Getafe CF have parted company with coach Luis García and have tasked former player Cosmin Contra with securing the Madrid-based side's Liga status.
The announcement comes after the Azulones suffered a 2-0 reverse at Real Betis Balompié on Saturday to stretch their winless run in the Spanish top flight to 12 games, leaving them 15th in the standings and just one point above the relegation places.
Signed on a three-year contract in June 2011 to replace current Olympiacos FC boss Míchel, García led Getafe to mid-table finishes in his first two seasons. Speaking at a press conference to announce his departure after 113 games at the helm, the 41-year-old former Levante UD tactician said: "It's not a happy day, but that's football. The team aren't in the relegation zone at the moment and we hope that will be the case come the end of the season."
Scorer of three goals in 88 Liga appearances for Getafe between 2005 and 2010, ex-Romania defender Contra returns to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on a two-and-a-half-year deal. He leaves his job at FC Petrolul Ploieşti with the team third in the Romanian First Division. The 38-year-old accrued vast experience in Spain, turning out for CD Alavés – where he was a UEFA Cup runner-up in 2001 – and Club Atlético de Madrid as well as Getafe. He now becomes the first Romanian coach of a Liga side, with Răzvan Lucescu succeeding him at Petrolul.
Speaking to UEFA.com recently, former AC Milan full-back Contra said: "I got my UEFA Pro licence in Romania, but my coaching model and coaching philosophy is Spanish. I am extremely ambitious. Coaching our national team is a target for everybody, including me, but once I have proved myself I want to be in the top European leagues. It would be my dream to return to the clubs where I played."
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