Garcia holds a press conference while on tour

Rudi Garcia spoke today in Boston before his team meets Liverpool tomorrow in a friendly.

How is the team?
“First, I am very happy to start this season, the holidays this year were too long and I’m glad I started working with the team, with some new faces and almost all of last year’s squad. They look good on the physical level, mentally, they’re all happy to be back together.”

Will you aim for the Scudetto?
“We must be ready for the league. The preparation is focused on the fact that we have to play every few days. We are a big club, we have so many games to play, we can’t go wrong even these friendly matches, the championship will be the main focus this year. As I said last season, I want to win, especially after last season.”

Has anything changed?
“My players are happy to be together again and that’s important.They’re all happy to train, we have confidence and the experience of old and new players, we have a mix of young and experienced. For me and for all the staff, it is a challenge to help the players grow.”

Were you surprised by Conte’s goodbye?
“What I can say is that I was surprised by the timing of the decision. Those of us on the outside will never know why Conte resigned, but we do know that Juventus is the team to beat.”

What about Mehdi Benatia’s situation?
“Mehdi is under contract this year and will play for Roma. Fortunately, the president makes sure to talk with each of his players, he enjoys doing this. Yesterday he talked a bit with everyone, but for you it’s obviously more important what he said to him. Tomorrow he’ll play regularly.”

The situation of Ljajic? The arrival of Iturbe?
“Our first part of the market is to keep our important players and I see Ljajic as very good, he’s smiling, and he’s taking responsibility on the field. On Iturbe, I had already expressed my concerns or and my choices, which was to find a winger with speed who is capable of taking the ball and he has all these qualities. But we should not put too much pressure on Juan because he is only 21 years old. There will certainly be space for everyone and we have to wait a little bit to see him at his best once he’s integrated himself with Roma.”

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.