Fabio Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has managed throughout his career, with Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus. Capello is one of the few coaches to claim championship victories in four major European cities (Milan, Madrid, Rome and Turin). He has won a major league championship in seven of his 16 seasons as a coach and oversaw one of the most dominant UEFA Champions League victories of all-time.
During Capello's second spell at Real Madrid, he was criticized for not playing world-class players including David Beckham and Ronaldo on a regular basis. After some initial criticism of his tactics and having spent much of the season in second place, he captured the La Liga title on the last day by pipping Barcelona on head to head results. In spite of his success after years of Madrid underachievement, Real Madrid's president, Ramón Calderón, sacked him in the summer of 2007.
After being appointed England manager on 14 December 2007, Capello announced the role would be the last of his managerial career. Capello's contract with the Football Association came into effect on 7 January 2008, and will run for two-and-a-half years, with a possible two-year extension. On 24 January 2008, Capello was named president of the League Managers Association, a customary role given to the English national coach.
After several years as a football pundit for Italian TV and a brief spell as caretaker manager of AC Milan in 1987, he became a leading candidate to succeed Arrigo Sacchi as coach of the Serie A giants, and he was formally appointed as manager of Milan in 1991.
Capello made his second and best remembered coach experience in the early 1990s again with Milan, replacing Sacchi and leading a team including the likes of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi to four Serie A titles in five years with a team nicknamed "The Invincibles". Milan were at this time bankrolled by the vast wealth of the Italian media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. Under Capello, Milan remained unbeaten for 58 league games between 19 May 1991 and 21 March 1993, which included an entire season where they were unbeaten in the league. They were finally defeated 1–0 by Parma after a goal from Faustino Asprilla.
With a style that spurned the traditional Italian stereotype of catenaccio, in 1994 Milan routed the favourites FC Barcelona 4-0 to win the UEFA Champions League, earning them a reputation of one of the great sides of the modern era. Although AC Milan surrendered the Serie A title in 1995 - finishing a disappointing fourth - Capello signed off from his six-year stint with the Rossoneri by regaining the league championship the following year. He was replaced by Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabárez who was sacked after only a few games.
In July 2006, with Juventus in the midst of the aforementioned match-fixing scandal, Capello resigned as Juventus manager. Press reports strongly linked him with a move back to Real Madrid; new club president Ramón Calderón had publicly stated his hope that Capello would return for a second stint at the club and on 5 July 2006, the official Real Madrid website announced Capello's appointment.
Capello was criticized by Juventus captain Alessandro del Piero, as Fabio Cannavaro and Emerson also left for Real Madrid, with some believing that Capello had privately persuaded the players to follow him. In the wake of the club's enforced relegation, Juventus were struggling to hang on to their leading players.
At Real Madrid, Capello had several high-profile falling outs. He was criticized for not playing David Beckham because of his contract wranglings and Ronaldo, who struggled for fitness and form. Capello also feuded with his compatriot Antonio Cassano; the two had previously had disputes at Roma. Capello had not played Cassano for over a month at Real Madrid and the young striker reportedly shouted out at him "Have you got no shame? I fought for you in Rome and this is how you repay me". This led to the young Italian being suspended by the club.
In March, Real were again eliminated early from the Champions League and were mired in fourth place in the league, six points behind Barcelona. On 20 February 2007 Real Madrid were forced to deny rumours that Capello would be leaving after that day's match.
Despite the unrest, Capello recalled Beckham, whose return was pivotal for the team's recovery. A string of successful results in the latter half of the season took Madrid to the top of the table, while Barcelona's results became inconsistent. Real Madrid won their 30th league title on the final day of the season by beating RCD Mallorca 3–1 at home. The victory was achieved after Capello substituted Beckham and brought on Jose Antonio Reyes. Real had been 1–0 down prior to the substitution and Reyes turned the match scoring two goals. Despite winning La Liga, Capello was sacked on 28 June 2007 due to Madrid's pragmatic style of play at a club with recent memories of the individualistic and free-flowing, but ultimately unsuccessful, 'Galáctico' era. While Capello is an admirer of Spanish culture and enjoyed his time in Madrid, he has likened managing Real to living in a goldfish bowl.
After José Mourinho ruled himself out as a potential candidate for the position, the media immediately labelled Capello as the new favourite. Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Rafa Benitez then voiced their support for Capello and the news that Capello had backed out of long-held TV commitments with Italian state broadcaster RAI further confirmed Capello as the favourite to be England boss. It was initially mentioned that Capello's poor English skills might rule him out of the position, but the Football Association stated that this was not so. He was formally appointed as England manager on 14 December 2007, and commenced his day-to-day role on 7 January 2008, on a four and a half year deal. It is estimated that that his annual pay is £6million. After being confirmed in the job he announced it would be his last in football. Capello announced on the day of his unveiling that it was a dream come true to manage the England national team and that he hoped to learn the English language in the following month prior to his first official meeting with the players.
Reaction from the media to Capello's appointment was largely positive. He was welcomed by many English fans and the press who hailed his appointment as a triumph, citing in particular his impressive trophy haul and his reputation as a disciplinarian in contrast to the excessive leniency perceived to have existed under his two predecessors. In Italy, news of his appointment was greeted with a sense of pride that one of his countrymen had been selected to coach the founders of the game. Equally his arrival has generated some criticism, notably from FIFA President Sepp Blatter "I would say it is a little surprising that the motherland of football has ignored a sacrosanct law or belief that the national team manager should be from the same country as the players,
Jermaine Jenas scored Capello's first goal as England manager, in the 40th minute against Switzerland at Wembley. Shaun Wright-Phillips restored the lead after the 61st minute, shortly after coming on as a substitute. After a slow start, England won the game 2-1, handing Capello his first victory in his first game as England manager. He was warmly welcomed by the England fans before the game commenced.
For his second game in charge, an international friendly against France, Capello did finally award Beckham his landmark 100th cap. He also rotated the captaincy, giving the armband to Rio Ferdinand. England lost the game 1-0 to a Franck Ribery penalty, marking Capello's first defeat as the national coach. Capello's third game in charge was against the USA on 28 May, 2008. He named Chelsea's John Terry as the captain for this match. England comfortably won an unremarkable game 2-0.
On 31 May, 2008, Capello named David Beckham as captain for the match on 1 June, 2008 against Trinidad and Tobago. It was Beckham's first game as captain of England since the 2006 FIFA World Cup. England comfortably won the game 3-0.
With regard to his players Capello is unlikely to involve himself with their personal lives, though he demands a total commitment from them towards the job. During his time in management Capello has had a number of disputes with his players, often caused by his tendency towards plain-talking and he has repeatedly shown his disdain for prima donna players, often declining to select them if he is not satisfied with their attitude or performances.
Capello is also well known for his hard-headed practicality. A common example being his having the humility to bring back David Beckham into the Real Madrid first team, after he had previously dropped him - which arguably helped towards Real winning the La Liga title. His pragmatism is also evident in his willingness to adopt a professional approach towards matches, emphasising a strong defence and tight formation rather than free-flowing aesthetic football (despite the fact that it was exciting, attacking football that first won him his reputation when he was at AC Milan in the early Nineties). He does, however, allow his teams to revert to a more attacking style if he feels it is appropriate. His favourite formation over the years has been the 4-4-2 formation, but with England he has often used a 4-5-1 formation.
In January 2008, Italian police announced that they were launching an investigation into tax irregularities by Capello. However the probe has been dismissed as routine by Capello's spokesmen who said this was part of a wider investigation into a number of wealthy Italians. The FA revealed that they had known about the upcoming probe when they had appointed Capello, and expected no charges to be brought.
On 31st March 2008 it was announced that Fabio Capello is to be probed by an Italian state prosecutor for allegedly withholding information to a court. The prosecutor intends to bring a case against Capello and former Juventus director Antonio Giraudo after they gave evidence in a trial of six men accused of fostering unfair competition through the use of threats or violence as part of Italy's Gea World sports agency.
THE IRON FIST; Focus: Fabio Capello Gave Notice Yesterday of His Determination to Put English Football Back on Top of the worldPicture: ANDY HOOPER Suits You, Sir: Fabio Capello with an England Shirt Given to Him by Italian Television and (Far Left) Getting Ready to Face the Media with Brian Barwick
Dec 18, 2007; Byline: MATT LAWTON FABIO CAPELLO warned England's players he will introduce a tough newregime as their manager and no one will...