Napoli CEO Aurelio De Laurentiis has shared juicy details of the brutal way he dismissed manager Rudi Garcia back in November. Garcia was the boss that brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia last year before enduring what was reported to be a tense relationship with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The Frenchman’s managerial career has taken him to the likes of Roma, Marseille and Lyon. He took over at Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr back in 2022 and welcomed Ronaldo to the Middle East just a few months later.
Garcia’s Saudi stint went south, however, after claiming that a miss from Ronaldo in a painful defeat to rivals Al-Ittihad ‘changed the course of the match’. The 59-year-old didn’t last much longer before leaving by mutual agreement in April.
He wasn’t out of work for long, with Napoli chief De Laurentiis making a shock move to bring him back to Serie A after a seven-year absence. Garcia won eight of his 16 matches in charge but ultimately met his fate after a dismal home defeat against Empoli.
And now, the outspoken De Laurentiis has shed light on the fiery row which led to Garcia’s dismissal. “I gave him some chances, so as not to send him away immediately, since otherwise it would have been said that De Laurentiis always does as he wants,” he said.
“Why did I send him away? Because the last match, the one against Empoli, I pointed out to him that in my opinion he was making a mistake and he replied ‘let me do it’.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, continues scoring at a remarkable rate despite celebrating his 39th birthday earlier this week. The veteran has notched 20 goals in 18 league matches this season – a total unmatched by any player in the division.
Led by fellow Portuguese Luis Castro, Al-Nassr are hunting down the league title they narrowly missed out on last season. They currently sit second in the table, seven points behind the undefeated Al-Hilal.