Rudi Garcia sacked from Napoli

November 15, 2023

Rudi Garcia | The Serie A champions fired head coach, who was replaced by the returning Walter Mazzarri.

Former Lyon and Al-Nassr head coach Garcia was a surprise appointment in the summer to replace Scudetto-winning head coach Luciano Spalletti, who took over as Italy manager from Roberto Mancini.

Garcia’s first two games in charge of the Partenopei ended in victories over Frosinone and Sassuolo, but Napoli’s Serie A dominance quickly faded as they posted a mixed set of results.

Napoli have only won six of their first 12 games in the new domestic season, with three draws and three defeats, most recently a 1-0 home loss to Empoli on Sunday.

This result dropped Napoli to fourth place in the table with 21 points, ten points behind leaders Inter Milan and eight points behind second-placed Juventus, while Atalanta BC and Fiorentina are only one point behind the holders.

Furthermore, despite taking seven points from their first four games to sit second in Group C behind already-qualified Real Madrid, Napoli remain in danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League knockout stages.

Following weeks of speculation about Garcia’s future, the Partenopei were held to a 1-1 draw last week by Union Berlin, who had previously suffered 12 straight defeats.

The 59-year-old departs with a 50% win rate from his 16 matches in charge, claiming eight wins, four draws, and four defeats during his ill-fated tenure, and Napoli reportedly began looking for his replacement some time ago.

Antonio Conte reportedly turned down the chance to return to management with Napoli, while Igor Tudor and 2006 World Cup captain Fabio Cannavaro were also linked with the position.

However, the Serie A champions have decided to bring back 62-year-old Mazzarri for a second stint in charge, after initially hiring him in the early stages of the 2009-10 season.

Mazzarri taking charge over Napoli

Mazzarri was in charge of Napoli for just under four years, leading the club to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2011-12, where they lost 5-4 on aggregate to Chelsea, and winning the Coppa Italia that same year.

Walter left Napoli at the end of the 2012-13 season with a record of 73 wins from 145 Serie A matches, trailing only William Garbutt (92), Maurizio Sarri (79), and Eraldo Monzeglio (77).

Walter has managed Inter Milan, Watford, Torino, and Cagliari since leaving Napoli for the first time. He will leave Cagliari at the end of the 2021-22 season.

The 62-year-old, who is believed to have signed a seven-month contract, will begin his second stint as Napoli manager on November 25 with a trip to Atalanta BC following the international break.

Rudi Garcia was fired and replaced by former Watford manager Walter Mazzarri

After 16 games, Napoli fired head coach Rudi Garcia and replaced him with former manager Walter Mazzarri until the end of the season.

Garcia, 59, was appointed manager of the Serie A champions in June, but he leaves the club 10 points behind league leaders Inter Milan.

Mazzarri played one season in the Premier League with Watford before his contract was terminated in 2016-17.

From 2009 to 2013, the 62-year-old Italian was the manager of Napoli.

Mazzarri won the club’s first trophy in 20 years in 2012, when Napoli defeated undefeated league champions Juventus in the final of the Copa Italia.

A year later, he led them to second place in Serie A, the club’s highest league position in more than two decades, and a place in the Champions League.

Garcia took over as Napoli manager in the summer after Luciano Spalletti left the club to take a break after winning the club’s first league title in 33 years.

Napoli are currently fourth in the table and were defeated by Empoli on Sunday, leaving Garcia with an eight-win, four-draw, and four-loss record.