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Fabio Capello: “Real Madrid is the team that has stayed in my heart the most”

Real Madrid v Sevilla Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

In an interview with ‘Festival dello Sport in Trento’, Fabio Capello, who managed Real Madrid on two separate occassions (1996 - 1997; 2006 - 2007), spoke about his time at the club and some of the players he managed.

“The Bernabéu is a sanctuary, the responsibilities were enormous,” Capello said of his first season at the club. “Real Madrid is the team that has stayed in my heart the most because I had to build it by bringing in players who I thought could make a difference. I had four 20-year-olds in the first team. I brought Seedorf from Sampdoria and Roberto Carlos for the defense.”

The Italian manager then spoke about his second stint at the club

“The decision to sell Ronaldo (in January) and sign Cassano helped create a winning spirit in the team,” Capello said. “We won nine points back from Barcelona in the final stretch of ten games and I’m still proud of that today. I remember Silvio Berlusconi calling me to ask me, how was Ronaldo? I told him that he didn’t even train and that he really liked parties and women, so hiring him for Milan would be a mistake. The next day I saw the newspaper headlines: ‘Ronaldo in Milan’. It was a lot of fun,”

Capello, who despite winning the league title on both of his stints was sacked at the end of the season for his brand of football, also spoke about his definition of ‘beautiful football’.

“What is beauty in football for me? Scoring after three passes, for example,” Capello explained. “Beauty is also getting the result based on the players you have at your disposal. Beauty is also the sudden genius of footballers like Messi, for example. Two players who embody beauty: Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi, because they transformed difficulties into easy things. They had personality and they transmitted it to the public, they managed to make an impact.”

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