Tuesday June 18 2019
Happy birthday, Fabio Capello

Today is the 73rd birthday of legendary Italian Coach Fabio Capello, a Champions League winner with Milan in 1994.

Born near Trieste in 1946, Capello began his career as a midfielder for Spal, before moving to Roma for 260m lire in 1967.

He scored his first goal for the club in November of that year, the winner against Juventus in a 1-0 victory.

The Giallorossi won the Coppa Italia in his second season, reaching the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final the following season.

Capello moved on that summer, joining Juventus and winning three Scudetti.

There was disappointment for the Bianconeri in Europe though, as they lost the 1973 European Cup final to Ajax, and the 1975 UEFA Cup final to Twente.

A switch to Milan brought another Coppa Italia and a fourth Scudetto in the 1978-79 season, though injuries limited Capello to just eight appearances.

After managing only three appearances in the following campaign, the midfielder retired to focus on coaching.

Capello worked with the Rossoneri youth teams, before becoming assistant to Nils Liedholm in the 1986-87 season.

After the Swede was sacked, Capello took charge of the final six games of the season, achieving UEFA Cup qualification before stepping aside for Arrigo Sacchi.

When Sacchi left in June 1991, the former midfielder was appointed as his replacement, and the Rossoneri won Serie A unbeaten in his first season.

They easily retained the Scudetto in the following season, with the unbeaten run eventually reaching 58 games before a defeat to Parma in March 1993.

Milan also reached the Champions League final that season, but were beaten 1-0 by Marseille in Munich.

Capello’s side made it three-in-a-row in the 1993-94 season, and thrashed Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League final.

The Diavolo also reached the final in the following campaign, but they lost to Ajax and finished fourth in Serie A.

It was business as usual in the 1995-96 season though, with Capello’s men winning the title by eight points.

He then moved to Real Madrid, but despite winning La Liga he lasted just one season before an unsuccessful return to Milan.

Capello was then recruited by Roma to finally deliver them the Scudetto, something he achieved in the 2000-01 season.

Despite being known for his defensive style, Capello’s Giallorossi were an attacking outfit, wing-backs Vincent Candela and Cafu bombing on to support an attack featuring Gabriel Batistuta, Francesco Totti and, often, Vincenzo Montella.

His remaining three seasons in the capital failed to yield further success, and Capello returned to Juventus in the summer of 2004.

The Bianconeri comfortably won the Scudetto in each of the following two seasons, but Capello was criticised for results in Europe and the style of football his side played.

In the summer of 2006 the Calciopoli scandal broke, the two Scudetti were revoked and Capello once again departed Italy for Real Madrid.

While he won the club’s 30th Liga title, Capello’s negative style drew criticism from the fans, and a sense began to grow that he was yesterday’s man.

The man they called ‘Don Fabio’ was sacked in the summer, and became the England manager in December that year.

While the Three Lions breezed through World Cup qualifying, they failed to impress at the tournament in South Africa and were thrashed 4-1 by Germany in the second round.

A row over John Terry saw Capello dramatically leave before Euro 2012, and a subsequent spell with Russia yielded only a World Cup group stage elimination before Capello was sacked.

After a brief spell with Jiangsu Suning, Capello announced his retirement from coaching last year.



Serie A: 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75
Coppa Italia: 1968–69, 1976-77


Serie A: 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 2000-01, 2004-05*, 2005-06*
Champions League: 1993-94
La Liga: 1996–97, 2006–07

*revoked in the Calciopoli scandal

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