Rudi Garcia is Roma's new coach, the first Frenchman to sit in the Giallorossi dugout.
Born and bred in France but of Spanish descent, the 49-year-old has always maintained strong ties with Andalusia, his parents' homeland.
Garcia is an attack-minded coach whose preferred playing systems are 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, his players given an attacking license while ensuring the team's overall balance. Speed, off-the-ball movement and quick passes are the basic tenets on which he has built his success. Barcelona's "associative" football is a model to be followed, as is the pragmatic approach of his friend Rafa Benitez.
In France he guided Lille to the Ligue 1 title in 2010/11. A perfect season: 76 points, 68 goals for, 38 against. A thoroughly deserved triumph, followed shortly afterward by another prestigious trophy: Garcia's side beat PSG in the cup final to lift the Coupe de France and claim the double. Two trophies in the same season to end a barren spell lasting 57 years for LOSC, except for a few minor tournaments and an Intertoto Cup in 2004.
Before taking over at Lille, Garcia coached at Saint-Étienne (first as an assistant and then as head coach), Dijon and Le Mans.
A charismatic figure, he's a strong leader in the locker room and knows how to command respect: "The players need to feel comfortable, you must never forget a birthday, sometimes it's the little things that count. I train as I coach, I don't command, I discuss things, tweak things and bring the players along" is his long-held philosophy.
He's named after German cyclist Rudi Altig, who was a popular figure in the Garcia household. His surname is pronounced à la francaise, with the stress on the final 'a'.