A shocking confession by Napoli’s president has stunned the world: he wishes he had fired Rudi Garcia on the same day the coach was introduced.

Owner and president Aurelio De Laurentiis spoke frankly about Rudi Garcia‘s limited time as head coach in an interview with Corriere dello Sport. His team is now serving as Italian champions.

Luciano Spalletti’s resignation after last season caught everyone off guard by the Partenopei’s selection of the Frenchman.

While looking for a new coach in June, many names came up, including Igor Tudor, Luis Enrique, Christophe Galtier, and Vincenzo Italiano. Whoever Garcia was up against seemed far more suited for the league winners.

Before joining Napoli, the French coach coached Al-Nassr for nine months. His failure to reach an agreement with their best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, led to his dismissal in April 2023.

What did De Laurentiis say about other choices?

Now, De Laurentiis has voiced his qualms with the selection of Garcia after learning that the new manager was inexperienced with the squad. In addition, the manager reportedly had a different soccer mentality than the club’s previous coach.

The former Al-Nassr manager was not even De Laurentiis’s first pick for head coach. It all started when the 74-year-old contacted Thiago Motta, whose Bologna squad is doing well in Serie A.

Nevertheless, the pressure of replacing a coach who won the Scudetto was too much for Motta. Therefore, he turned down the job.

“Thiago Motta was the first one I called. It wasn’t so wrong, eh? However, he didn’t feel ready. Do you know what the problem was? He needed to replace somebody who had won the title that way. He thought: ‘What will happen if it doesn’t go well?’

De Laurentiis persisted in his pursuit of a manager and eventually settled on Garcia after contacting Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann, among others. The former would subsequently sign with Paris Saint-Germain.

The final selection was based on the Frenchman’s track record of success in the Italian Serie A, regardless of his image as a manager of high-profile clubs known for their conflicting locker rooms.

“Then I met Luis Enrique. His parents came to Naples, and he kept me on hold for three days. He asked for so much money. Then it was Nagelsmann’s turn. I spoke to five or six candidates but said 40 to shuffle the cards. I picked Garcia who had finished second twice in Serie A, managing dressing rooms full of champions.”

What did De Laurentiis say about Rudi Garcia?

But De Laurentiis quickly came to regret his choice, particularly when Garcia confessed he had never heard of Napoli or seen any of their matches. The 59-year-old former Roma boss had an inconsistent time in Naples, winning eight matches while drawing four and losing four.

As a result, he was let go. Walter Mazzarri has been in charge of the coaching duties since then, and his record is three wins and four defeats.

“I realized Garcia [wasn’t the right man] the day of his unveiling. I should have caused a scene and announced, ‘I have just introduced him to you and now he is leaving’. Someone who shows up and says ‘I don’t know Napoli, I never watched one of their matches’ should have made me understand.

“Instead, I took it like a joke. Then he repeated it other times. All he had to do was play the same football as Spalletti.”

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