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Fabio Capello

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Title: Fabio Capello  
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Subject: Luis Carniglia, Russia national football team, A.C. Milan, Mauro Tassotti, England national football team manager
Collection: 1946 Births, 1974 Fifa World Cup Players, 2010 Fifa World Cup Managers, 2014 Fifa World Cup Managers, A.C. Milan Managers, A.C. Milan Players, A.S. Roma Managers, A.S. Roma Players, England National Football Team Managers, England National Sports Team Managers, Expatriate Football Managers in England, Expatriate Football Managers in Spain, Italian Expatriate Football Managers, Italian Football Managers, Italian Footballers, Italian Roman Catholics, Italy International Footballers, Juventus F.C. Managers, Juventus F.C. Players, La Liga Managers, Living People, People from San Canzian D'Isonzo, People from the Province of Gorizia, Real Madrid C.F. Managers, Russia National Football Team Managers, Serie a Managers, Serie a Players, Spal 1907 Players, Uefa Champions League Winning Managers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello
Personal information
Full name Fabio Capello
Date of birth (1946-06-18) 18 June 1946
Place of birth San Canzian d'Isonzo, Italy
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1962–1964 SPAL
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1967 SPAL 49 (3)
1967–1970 Roma 62 (11)
1970–1976 Juventus 165 (27)
1976–1980 Milan 65 (4)
Total 341 (45)
National team
1972–1978 Italy 32 (8)
Teams managed
1982–1986 Milan Primavera
1987 Milan (caretaker)
1991–1996 Milan
1996–1997 Real Madrid
1997–1998 Milan
1999–2004 Roma
2004–2006 Juventus
2006–2007 Real Madrid
2008–2012 England
2012–2015 Russia

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Fabio Capello (Italian pronunciation: ; born 18 June 1946) is an Italian manager and a former professional footballer who was most recently the head coach of the Russia national football team.

Capello was born in San Canzian d'Isonzo. His uncle, Mario Tortul, was also a football player and played for Triestina, Padova, Sampdoria and the Italian national football team. Capello is married and has a son named Pier Filippo who acts as his agent. Capello is also a collector of fine art and has a personal collection thought to be worth over £10 million.

As a player Capello represented SPAL 1907, Roma, AC Milan and Juventus. He played as a midfielder and won several trophies during his career which lasted over 15 years. He won the Coppa Italia with Roma in 1969. He was most successful with Juventus, winning three Serie A titles in 1972, 1973 and 1975. With Milan he won the Coppa Italia again in 1977 and also won another Serie A in 1979. Capello also played for Italy during his career and amassed 32 caps, scoring eight goals as well.

In his first five seasons as a manager he won four Serie A titles with Milan, where he also won the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, defeating Barcelona 4–0 in a memorable final. He then spent a year at Real Madrid, where he won the La Liga title at his first attempt, and in 2001 led Roma to their first league title in 18 years. Capello also won two titles at Juventus (which were later stripped after the Calciopoli scandal), and in 2006 returned to Real Madrid, where he won another La Liga title. Overall he has won a major league championship in seven (or nine, counting the two revoked titles with Juventus) of his 16 seasons as a coach. He is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.[1]

Capello was appointed as England manager in December 2007. During his time as England manager he was successful in tournament qualification, guiding the team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they were knocked out in the second round, and 2012 European Championship, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals under new manager Roy Hodgson. In February 2012, he resigned as manager due to a dispute with the Football Association, before being appointed coach of the Russian national team in July 2012. On 14 July 2015 he was sacked by the Russian FA.


  • Club career 1
  • International career 2
  • Coaching career 3
    • Early years 3.1
    • First spell at Milan 3.2
    • First spell at Real Madrid 3.3
    • Second spell at Milan 3.4
    • Roma 3.5
    • Juventus 3.6
    • Second spell at Real Madrid 3.7
    • England 3.8
      • World Cup Qualification 3.8.1
      • 2010 World Cup 3.8.2
      • Euro 2012 qualification 3.8.3
    • Russia 3.9
  • Personal life 4
  • Career statistics 5
    • Player 5.1
    • Manager 5.2
  • Honours 6
    • As a player 6.1
    • As a coach 6.2
    • Individual 6.3
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9

Club career

Capello as player of SPAL (1966)

He was signed by Paolo Mazza, the President of SPAL, for the fee of two million lire despite interest from AC Milan.[2] In his second season in the youth team he helped the club win the Italian Youth Championship and made his first-team debut against Sampdoria on 29 March 1964.[3] A holding midfield player, he could read the play and was strong both in the air and in the tackle; going forward he was a solid passer with both feet, but lacked pace.[4] He made four appearances for a struggling side that was relegated from Serie A.[3] After returning to the top division at the first attempt, Capello became a key player in the 1965–66 season, taking penalties and helping them avoid a swift return to Serie B. He was also called up to the Italian Under-23 side along with teammate Edy Reja despite still being a teenager.[5] However, injury to his left knee restricted him to just sixteen appearances the following season.[6]

In 1967, he moved to Roma where he became a key player for the club. In his first season, he helped them to first place after eight matches, including scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Juventus. However, a recurrence of the injury to his left knee kept him out for the rest of the season and Roma eventually finished in tenth place, just 5 points away from relegation. The following season, under new manager Helenio Herrera, a fit Capello scored 6 goals as Roma finished 8th and won his first major trophy, the Coppa Italia.[7] This qualified Roma to play the Anglo-Italian League Cup, where they played Swindon Town. Capello played in both legs against Swindon, Roma winning 2–1 at home in the first leg but losing 4–0 in the second leg at the County Ground. They also reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup, but were knocked out by Polish side Górnik Zabrze after losing the deciding coin toss following three draws.[8]

He was then sold to Juventus in 1970. He had a poor start to his time there, as he publicly criticised manager Armando Picchi on the same day it was revealed that Picchi had been diagnosed with cancer.[9] Capello escaped with a fine from the club after Picchi insisted that he not receive a suspension.[10] Capello became an influential figure under new manager Čestmír Vycpálek, despite being only 24, and largely decided the team's tactics for the 1971 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final against Leeds United.[11] Capello scored at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino, but Juventus lost the tie on away goals. Juventus went on to win the league title in 1971–72, 1972–73, and 1974–75. They also reached the 1973 European Cup Final, where they were beaten 1–0 by the dominant "Total Football" approach of Ajax.[12] They missed out on the chance of winning the double after losing to Milan on penalties in the 1973 Coppa Italia Final.[13] Reaching the semi-finals of the 1974–75 UEFA Cup, Juventus were surprisingly beaten by Dutch side FC Twente.

Juventus were concerned with Capello's knee injuries, and so traded him to Milan in exchange for Romeo Benetti and 100 million lire in 1976.[14] He missed just two league starts in the 1976–77 campaign playing under influential manager Nils Liedholm.[15] However he was limited to just eight appearances in the 1978–79 title winning season.[16] He played just three games in the 1979–80 season before finally accepting that he was unable to continue as a professional footballer.[17]

International career

Capello (number 8) at the World Cup 1974

Capello played thirty-two times for Italy; he is particularly remembered for a goal with which Italy beat England 1–0 at Wembley for the first time in its history (14 November 1973), which he himself regarded as the highlight of his playing career.[18] Capello scored the lone goal for Italy against Poland during the 1974 FIFA World Cup though Italy lost the match 2–1 and failed to qualify for the second round of the competition.[19] He was overlooked for the 1978 FIFA World Cup even after having good club form with Milan:[20] the manager at that time, Enzo Bearzot, preferred other defensive-minded midfielders such as Marco Tardelli over the attacking minded Capello. After several years as a football pundit for Italian TV SPW 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 team, and he was formally appointed as manager of AC Milan in 1991.

Coaching career

Early years

Before going into management, Capello spent the early 1980s coaching the Milan youth teams.[21] Bringing through talent such as Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta, he led the under-19s to numerous youth tournament successes.[22] He completed the last of his coaching badges in 1986.[23] He was promoted to first team coach in 1987, and worked as Nils Liedholm's assistant.[24] His first experience as a head coach was leading Milan in the last six games of the 1986–87 Serie A season, replacing Liedholm and achieving the UEFA Cup qualifications in a play-off with Sampdoria. However, the following season, Silvio Berlusconi hired Arrigo Sacchi as the new "Rossoneri" manager and Capello stepped aside, but still worked for the club.

A student at Coverciano, in 1984 he penned a research article entitled "The Zonal Marking System".[25] While at Coverciano, Capello acted as general manager for a variety of sports, including baseball, ice hockey, volleyball and rugby union.[26][27] After standing aside as manager, Berlusconi sent him on high-level business courses.[28]

First spell at Milan

Capello replaced Sacchi as Milan manager in June 1991, and was a controversial appointment as he was seen as a Berlusconi "yes-man" compared to the demanding (both on the club's finances and on his players) but highly successful Sacchi.[29] Capello largely retained the players and tactical systems put in place by Sacchi, though he replaced ageing central midfielder Carlo Ancelotti with a young Demetrio Albertini and signed goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi.[30] Allowing for more creative freedom from his attackers, Milan won the Serie A title in 1991–92.[31]

He spent around £15 million on winger Gianluigi Lentini, breaking the world football transfer record.[32] He also signed Fernando De Napoli, Stefano Eranio, Jean-Pierre Papin, Dejan Savićević, and Zvonimir Boban.[33] Already boasting talent such as Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Paolo Maldini, and Frank Rijkaard, Capello was one of the first managers to introduce a squad rotation approach.[34] He played Rijkaard and Albertini as deep-lying central midfielders, allowing his wingers more license to attack.[35] Milan dominated the league in the 1992–93 season and reached the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final, losing to 1–0 Olympique de Marseille. Milan remained unbeaten for 58 league games, between 19 May 1991 and 21 March 1993, which included an entire season in the league. They were finally defeated 1–0 by Parma after a goal from Faustino Asprilla.

Building for the 1993–94 season, he signed Christian Panucci, Brian Laudrup, Florin Răducioiu, and Marcel Desailly.[36] Playing Desailly as a holding midfielder allowed the rest of the midfield to push on and attack.[37] His side lost 3–2 to São Paulo in the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, but won the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final with a 4–0 victory over Barcelona.[38]

With van Basten and Papin gone, Capello recalled Ruud Gullit from U.C. Sampdoria and signed winger Paolo Di Canio as Milan struggled at the start of the 1994–95 season and lost in the 1994 Intercontinental Cup to Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield.[39] However they beat Arsenal in the 1994 European Super Cup and reached the 1995 UEFA Champions League Final, where they were beaten by Ajax. They finished the league campaign in fourth place.

Building for the Roberto Baggio; this created a selection problem as Capello already had Di Canio, Lentini, and Marco Simone.[40] Milan won the title by an eight-point margin.

First spell at Real Madrid

Capello was unveiled as the new Real Madrid coach in 1996. A major task was combining the attacking talents of Davor Šuker, Predrag Mijatović and Raúl in a single team, which Capello did by playing a three-man attack, in spite of his reputation for cautious and defensive football.[41] A simple but effective tactic would be the long ball from defender Fernando Hierro to a sprinting Roberto Carlos, who would be supported on the left by Mijatović and Raúl; Carlos would then have the option of either going to goal or passing to Šuker, Mijatović or Raúl.[42] He had a single season in charge of Real guiding the club to the Spanish league title in 1997. Real managed to edge out their bitter rivals FC Barcelona by just two points. Despite his tenure with Los Merengues lasting only a year, he was credited with bringing in a number of players such as Šuker, Mijatović, Roberto Carlos and Clarence Seedorf who helped the club establish their Champions League dominance over the next few years. Despite his success, he fell out with chairman Lorenzo Sanz and was not popular with fans or the Spanish press for "demoting" Raúl to the left-wing.[43]

Second spell at Milan

Despite a belief by the Lazio owner Sergio Cragnotti that Capello had made a verbal agreement to coach his club, Capello instead returned to Milan for a brief and less successful spell.[44] Some of the previous squad had departed, and others such as Franco Baresi were coming to the end of their careers. The squad had to be extensively rebuilt, and high quality signings such as Patrick Kluivert, Leonardo Araújo, Winston Bogarde, Christian Ziege, André Cruz and Ibrahim Ba did not gel. The team managed to win just 11 games all season, with a particular low occurring in March 1998 when they lost 4–1 to Juventus and Capello was sent off for protesting a decision by the referee. This was followed by a 5–0 defeat to Roma in May.[45] Milan finished the 1997–98 Serie A season in 10th place, 30 points behind the champions Juventus, by which time Capello had already departed the club. Some of the players suggested that Capello had instituted a more lax training regime than he had in his previous spell.[46] A run in the Italian Cup ended when Milan were beaten in the final by Lazio 3–2 on aggregate, despite taking a 1–0 lead in the first leg. Capello took credit for Milan's title win the following season claiming, as he had rebuilt the side, that it was "my team".[47]


Following his dismissal at Milan, Capello took a short break from coaching. He told a reporter that he "sat on a beach and thought about football". He also enjoyed a spell as a colour commentator for Italian television, participating in coverage of the Copa América 1999.[48] In May 1999 he moved to Roma, the club he had first joined as a player thirty years before. His arrival was hailed by the Roma President, Franco Sensi, who said "Capello is a winner and I believe in him". Capello was joined by Franco Baldini who became the club's Sporting Director. Capello built his side around Marco Delvecchio, sometimes leaving Vincenzo Montella on the bench. Believing his squad lacked a world-class striker, Capello made a move to sign Ruud van Nistelrooy, but the deal was wrecked following a serious injury. His first season saw Roma finish 6th, made particularly disappointing as cross-city rivals Lazio won the title, and they were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Leeds United.[49]

Capello's breakthrough at the club occurred when he won the 2001 Serie A, having signed Walter Samuel to strengthen his defence and Gabriel Batistuta as a goalscorer. Although the large fee for Batistuta was questioned, the Argentinian scored a number of vital goals. The season began in difficult fashion with Roma struggling for form and an angry fans protest at the club's Trigoria training complex which turned violent when players cars were attacked. Capello resisted calls for his resignation, and the team's results dramatically improved helped by the performances of the Brazilian midfielder Emerson. The title was sealed with a 3–0 victory over Parma at the Stadio Olimpico prompting a major pitch invasion by the Roma supporters.[50] Capello was praised for fielding Montella, a player he had had a bust-up with just days before, in the final match of the season.

That was Roma's first major honour in a decade and only the third ever time they had been crowned Champions of Italy. Following the title win there was also a widespread belief that he had done a secret deal to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.[51] Ferguson had announced his decision to retire, with Capello a leading candidate to replace him allegedly going so far as to meet with the Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards. Capello did little to dispel the rumours when he remarked "I like the spirit of English football and I would like to work in English football" adding that it was an honour to be pursued by the club.

Capello's link with United eventually came to nothing after Ferguson abandoned his decision to retire and signed a new contract, with Martin Edwards claiming that United had been three or four days away from appointing a new manager, believed to be Capello, when Ferguson changed his mind.[52] The 2002 season developed into a battle between Roma and Juventus. After a heated encounter between the teams, Capello used an interview to criticise the Moggi family that ran Juventus, particularly their dealings with players agents.

Capello signed a new contract in April 2002, worth £2.37m a season. One of the highlights of the season was a 5–1 win over rivals Lazio, which saw Vincenzo Montella score 4 goals. However, the defence of the title was dealt a major blow when the club drew with bottom-placed Venezia, as Roma finished second in the table behind Juventus by a single point.[53] The following season Roma failed to maintain a serious challenge, and finished in eighth.

Their Champions League ambitions were also ended following a defeat and a draw against Arsenal which saw them finish bottom of their group. Once again it had been English opposition that had thwarted Roma in Europe. Roma lost the Italian Cup final to A.C Milan, with Capello particularly angered by supporters who waved banners calling on him to go. Capello's final year at Roma, began well with the team playing much better football. They went on a seven-game winning streak before Christmas, including comfortable victories over Juventus and Inter Milan. This led to speculation linking him with Juventus, despite his past differences with Luciano Moggi. Capello believed he had taken Roma as far as he could, and began to seriously considered a move. In the run-in the club's form dipped and they ended up finishing eleven points behind champions A.C. Milan.[54]


In 2004, Capello left debt-ridden Roma to sign with Juventus. His move came as a surprise, because he had kept it such a secret, and because he had been engaged in a war of words with the Moggi family. One of Capello's first moves was to sign Emerson from Roma, further angering many of his critics who believed he had betrayed Roma.[55] Capello's Juventus reached the quarterfinals of the 2004–05 and 2005–06 Champions Leagues before being eliminated by Liverpool and Arsenal, respectively. Juventus also won the 2004–05 and 2005–06 Scudetti under Capello's leadership, but were later stripped off their trophies due to the team's involvement in the 2006 Serie A scandal.

In July 2006, with Juventus in the midst of the aforementioned 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.[56]

Second spell at Real Madrid

Capello during his second spell at Spanish side Real Madrid in 2007

Capello arrived at a Real Madrid side suffering one of the longest spells without a trophy in their history. He quickly drew the disdain of Real's ardent supporters because of his defensive playing style. In interviews, Capello responded to those critics by saying that the beauty of attacking plays was old. He said that results were much more important than playing beautifully. He also added that "those days are over." His remit was to bring the title back to Madrid, a task that had been too much for five other coaches since 2003.

In Spain, he was commonly referred to as "Don Fabio".[57] At Real Madrid, Capello had several high-profile falling outs. He was criticised 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.

In March, Real were again eliminated early from the Champions League and were mired in fourth place in the league, six points behind FC 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 Real to the top of the table, while Barça'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 an injured Beckham and brought on José 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 Real's pragmatic style of play at a club with recent memories of the individualistic and free-flowing, but ultimately unsuccessful Galáctico era.[58]


Fabio Capello as coach of the English national team in 2009

Capello was formally appointed as manager of the England national football team on 14 December 2007.[59] He commenced his day-to-day role on 7 January 2008, on a four-and-a-half-year deal. It was estimated that his annual pay was £6 million.[60] After being confirmed for the job, he announced it would be his last in football.[61] 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.[62]

Capello 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 their countrymen had been selected to coach an elite European national team.[63] His arrival also generated some criticism, notably from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who said, "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."[64]

England's first match with Capello as manager was at Wembley against Switzerland on 6 February 2008. On 31 January 2008, it was confirmed that a number of senior players including Sol Campbell and Beckham had not been selected for Capello's debut squad. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson was also dropped after recent erratic form. Debut call-ups were handed to two players: Curtis Davies and Gabriel Agbonlahor, both of Aston Villa.[65] Jermaine Jenas and Shaun Wright-Phillips scored in England's 2–1 win at Wembley Stadium.[66] England lost their second match under Capello, an international friendly against France. England lost the game 1–0 after a Franck Ribéry penalty.[67]

Capello's third game in charge was against the United States on 28 May 2008. England won the game 2–0 thanks to goals from John Terry and Steven Gerrard.[68] On 1 June 2008, England beat Trinidad and Tobago 3–0.[69] Capello had been rotating the captaincy around several senior players during his first few matches in charge. On 19 August 2008, he announced that John Terry would be named the permanent captain.[70][71] On 20 August 2008, England drew 2–2 with the Czech Republic after goals from Wes Brown and Joe Cole.[72]

World Cup Qualification

England opened Capello's first competitive campaign with a 2–0 victory over Andorra, in Barcelona, on 6 September 2008.[73] Four days later, on 10 September, England played Croatia, the team that had qualified for the previous competition (Euro 2008) at their expense. England won 4–1 with Theo Walcott scoring a hat-trick.[74] The next qualification game was at Wembley just over a month later, on 11 October, against Kazakhstan. The game remained goalless at half-time, but England went on to win 5–1.[75] A fourth straight win on 15 October made this England's best ever start to a World Cup qualifying campaign as they beat Belarus 3–1. England rounded off 2008 by beating Germany 2–1 on 19 November. Goals from Terry and Matthew Upson secured the victory.[76]

In the spring of 2009, England fell to a 2–0 defeat against European champions Spain and beating Slovakia 4–0.[77] In the summer of 2009 England played another friendly against the Netherlands, coming back from 2–0 down to secure a 2–2 draw away from home. Slovenia were beaten 2–1 in Wembley in the same year. England resumed their qualification campaign by beating Ukraine 2–1, on 1 April 2009, at Wembley. On 6 June, they travelled to Almaty and beat Kazakhstan 4–0, and four days later, they returned to Wembley and to beat Andorra again 6–0, making it seven wins out of seven in the qualification campaign.[78] A notable feature of the campaign was the goalscoring form of Wayne Rooney: eight in seven games.

With two in the friendly against Slovakia in March 2009, Rooney had scored ten goals in 8 England games. On 9 September 2009, Capello successfully guided England to qualification to the 2010 World Cup following a 5–1 win at home to Croatia.[79] England's hopes of a 100% record in their 2010 qualifying campaign were ended with a 0–1 defeat in Ukraine in the final away match. However, a 3–0 victory over Belarus confirmed England as the top scorers in the UEFA zone with 34 goals, 6 ahead of second top scorers Spain. In November 2009, England were beaten 1–0 by Brazil in Qatar, Capello's third defeat as England manager.[80]

2010 World Cup

In March 2010, England played a friendly against Egypt and beat the African champions 3–1. Two months later in the last home match before the World Cup they beat Mexico by the same scoreline. In May 2010, England played a friendly against Japan at UPC-Arena, Graz and won 2–1. The two goals conceded by Japan were both own goals by Marcus Tanaka and Yuji Nakazawa.[81] After constant speculation linking him with the vacant managerial post at Internazionale, on 2 June 2010 Capello committed himself to the England job until at least after the 2012 European Championships. England's build up to the World Cup started badly, with John Terry being stripped of the captaincy by Capello after his involvement in a tabloid scandal in February 2010.

Terry's successor as captain, Rio Ferdinand, was injured in a training session prior to England's opening match, resulting in his withdrawal from the squad. England drew the first game 1–1 with the United States due to an error by goalkeeper Robert Green, after which Capello declared the tournament Adidas Jabulani ball was "impossible to control".[82] This was followed by a poor display against Algeria leading to a 0–0 draw and widespread criticism of both Capello and the England team. On 23 June, Capello led England into the round of 16 of the World Cup after they beat Slovenia 1–0. However they were beaten in their first knockout match 4–1 by Germany.

With Germany leading 2–1, Frank Lampard scored a 20-yard strike. However, even though the ball clearly bounced a full yard over the German goal-line, all the match officials failed to see it and did not award a goal. As England pressed forward in the second half, they conceded two counter-attack goals. Nevertheless, England's performance led to much criticism from fans, the media, and pundits alike. After England's elimination, Capello was criticized for imposing a strict military regime at England's Bloemfontein training camp,[83] and not allowing his senior players to have tactical input.[84] His 4–4–2 formation was derided as "outdated"[85] with Steven Gerrard's positioning on the left of midfield also criticized.[86]

Capello's squad selection was questioned, with the selection of an unfit Ledley King and out of form Emile Heskey, as well as the surprising omission of Theo Walcott also coming under fire.[87] Capello's indecision over his starting goalkeeper was cited as a reason for Robert Green's error in England's opening match with the United States.[88] On 2 July 2010, the Football Association announced that Capello would remain as the manager of the England national team following speculation over his future following the World Cup 2010.[89]

Euro 2012 qualification

England kicked off their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with two wins, 4–0 against Bulgaria and 3–1 away against Switzerland, yet could only draw 0–0 against group leaders Montenegro at Wembley. Capello made some changes afterwards, with Ferdinand and Gerrard out of the picture. John Terry was reinstated as captain to much criticism.[90][91] The traditional 4–4–2 was transformed to 4–3–3 with Darren Bent as centre forward and Rooney as a left-sided forward. The result was successful, as England beat Wales 2–0 at the Millennium Stadium on 26 March 2011. England's next game was at Wembley against Switzerland on 4 June 2011, which they recovered from a 0–2 deficit to draw 2–2 with goals from Frank Lampard and Ashley Young.

After a narrow 1–0 win against Wales at Wembley Capello claimed that several England players were "mentally fragile" and suggested he intended to reinvent his squad once Euro 2012 qualification had been sealed.[92] On 7 October 2011, England qualified for the European Championships with a 2–2 draw in Montenegro.

England completed their campaign with a record of 5 wins, 3 draws and no defeats. England completed an unbeaten 2011 with 1–0 friendly victories over Spain and Sweden in November 2011.[93][94] Capello resigned on 8 February 2012, following the FA removing the captaincy from John Terry.[95]


On 26 July 2012 Capello became manager of the Russian national team[96] following the resignation of Dick Advocaat. His first game in charge was a 1–1 draw with Cote d'Ivoire. Capello's first competitive game in charge of Russia was the opening match of the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, a 2–0 victory at home to Northern Ireland.[97] He led Russia into the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification Finals, finishing first in Group F. In January 2014, Capello committed his future to the Russian national team until the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[98]

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Russia were knocked out at the group stage, finishing third after a 1–1 draw against Algeria in their final match.[99] During qualifying for UEFA Euro 2016, Capello had 6 games as the head coach of Russia with results: 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. On 14 June 2015 Russia lost 1–0 to Austria. Thereafter, on 14 July 2015, Capello was sacked as Russian manager.[100]

Personal life

Capello was born in Allied-occupied Zone A of the Julian March. His parents were Guerrino and Evelina Capello. Capello is a devout Catholic who prays twice a day.[101] His father, a schoolteacher, played football, and his uncle Mario Tortul was also a football player; for Triestina, Padova, Sampdoria and the Italian national football team during the 1960s. Capello has spent his entire adult life working in football.[102] He has been married to his wife Laura, whom he first met on a bus as a teenager, for over 40 years. He is represented by his son Pier Filippo, who acts as his agent. In January 2008, Italian police announced that they were launching an investigation into tax irregularities by Capello.[103] 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.[104] The FA revealed that they had known about the upcoming probe when they had appointed Capello, and expected no charges to be brought.[105]

Capello is a self-professed fine art enthusiast. Over the years, he has acquired a number of works, and his art collection is estimated to be worth £10 million.[106] His favourite artist is reportedly Wassily Kandinsky.[107]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1963–64 SPAL Serie A 4 0
1964–65 Serie B 9 0
1965–66 Serie A 20 1
1966–67 16 2
1967–68 Roma Serie A 11 1
1968–69 25 6
1969–70 26 4
1970–71 Juventus Serie A 27 5
1971–72 29 9
1972–73 27 3
1973–74 27 4
1974–75 28 3
1975–76 27 3
1976–77 Milan Serie A 26 1
1977–78 28 3
1978–79 8 0
1979–80 3 0
Total Italy 341 45
Career total 341 45
Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
1972 6 1
1973 8 3
1974 6 1
1975 4 1
1976 8 2
Total 32 8


As of 14 June 2015
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Milan 1987 1987 6 2 2 2 33.33
Milan 1991 1996 170 97 57 16 57.06
Real Madrid 1996 1997 48 31 12 5 64.58
Milan 1997 1998 34 11 11 12 32.35
Roma 1999 2004 170 89 52 29 52.35
Juventus 2004 2006 76 53 18 5 69.74
Real Madrid 2006 28 June 2007 50 28 12 10 56.00
England 14 December 2007 8 February 2012 42 28 8 6 66.67
Russia 13 July 2012 14 July 2015 32 17 10 5 53.13
Total 628 355 183 90 56.53


As a player


As a coach

Real Madrid



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  • Ryan, Mark (2008). Fabio Capello: The Man. The Dream. The Inside Story. JR Books.  
  • Marcotti, Gabriele (2008). Capello: The Man Behind England's World Cup Dream. Bantam Books.  

External links

  • Fabio Capello management career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Real Madrid profile (English) (Spanish)
  • BBC profile
  • FIFA Profile
  • Official England website profile
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Raymond Goethals
UEFA Champions League Winning Coach
Succeeded by
Louis van Gaal
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