Capello had won four Serie A titles and the Champions League in four years at AC Milan
Capello took over at Spanish giants, Real Madrid for the 1996-97 season. The previous season, Real had lost the La Liga title to city rivals Atlético Madrid and failed to qualify for European competition.
Real appointed Capello to bring some pride back to the club. They finished top of La Liga, two points ahead of Barcelona. Capello left after just one season but the team built he built continued the momentum he had given them and won the Champions League the following year.
However, Capello didn’t enjoy much success that season. As Real set about conquering Europe, he returned to Milan. The team he left as champions had had a terrible year in his absence. They only finished 11th in Serie A and were eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages.
Rebuilding AC Milan
Capello set about rebuilding the side but it was a long process. Many of the team were reaching the end of their careers and needed to be replaced. They finished the season in 10th place in the Serie A table in 1997-98. The new team hadn’t gelled quickly enough and Capello was sacked.
The following season Milan won the title which suggests that Capello ought to have been given more time. He said the team that won the league was “my team”.
After a year away from football, Capello returned to management with A.S. Roma. His first season was disappointing as Roma failed to make any progress in the league. He wanted a new striker to boost the team’s firepower but was unable to sign Ruud van Nistelrooy after the Dutchman suffered a long term injury. They finished 6th in the table that season, 18 points behind Sven-Göran Eriksson’s Lazio who won the title.
Bringing the title to Roma
The following year Capello signed two Argentineans; striker, Gabriel Batistuta from Fiorentina and defender Walter Samuel from Boca Jumiors. He spent a lot of money on the signings and fans were angry at the start of the season when results didn’t go their way. They even attacked the players’ cars at the training ground.
However, the two new players had a great impact on the team and Roma only lost three league games all season. They won the title that year, finishing two points ahead of Juventus and six points ahead of local rivals, Lazio. It was Roma’s first Serie A title for 18 years.
The next season, Roma lost their title, finishing just a point behind Juventus. The next two seasons were disappointing as Roma were unable to maintain the high standards they had set. They finished in 8th and 6th place.
Winning and losing titles at Juventus
Roma’s fans soon forgot that Capello had brought them their first title win since 1983.When the club lost the 2003 Coppa Italia final to AC Milan, there were some calls for him to be sacked.
After Roma finished 6th in 2004, Capello realised he had taken them as far as he could and left for a new challenge. He joined Juventus where he enjoyed two seemingly successful campaigns. They finished top of Serie A in both of Capello’s seasons with the club.
However, the club were stripped of both titles and relegated from Serie A after the 2006 Calciopoli scandal. Juventus along with AC Milan, Lazio, Fiorentina and Reggina were found guilty of influencing the selection of referees which gave them an unfair advantage over their opponents.
Capello was not implicated in the scandal but had no intention of managing in Serie B and resigned.
Capello takes over at Real Madrid for a second time – Read more