CURRENT TEAM: Jiangsu Suning
FORMER TEAMS: Real Madrid, AC Milan, AS Roma, Juventus, England, Russia,
Fabio Capello has won the title at every club he has managed. That’s exactly why he has been recruited by Jiangsu, to turn them into genuine title contenders after this season’s debacle.
Starting his career in the dugout as the assistant manager at AC Milan, he was thrust into the limelight after the sacking of Nils Liedholm in the 1876-87 season. He was in charge for six matches but guided the Italian giants to UEFA Cup qualification. However, he was not made the permanent manager at the San Siro though it was the first job he got in football.
He became the manager of the AC Milan team of the early 1990s after Arrigo Sacchi took the reins of the Italian national team. AC Milan dominated European football under Capello’s tutelage. They won four Italian Serie A’s in 5 seasons and made three consecutive Champions League Finals losing two and winning one. His records at Milan included guiding the team to a run of 58 consecutive games unbeaten in the League.
In 1996, Capello left Milan to become the manager at Real Madrid. He won the league title in his debut campaign and only enhanced his growing reputation as a world class manager. However, he did not stay there for long as Silvio Bernasconi’s request to return to Milan prompted Capello to return to the San Siro dugout.
His second spell at Milan was hugely underwhelming compared to the first one and after a few barren seasons he moved on to Rome where he once again won the league title. His tenure in the capital was ended prematurely after a difficult relationship with Francesco Totti. Capello stayed in Italy and ended up with the job at Juventus.
Juventus secured a couple of league titles but they were relegated following the Calciopoli Scandal. Juventus were punished with relegation and Capello jumped ship, back to Madrid.
His second spell at Madrid saw him secure another league title but he was often criticized for lining up defensively. At a club like Madrid, it was unacceptable and Capello waved goodbye to the Spanish capital for one final time.
After Capello’s spell in Madrid, he was tasked with helming the ‘Golden Generation of English Football’. Appointed in 2007, his side missed out on the Euros in 2008. England however, qualified for the following World Cup but lost to Germany in the Round of Sixteen. The FA persisted with Capello but another poor showing in a major tournament saw him sacked after the Euros in 2012.
Fabio Capello then found another high profile project in Russia. He was made the world’s highest paid manager by the Russian FA in order to rejuvenate a team ahead of the home World Cup in 2018. But with the Russians barely qualifying for the Euros in 2016, he was sacked.
Out of job for the next couple of years, the highly respected Italian found employment in China with Jiangsu Suning to become one of the top managers to ply their trade in the Asian country. With Capello almost sure of taking his side into next season’s Super League, his side will be back at the top challenging for the Championship and more in the coming years.
Capello’s success has seen his name taken alongside the greatest in the history of football management. Don Fabio as he is fondly known for his astute tactical awareness and effective man management. Known to bring the best out his players, Capello has given youth an opportunity wherever he has gone. At times, known to be overly strict, Capello was criticized for his fallouts with high profile players like Totti. Capello prefers to play a 4-4-2 formation with a safety first approach but has often changed from his rulebook to bring success to the clubs he helmed.