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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 17:15 GMT
Who is Fabio Capello?
By Mandeep Sanghera

Fabio Capello
Capello has a reputation as a hardline manager

Opera buff, art collector, a travel connoisseur and master football tactician. Fabio Capello, the man appointed England's new coach, is all of those things and more.

The 61-year-old Italian might not seem the archetypal football boss, but he has an unprecedented level of success.

Capello has guided teams to nine league championships in 16 years as a coach, although Juventus were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles because of the club's involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

And he was the mastermind behind one of the greatest ever club performances when his AC Milan team trounced Barcelona 4-0 in the 1994 Champions League final, but he will also arrive in England with a reputation as a fierce disciplinarian.

Capello is not in football to make friends. He is interested only in success. And his uncompromising style means he brooks no alternative to his own methods.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon likened him to a dictator while he played under him at Juventus.

And Alessandro del Piero, Paolo di Canio, Ronaldo and England midfielder David Beckham have all felt the coach's wrath.

It was while he was at Madrid last January that Capello dropped Beckham after the midfielder announced he would be joining LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

1946: Born in San Canzian d'Isonzo, Gorizia, Italy
1964: Makes pro debut for Ferrara side SPAL
1973: Scores as Italy beat England at Wembley for first time
1991: Appointed head coach of AC Milan
1992: Wins first of four Italian league titles with Milan
1994: Milan beat Barcelona 4-0 in European Cup final
1997: Wins Spanish league with Real Madrid
2001: Guides Roma to their first Scudetto for 18 years
2004: Wins Scudetto in first season with Juventus
2007: Guides Real to La Liga during his second spell

But the Italian showed a sense of fairness in recalling the former England captain, once he had demonstrated his commitment to the team's cause.

And the married father-of-two was rewarded when a rejuvinated Beckham helped Madrid win their first Spanish title since 2003.

Marcel Desailly, who was captain at AC Milan when they won the 1994 European Cup final, says Capello's disciplined approach may not go down well with some players but says it will reap benefits.

"He's a difficult guy," said Desailly. "He's a professional and he's very demanding.

"First of all Capello will be very confident towards the tabloids, he doesn't mind, his life is only football. You won't find anything on him.

"Secondly if the players understand that the guy is hard because he wants to succeed then it's a victory.

"Also the guy tactically is very clever and I understand that he will be very keen on choosing the players and on the tactics he is going to use."

Capello's honours and success prove his credentials as the "world-class" manager the Football Association said it wanted to appoint.

Even Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who rarely agree on anything, have echoed the chorus of approval surrounding the Italian.

Marcel Desailly celebrates scoring in Milan's 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final
Capello's Milan won the European Cup in style in 1994

Critics will say his teams do not play an attacking and aesthetically-pleasing game, an issue which cost him his job at Madrid this year, but Capello pays little regard to his detractors.

While in charge of Real Madrid, he defended his style by saying: "The trend, at least watching the recent World Cup, is to play with only one forward in order to create space for other players.

"It will become increasingly difficult to play attacking football. You need players with great technical skill and personality. Every coach has his own tactical ideas which he then adapts to the players he has."

Capello has supreme confidence in his ability and has a deep-rooted history in the game.

He followed his father and uncle as professional footballers but surpassed them when he made his debut for the Italian national team, winning 32 caps in all.

Capello counts a 1973 goal against England, helping Italy to their first away win at Wembley, as a highlight of his career. But he regards medals and memories as "things closed away inside boxes".

A complex and intelligent character, Capello has an expensive art collection and takes holidays in unconventional destinations like Tibet, Mexico and Cambodia, choosing to visit historical temples and ruins.

He feels as comfortable at an opera house as he does on the touchline, and detaches himself from the game when it comes to his time away from football.


He was quick to put himself forward for the post once England had failed to reach Euro 2008 and it is something he has had in mind for a number of years.

Speaking in 2003, he said: "I am not interested in the Italian national team.

"I prefer to have a new experience, outside Italy. Between the national team and abroad, I choose England.

"For the language, the mentality. I believe I can do it. It is a dream of mine, something I have held for a long time."

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