Number: 10(Club), 8(National)
Position: CMF*, AMF
Date of Birth: 18th June, 1946 (age: 27)
Length: 178 cm
Weight: 73 kg
Top Speed: 79
Dribble Accuracy: 81
Dribble Speed: 76
Short Pass Accuracy: 85
Short Pass Speed: 83
Long Pass Acc.: 88
Long Pass Speed: 86
Shot Accuracy: 79
Shot Power: 84
Shot Technique: 77
Free Kick Accuracy: 72
Keeper Skills: 50
Team Work: 86
Injury Tolerance: B
Weak Foot Accuracy: 7
Weak Foot frequency: 6
"He was a tough midfielder with a squatty physique, but he also had great visual play. He knew how to score and would do so at the most opportune moments." -- Luciano Spinosi, former Roma, Juventus and Italy team-mate.
Capello was a solid but stylish midfielder who was, perhaps, before his time in marrying the hitherto incompatible tasks of defence and creativity, he was an extremely competent player who combined a cultured touch, a very good passing range, and tactical astuteness, with an uncompromising approach. In his spare time he was possibly the only footballer of his, or most generations, who professed a liking for philosophy and fine art and did so without fear of ribaldry or ridicule.
Capello's love affair with professional football began in controversy when Guerrino Capello, who coached his son in his role as manager of their village club AC Pieris, refused AC Milan's overtures and instead insisted on the rather gifted 18-year-old honouring a promise he had made to SPAL (SocietÃ Polisportiva Ars et Labor 1907). The club were no Rossoneri but had managed to scrape into Serie A the previous season, and it was here in the central town of Ferrara where young Fabio received a hard but invaluable education. Within two seasons SPAL were relegated, and Capello's talent could no longer be concealed from the eyes of grander teams, so A.S. Roma president Franco Evangelisti who sought a midfielder who could weave play, moved in. Thus for Capello it was to Rome and the beginning of a long and successful footballing career, he made his name in the capital and it has resounded through Italy ever since.
In Capello's three seasons as a Lupo, he became a symbol of Roma in those late sixties, a club which did not yield any results in the championship but did win one Coppa Italia under Helenio Herrera in 1969. Roma, unfortunately, could not keep young Fabio for too long, as the new management led by president Alvaro Marchini was not of wealthy foundations. The budget shaking at the club meant Roma lost two other great players - Luciano Spinosi and Fausto Landini. To the general disappointment of all the giallorossi fans, all three players would make the trek north to Turin.
Juventus had finally acquired the hard to find and so-called, "uomo di centrocampo" or 'man of the midfield', that athlete with the hard task of building an offensive play and still fulfilling defensive obligations. Juve had lacked such a player the previous year, hence Capello was appreciated for these capacities and his simple and delicate yet reasoned ball touch - Picchi's ideal game philosophy. Despite all the right signals on paper, 1970 was not a great year for Juve; striker Pietro Anastasi's shots barely hit the target, Capello did not immediately fit in the team's geometry, and to really put the club in a tough spot was the dramatic death of Coach Armando Picchi, who had succumbed to cancer.
Bianconeri President Giampiero Boniperti then appointed the primavera coach Czechoslovakian ÄŒestmÃr VycpÃ¡lek to take Picchi's place. The following season was a different tale for both Juventus and Capello. Finally VycpÃ¡lek seemed to have found the right formula, Capello became the mind and engine of a team consisting of champions such as Anastasi, Bettega, Causio, Haller, Carmignani and later Zoff, a side who would claim two consecutive scudetti, and contest a European Cup Final in 1973 against the majestic Ajax - who were completing a veritable hat-trick of European Cups - unfortunately for Capello Juventus as a whole played sub par on that particular evening, but another scudetto was on the cards for the midfield orchestrator in 1975, sadly it was to be his final one in the black and white. The 1975-76 season, Capello's last, would be a barren one as Juventus had to bow down to Gigi Radice's Torino after a close title race.
His mentality on the field could not go unnoticed by Ferruccio Valcareggi who called him to appear for the Italian National team. Capello played 32 matches with the azzurri and of his 8 goals he became famous for scoring one in Wembley against England in 1973, signalling the first Italian away win against the English.
Giovanni Trapattoni had now been given the next coaching duties by Boniperti and a new trading deal was around the corner, the change was between Juventus and Milan, this time around Fabio Capello and Romeo Benetti were the players exchanged, as both players were not the youngest anymore both teams felt they had reinforced their squad. After six seasons in a Juventus shirt with 239 games played and 41 goals under his belt, of which more than half were decisive match winners, it was time for Fabio to become a rossonero.
Capello again on the onset experienced difficulty fitting into the team. A Milan still under construction, Capello felt the challenge of a new position on his shoulders, yet with modesty he would help Milan to a Coppa Italia in 1977 and two years later he placed on his heart the star signifying Milan's 10th scudetto. But in the mean time he lost his first team spot to a youngster called Franco Baresi. The following year Milan was dragged down to Serie B due to a scandal regarding bets - Capello called it a day at the age of 34.
It was accepted Fabio would go into management, although it was also accepted that Capello's temper would lead to many a number of scrapes. Famously, in his latter days at Milan, he hid in a hedge for a few hours waiting for a critical journalist to walk by. When the hack appeared, the furious playmaker jumped out and made his displeasure known in decidedly ugly fashion.
Serie A: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1979
Coppa Italia: 1969, 1977
European Cup (Runner-up): (1973)
Goal for SPAL against S.S.C. Venezia(0:34)
Failed to convert penalty for Roma, but scored the rebound in a European Cup match against GÃ³rnik Zabrez
Goal for Roma
Goal for Italy against England at Wembley(First Italian away win against England and Bobby Moore's last cap)
Goal for Italy at the 1974 World Cup against Poland(5:20)