Friday, 1 December 2006

Capello speaks...

Fabio CapelloIn a revealing interview with As, Fabio Capello faces the Spanish inquisition (in a comfy chair while enjoying lunch at their expense) from a paper that is usually a mouthpiece for the club, but that has been less than enamoured with his style. Capello defends his actions as vigorously as he practised catenaccio in his youth. This is the translation of the full article:

At the beginning of the conversation, Capello tackles Cannavaro's latest accolade

I do not understand all I am hearing and reading about the controversy surrounding Fabio Cannavaro. What's all this about? how are people making these judgements? Cannavaro was the best player of the World Cup and that's where the best players go. Who can argue with that? Only those who don't put enough value on the World Cup. It's the place where all the best players go to show how good they are. And Cannavaro was the best among them all. On top of that he had a great season for Juventus.

Fabio, we can think of a few poor performances of Cannavaro playing for Real Madrid
Look. Cannavaro, like all those who took part in the World Cup, needs some time to get back to full match fitness. Also he's got some back problems.

But coincidentally, he was awarded the Ballon d'Or on the day when Carew kept getting away from him
Not true! I've seen the video of the game. I always do that. I can tell you that Carew gets away from him only once. Only once, I tell you. And I'm not talking about the goal, because Carew was offside. It was in another action. But it was only once, I insist.

He seems to laugh sometimes as if he were mocking people
Come on... let's discuss football. Cannavaro is like that; he laughs when he speaks. But he is player who is always focused on the game. That is essential to be competitive.

No-one's arguing about his commitment, the same as for the rest of the squad. You can see Capello's hand in that
We may play well or badly, but the pride in representing this club has returned. All the players are united and they have ambition. They all play their socks off in all the games.

Don't you think there should be more spectacle as well as physical effort in Real Madrid's football?
Let me tell you something. The fans have asked me to first of all make sure I put back the spirit and that the good football will come later. They tell me this on the street.

But Real Madrid has always played attractive football. And we are not seeing any of that now.
Look, of course I love good attractive football. But we have to play with what we have at the moment. The team plays according to the players in the squad. Good passing is not enough right now. We have to improve in this area.

The team plays the way they do because of the players you have signed: blunt, defensive-minded
What do you want? It was madness to have the elections in July! We were too late to the market to pick and choose. How much do you think Cesc, or any other top player costs in July? We are achieving miracles with what we've got.

Barcelona plays more attractively
Come on. Barcelona did not win all their players on the lottery. They've arrived over time. Do you think I or anyone else can solve everything in two months? Rijkaard took more than 6 months to start showing something for his efforts. My friends, nothing can change as quickly as you're trying to make out to people.

Don't you think that the public wants to see a team go out and attack and win the ball?
Sure - that's tactical suicide. Do you think it would be fun to watch?

Well, yes. It's open football...
Please. In football today you defend with nine and attack with two. Everyone does it! Chelsea, Liverpool, even Barça, after a fashion. They play with two up front: Ronaldinho and Eto'o or Gudjohnssen, and all the rest will go back to their own half to help retrieve the ball. Is that not true? Ninety-five percent of all teams play like that.

We think that, for instance, Diarra and Emerson are blockages to free flowing football. Perhaps it would be better with just one of them and Guti in your 'double pivot'.
You've never seen my 'double pivot' perform at 100% effectiveness. When one is 100%, the other is at 60%. The two of them have not had a great match at the same time as each other. Let me ask you something else. Is there any other team that plays with more forwards than we do? We are not playing defensively because Emerson and Diarra are in the team. Whoever says that is wrong.

You say that Real Madrid's passing game will improve. Will that be with Gago?
Gago is very good. Yes, very good indeed. I've seen him in a lot of videos. But let's be careful with asking too much of him because their season is almost over. We'll see.

Will he play in the same position as Guti? Behind him, in front of him?
I think he has the ability to control and distribute play in the midfield, but he can also go forward. I can't say anything at this stage. We'll have to see how he adapts.

What about Marcelo, will you loan him to Zaragoza or will he play in Castilla (the B team)?
He'll play with Castilla. I want to keep him close, see him every day. I won't allow him to go out on loan.

What about Higuaín?
A good striker. One of the best in Argentina. It will be good to have him here. I think that signing these players is telling the fans that they can rest easy, we have a plan to build a great team.

Have you been fully satisfied with any of the performances so far this season?
I think the attitude we showed in the game against Barcelona is the way to go.

What have you liked the least?
The Getafe game. I knew that game would not be a good one. Something happened...

I don't want to talk about it. But look at how good it was for everyone to stand up and say: "this will not happen again".

Cassano's 'rebellion' was a bad day?
Cassano is how he is. I know him better than anybody. He's a difficult person and a sensational player. Here you've only seen him perform at 50%. His problem is that his effectiveness goes up and down depending on how strong he feels. He needs to feel he's always going to be in the first eleven, but...

So he will get tired of being a substitute, like Beckham
Beckham is not a substitute. He is a complete professional. He will play when there's room in the squd, and there will be room because the season is long. I have a starting eleven now which more or less works, so he will have to wait. But you need to realise that I have personally asked for his contract to be renewed.

Is it true you've been goading Ronaldo and now his morale is up and his weight is down?
I've goaded him a lot, but I have to goad him some more! He is still not at his ideal weight, although he feels very well. He's training wonderfully. Very strong on Monday, on Tuesday... If all goes to plan, he should play on Sunday. We'll see... Ronaldo is the most talented player I have ever seen. His power is impressive. I want to put him up front with Van Nistelrooy again. I have always had two strikers in all my squads.

And you also play with wingers like Robinho and Reyes, or Raúl, although sometimes playing on the 'wrong leg'
Raúl plays well on the wing because he can get forward and look for goals. From the wing he has a great ability to surprise defenders. Also, if he then moves towards the middle, Ramos can then overtake him on the wing more often than Roberto Carlos.

Robinho and Reyes?
My feeling is that it's good to switch the wingers sometimes to play on the 'opposite leg'; it baffles defenders. But I like my wingers to get forward and alsot to get back. They have defensive tasks as well...

Are you convinced by Casillas?
What do you mean? I've always thought Iker was a great keeper. It is true we're working him a lot on high balls and his movement outside the box, and he's improved a lot.

It looks like you're overly negative on his performances when we mention him in the press
I say what I believe. I don't think he makes as many superb saves as you say. I look at him as a coach, from a technical perspective.

Work, work, work. Does this come from your playing day in Italy?
My coach in 1967 in Roma was Helenio Herrera. He was the best I've known by far. Number one. A professional, he always asked for more. He'd have us train for an hour shouting "Attacca la balla, attacca la balla" (Attack the ball). Constant pressure!.

And where did you startout as a player?
I was born in a village with thirteen hundred people, in Pieris. It's 100km from Venice, on the coast. From that village there were twelve Serie A players and three of us played for Italy.

And where did you make your debut?
At Ferrara. The president, who strangely enough was also the coach, signed me. His name was Massa. In the mornings he'd be on the pitch running the training session and on the afternoon he'd call us into his office to tell us who was playing. those were the days! That was Italy in the 60s. After that I played for Roma, Juve, and Milan.

You coincided with some of the Spanish players in the Italian league at that time: Del Sol, Luis Suárez and Peiró
Of course. I played with Peiró in Roma as he was finishing his career. He was great in the box. I tried to copy his technique. He had great cunning and was very successful at heading the ball even though he was not very tall.

Suárez was held in great regard...
He was incredible. Now, according to you, I wouldn't play him (laughs). He used to run up and down the pitch constantly, and with three touches he'd be in the box and score. I had to follow him in some games and he was impossible to mark! He never stopped working. Up and down, on the wing... I remember he used to lift the ball up and hit it almost horizontally. He'd hit fifty metre passes - a phenomenon!

Tell us the truth. What team do you support in Italy?
When I was a kid, I was a Juve fan, like my father. Now, I support whoever I have worked for. And there've been plenty of those.

What's your favourite type of player from those teams?
I like Rossi, at Roma. I remember one day I picked him to play and he impressed me. He played like he trained: no fear, holding nothing back. Aquillani also plays like that. They can play in the big teams. I remember ten years ago, players would come to Real Madrid with a great pedigree and would freeze at the Bernabéu, in front of ninety thousand.

Tell us what you like about your next opponents: Athletic
Whatever I say now or what I've seen in the videos is now worthless. they've just changed coach and how they'll play is a mystery. As a club, they're suffering because their policy of only signing Basque players is making it progressively more difficult.

Will you win a trophy this year?
Let me beat Athletic first...


El Socio said...

Hey, great page, mate. Keep the good work!

Sportingo said...

Greetings-- how do I get in touch with the administrator of this site?

Gonzalo said...

El Socio: Thanks for the comment (and the link1). I've left one on your blog.

Michelle: check your inbox ;)