Rudi Garcia is focussed on rebuilding Roma into a force in Serie A after being appointed as the club’s new head coach.
Having arrived at the Stadio Olimpico on June 12, the Frenchman was quick to express his delight at being given the job and revealed he was looking forward to getting started in the Italian capital.
Roma missed out on European qualification last season after finishing sixth in Serie A and losing the Coppa Italia final to arch rivals Lazio. Garcia knows that new recruits will be required to push the team back into contention at the top of the table, but he feels suitably prepared to be able to make those changes.
“What matters is that today I am the coach of AS Roma and to be able to make it as a successful manager,” he said. “Of course that is my main goal.
“I have a huge task waiting for me and Walter Sabatini, the director of football, he knows very well the Italian market and I have the advantage of knowing pretty well the French market.
“We will add our knowledge to recruit outstanding players for the AS Roma. If we want to be ambitious; we will have to improve the team.
“The first thing is to keep our best elements as it has always been in all my clubs my first priority. I feel that the best recruitment you can possibly do in a club is to keep your best players.”
The former Lille coach admitted he had found it hard to leave for Italy having spent five years at the club, which saw him claim one Ligue 1 title and one Coupe de France. However Garcia insisted he had no regrets in making the move to Serie A, despite not getting to thank the fans for their support.
“I have no regrets. Maybe only one,” he added. “I wish I could have said goodbye to my supporters during the last game of the season against Saint-Etienne.
“That’s the only regret of my long spell and my story with Lille as a coach. It makes it harder to not have been able to say goodbye to the supporters. If I had known, I would have stayed longer on the pitch, at least 30 minutes, to just spend some more time with them.