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Struggling Olympique de Marseille named Rudi Garcia as their new manager on Thursday, handing him the task of lifting the nine-time French champions out of the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table.
The 52-year-old signed a three-year deal with Marseille, who are languishing in 12th place in the French league with three wins, three draws and three defeats from nine games.
He replaces outgoing manager Franck Passi, who had been in charge on an interim basis since April.
Garcia will face a baptism of fire for his first match on Sunday, when Marseille travel to arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.
“When I met Rudi, the first thing he told me was that he wanted to win the Champions League,” said the club’s new owner Frank McCourt.
“I immediately knew that he would be the right man to coach Olympique Marseille. Rudi is a man with great character, with a lot of energy.”
McCourt has laid out plans to invest heavily at the Stade Velodrome and swiftly installed Jacques-Henri Eyraud as the club’s new president.
Garcia’s “track record over the last five years is exceptional,” said Eyraud. “He is one of the few French coaches to have succeeded abroad in a major league.”
A former midfielder, Garcia has previously coached St Etienne, Dijon, Le Mans and Lille, winning the Ligue 1 title with the latter club in 2010-11.
He recently led Italian club Roma to two second-place finishes in Serie A in as many full seasons in charge, although they never really challenged the dominance of Juventus.