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Leg 1
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Garcia targeting Europe

New Roma manager Rudi Garcia has targeted a European spot as his main objective heading into his first Serie A season.

• Blog: Examining Garcia

The former Lille manager signed a two-year contract with the option of a third year this month, becoming the first Frenchman to coach the Rome giants.

And the 49-year-old Garcia has already issued the first challenge to his new squad, aiming to return the club to the continental action.

"The most important thing is getting back into Europe, and the season is a long one," Garcia told

"I would have preferred to be playing in Europe now but bearing in mind that we won't be playing every three days, we can focus on our performances in the league.

"What does it matter what's happened in the past? Who cares if some seasons have gone badly? I'm only worried about the present and winning with Roma."

However, one of Garcia's first task will be to assess the playing group for its weakness and strengths and see if needs to bring in reinforcements.

Recently, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg signed for Premier League club Fulham, while Italian international Daniele De Rossi has eyed a move away from the club.

But despite singling out certain individuals, Garcia preferred to think of the playing group as a whole and not as solitary problems.

"I think the idea of the whole squad is very important," he said. "You always want to have talented players in the group and luckily we have them at Roma.

"Francesco Totti is an important player and he will play a big role both on and off the pitch. De Rossi is a great player, in the national side too, and I really want to meet him and all the other players in my squad.

"I think there is already a high-quality squad at Roma. My mission is to work out what the best team is. First of all I want to get to know everybody – and they will all have to get behind me.

"Then, obviously, we have to think about improving the squad. I won't talk about individuals today. We are talking about the squad for 2013-14 with [Roma director of sport Walter] Sabatini now and then you will know more.

"The DS knows the Italian market well but we will make any decisions together. Nobody will sign for Roma without my consent.

"To have a great team you need a very strong goalkeeper and we are working with Sabatini towards finding an excellent one."


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