RCD Espanyol look for a late-season boost and replace Diego Martínez in the dugout with club icon Luis García

RCD Espanyol are having a troubled season and currently find themselves in the relegation zone after losing four consecutive matches. With this in mind, and with just 11 matches left before the end of the season, Los Pericos decided this week to replace coach Diego Martínez, with Luís García Fernández the man to take his place in the dugout.

García knows the club inside out. He was an RCD Espanyol player for six seasons (2005-11) and was pivotal in the club’s 2006 Copa del Rey win with a brace in the 4-1 victory over Real Zaragoza in the final. He was also an integral part of the side which went all the way to the 2007 UEFA Cup final against Sevilla FC, only to come up short on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Together with the likes of club icon Raúl Tamudo and Iván De la Peña – who coincidentally is now his agent – García made up a trio which marked a generation for RCD Espanyol fans at the club’s old Montjuic stadium. 

García brings with him valuable experience as both a player and a coach. In his playing days he represented Real Madrid, RCD Mallorca and Real Zaragoza as well as RCD Espanyol in LaLiga Santander, as well as Tigres UNAL in Mexico’s Liga MX and KAS Eupen of the Belgian Pro League. He also played for Spain six times at international level.

Since retiring and making the jump into the dugout, he has coached the youth ranks of CF Damm, a club in Barcelona known for developing many great talents, including current stars Gerard Moreno (Villarreal CF) and David Lopez (Girona FC). Until now he’d also been in charge of RSC Internacional – which will next year be rebranded as Real Madrid C – in Spain’s fifth-tier Tercera RFEF – meaning his jump to top-tier LaLiga Santander will be one of the biggest jumps ever made by a coach in Spanish football.

“The best thing about Barcelona is being an Espanyol fan”

In addition to being one of the best and most iconic strikers to have played for RCD Espanyol, García made a strong emotional mark on the club. At his farewell to the club in September 2011 before leaving Los Pericos to join Real Zaragoza, he said: “The best thing about Barcelona is being an Espanyol fan.” He thus left a lasting legacy at the club off the pitch, with the phrase frequently visible on flags and scarves at the RCDE Stadium every matchday. The club will hope that his return will similarly boost morale the team’s performances on the pitch as we head into the business end of the season with their LaLiga Santander status on the line. 

MG Team

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