With Lille OSC, Garcia played with the trio of Rio Mavuba-Yohan Cabaye-Florent Balmont in midfield and Eden Hazard-Gervinho with Moussa Sow upfront.

In 2013, when he arrived at Roma, Garcia maintained his preferred system and his attacking approach. At his disposal, he had the likes of Miralem Pjanić, Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan and Adem Ljajić in midfield, and Gervinho, who accompanied him to the Italian capital, as well as Michel Bastos and especially Francesco Totti in the attack.

That 4-3-3 evolved occasionally into a 4-2-3-1, when Pjanic stepped up a notch as a playmaker, but without changing the desired organisation. While his system brought him many successes, it caused some criticism from the Italian press when Roma's performances declined during his third season. Sometimes, Garcia appeared to be a tactician who was too stuck in his ways.

Reception

Although he didn’t have a great playing career and had to retire from playing football at an early age, after becoming a coach, Rudi Garcia managed to prove himself as one of the best French football coaches and today, he is regarded as a great tactician who can please fans with his attacking style of play.

Rudi Garcia outside Football

Other than working as a coach, he had collaborated with TV channels in France as a consultant. Rudi Garcia published his autobiography in France in February 2014, which was co-written with Denis Chaumier and is entitled 'Tous les chemins mènent à Rome' (in English: All roads lead to Rome).

Rudi Garcia Personal Life

In this section of Rudi Garcia biography, we will take a look into his personal life, sharing some information about things like

Rudi Garcia religion

and

Rudi Garcia life story

.

Family, Children, and Relationships

He and his wife Véronique are divorced and they have three daughters together, named Lena, Carla and Eva. On 18 September 2014, he announced on Twitter that he was in a relationship with Francesca Brienza, host of AS Roma TV and former beauty queen.

His father José Garcia was a footballer and thus, he was born into a football family. He was named Rudi after the German cyclist Rudi Altig. He has Spanish origins, specifically Andalusian.

Philanthropy

We have seen Rudi Garcia take part in charity causes many times. For example, he took part as a player in the charity match played to raise funds for the France-Alzheimer association. At the time, he was the coach of the French Ligue 1 team LOSC.

Legal Issues

There are no reports of any legal issues or disputes on English and French media about Rudi Garcia. Stay tuned to this section of Rudi Garcia biography as we will share some information about his career stats.

Rudi Garcia Career Statistics

In this section of Rudi Garcia biography, we will take a look into his career on the international and club level. Stay tuned.

Club

Between 1983 and 1992, Rudi Garcia played a total of 154 matches in all competitions for Lille, SM Caen and

FC Martigues

, scoring 7 goals. He spent the majority of his short playing career at LOSC, playing 81 games and scoring 5 goals.

Managerial

As of 23 May 2021, Rudi Garcia has managed his teams in a total of 875 matches and has a win ratio of 48.34 percent with 423 wins, 227 draws and 225 defeats. With 53.85 percent, his best win ratio was at Lyon.

Rudi Garcia Honors

As a manager, Rudi Garcia has won French Ligue 1 and Coupe de France with Lille in the 2010-11 season. He was also runner-up in the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League with Marseille.

He was elected as Ligue 1 Manager of the Year in the 2010-11 season when he won the double with Lille. He was also French Manager of the Year on three occasions.

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