Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Liverpool ace Luis Garcia refuses to rule out a future managerial career

 

Touch perfect: Garcia evades Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira
Touch perfect: Garcia evades Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira
Classic tussle: Luis Garcia with Real Madrid’s Luis Figo

By Steven Beacom

Champions League winner Luis Garcia admits management is not on the agenda at present but maybe one day…

The 40-year-old who had a superb playing career headlined by spells at Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, has started his coaching courses with the Irish FA in Belfast.

First comes his B Licence. Then the A. He's the latest high profile name to sign up with the IFA course expertly run by highly respected Coach Education Manager Nigel Best.

Why Northern Ireland for the Spaniard? Put the decision down to recommendations from ex-Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov and from Valencia hero Gaizka Mendieta.

Garcia explained: "I have done coaching clinics with kids but starting my coaching licence wasn't in my plans as I'm quite busy travelling and am an ambassador for Liverpool, but then over at UEFA I met with Gaizka Mendieta and Stiliyan Petrov.

"They had done their courses in Northern Ireland and they talked to me about it and were very positive.

"After that I started getting information about the course. I spoke to Nigel (Best) and then I decided to join up. It was a very good moment for me.

"When I knew I was coming on I started to plan for the two weeks I'm here, starting with the B Licence and then the A Licence. It is a new challenge for me but everyone here is very helpful."

Asked about those challenges of coaching, Garcia said: "As a player you are thinking about yourself and going to training where everything is done for you and then going to rest after training.

"When you decide to step out and start this new career you need to look after so many other things and make plans for what you are going to for this week, next week and the summer so it is very challenging. It is also exciting and I'm enjoying it.

"Doing my coaching course here in English is good for me because just because you can speak English it doesn't mean that you can teach or coach in English so this is a good learning experience for me.

"I had a good career as a player and I understand the game because I had the chance to work with very good coaches and managers who helped me improve my game but that doesn't mean you can pass that information on to the players.

"Coaching is a different skill to playing. What I want to do is learn as many things as I can. I know the way I would like my team to play and now I have to try and find the tools for me to pass that information to the players."

Asked about wanting to be a manger in the future, Garcia, who won the European Cup with Liverpool in 2005, said: "Not at the moment. I think it is quite difficult how a manager has to work.

"But yeah, why not if I see a possibility in the future then maybe I will try my luck in that career."

On being based in Northern Ireland for coaching licences, he added: "I've been to Belfast a few times before and I enjoy the city whenever I'm here.

"There is a massive Liverpool fan base here and it is always good to meet the supporters."

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