Interview with Capello: I would leave Bale in the final
Fabio Capello travels to a London taxi when I call him. “I’m in a jam,” he says. He is about to head to Cardiff to attend the Champions League final as a commentator for Fox Sports Italy. At this final he will meet two clubs he knows pretty well. He has worked eight years for Juventus as a player and then as a coach, and in Real Madrid he has won two titles in La Liga in both his one-year stays.
– Has any other club retained its original features to a degree similar to that of Juventus?
– This is a very serious club. It is important to be modest there. Those who are not modest drive them away. You should always work collectively and always be careful what others are doing around you. There are no games played here!
– What do the players look for when considering whether to attract them – character or technical profile?
“Before buying someone, they’re considering it on every tint. They watch him short. They do not pay attention only to its good technical-tactical quality – they want to be a man. Men want first the dressing room, and then for the terrain.
– Because that’s fundamental for every club. The great Berlusconi AC Milan did the same: Barezi, Maldini, Gatuzo, Pirlo … These players gave the rest to this mentality of diligence, modesty and a constant thirst for success. The difference with Juventus is that there has always been such that there has been no change in this respect as in others. They have always cultivated this mentality.
– What features did the current Juve keep from the Trapathon and Lippi teams?
“The only thing that can be compared is the battle spirit.
– Juve, who won the Champions League in 1997, ran around Ferrara, Toricelli, Conte and Deschan. Massimiliano Allegri’s team is also based on its defensive block …
– You can not start building a team based on style. If you do this without paying attention to your existing players, you will have a style that is ineffective. The most important thing is for these players to be convinced in the system. Today Juve feels cozy with three central defenders. He defends with many people and attacks with many people. But note: Madrid also defends with many people. This Madrid is back all, this is a very compact team, who likes to play counterattack. If you allow this, it kills you. Madrid in 1998 was also a compact defense team with strong midfield thanks to Redondo, Seedorff and Karemboe.
– Another feature of Juventus: Plan A of the central defenders of each era is the long shot to the central striker …
“Because attackers know how to move. Mario Manjukic and Gonzalo Iguain are moving very well and continuously. And among the central defenders there are players who have a long pass. This is game automation. Madrid also plays with long balls, but with a change of attack front. Luka Modric and Tony Kroos stretch all the way to the other side as the team strives to attack quickly from the wings. It is very difficult for Madrid to enter the center – it does so only when playing on the counter. When there is an initiative in the opposing field, the most balanced balances are played with a ball at Marcello or Danny Carvahal.
– Attack the flanks to always be protected in the center. Just like with Juve?
– Attacks on the flanks damage your opponent and at the same time prevent him from harming you. Why else did they put Casemiro to their central defenders !?
– Another quality that has been retained in the years in Juvenile is the specialization of the horsemen or the second striker in controlling 50-meter passes: Bethega, Indzagi, Viri, Trezeguet, Tevez, Ibrahimovic, Manjukich …
– See, this statement needs to be rethought. If these attackers control the long ball, it is because the filing was excellent – if it is bad, no one can control it. I remember that when Hiero gave a long pass, the ball was ideally suited to the striker, and Roberto Carlos was also excellent in this component. Hey, we’re talking about teams that have reached the Champions League final, not some mediocrators!
– This striker, who is waiting for the ball high on the pitch, masters the long pass and retains the front until his teammates come to be part of the identity of Juve?
– Yes, this is the culture of the team and of the Italian football. But note that Madrid counts too much on that. It is not the culture of Barcelona and Sevilla, who are betting on many passes. When it is possible to play quickly and directly, Madrid’s central defenders use it with ease.
– What kind of class is Higuain as an assailant?
– Lives for a goal. It reminds me a bit of Batistuta. Gabriel fired better with his head, but Gonzalo was better off with his legs, moving very well and having a flair for the goal. I remember it because I bought it in Madrid in 2006 when I was a coach there. We took him, Marcello and Fernando Gago.
“What has changed since then?”
– Man, he has improved a lot! Quality rises with the years, with the experience when you stop being a kid who plays for fun, and you play for victories. I always liked it because of my character. I played 18-year-old in important matches and we took the title.
“And Gianluigi Buffon did it?”
– No, it has always been an extraordinary point! He cares a lot about himself, he likes to train and work. It never stops. He has always been such and has always been an impressive class.
– But now he’s playing more with his legs …
“It’s better because today they all try to make their players take part in the game. He is obviously advanced because he trained him and has confidence. You are only improving with training. It’s the same as the pianists: you have to play every day.
– Josep Guardiola says Leonardo Bonucci is the best central defender of the world …
– Yes, when the ball is at his feet. He and David Luig are the best in this component. But when we talk specifically about defense, there are better ones. For example, Giorgio Cielini is a better guard. However, you have to mix well the qualities of your defenders in order to have a good couple or trio. And if you add a goalkeeper who keeps them, like Buffon, everyone gets better. This is important because the goalkeeper is behind everyone, he sees everything, he can help you, he can tell you with a cry … This is the foundation of good defense!
– Which of the two finalists would you like to train?
– The winner (bI – laughs). Madrid has a better midfielder than Juventus, and the situation in the attacks depends on the status of Iguaine, Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Paulo) Diballa and (Karim) Benzema. In defense, Juve has a lead because he is well organized and has a coach who knows when to make tactical and individual changes. Alegri is very smart, so it’s very difficult to score goals against his team. In Madrid, I like the fact that it’s a very modest team: all the players fight and run tight, although their enormous quality is still known. This is the mark of the great teams: they have stars, but they are always modest.
“Would you like some of the unspoken white stars?”
– In the last four or five games, their goalkeeper (bj – Keelor ??Navas) was one of their best players. Isco is in an exceptional form – both physically and mentally. He played very strong games against Malaga and Celta. It’s not my job, but I personally would leave Garrett Bay reserve at his expense. I think a player who has not played for a long time should start on the bench.