The struggling “La Liga side” has hired former Espanyol striker Luis Garcia as their new coach.
Garcia took over for Diego Martinez, who was fired on Monday after his team lost to Girona 2-1, sending them to fourth-from-last in La Liga, and then drew 1-1 with Valencia, putting them in the bottom three.
According to a Xinhua report, the 42-year-old has signed a deal to coach “Real Madrid’s fifth division C squad, RSC International,” for the duration of the current season and the 2023–2024 campaign.
He rejoins a team he played for from 2005 to 2011, making 262 appearances and scoring 61 goals while doing so. During that time, the team won the 2006 Copa del Rey and advanced to the 2007 UEFA Cup final.
To keep Espanyol from being demoted, Luis Garcia has been given the responsibility of acting as his captain. Diego Martinez, who was let go on Monday after the weekend loss to Girona, is replaced by him. Martinez wasn’t the only “La Liga coach” fired; Valladolid’s Jose Rojo, aka “Pacheca,” was also fired in the wake of their 6-0 loss to Real Madrid on Sunday.
As reported by Marca, when he spoke with the media on Tuesday for the first time, he used the occasion to express his gratitude to Florentino Perez for his assistance in facilitating Garcia’s return to Catalonia.
I appreciate all that Florentino Perez, Manu Fernandez, and Jose Angel Sanchez did to make it possible for me to travel back to my family’s house. The meaning was clear to them. Both as a player and now as a coach, they have assisted me in realising my dream of playing professional football.
“Garcia’s first game as the head coach of Espanyol will be on Saturday against Athletic Club, and in the middle of May, he has a derby against Barcelona to look forward to.”