Russia has qualified for the 2014 World Cup after earning a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan on Tuesday. The Russians finished with 22 points, one point ahead of Portugal, and clinched the only automatic spot. Russia’s qualification reminded to the world of soccer that Fabio Capello‘s methods, although sometimes criticized, still produce results.
After a disastrous Euro 2012 campaign, Fabio Capello succeeded Dick Advocaat as the coach of the Russian national team. After resigning from his England job due to a disagreement with the FA regarding his captain John Terry, the Italian manager was looking for a new challenge and Russia was the perfect one for him.
Younger generations might not know Capello as much as Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola or Carlo Ancelotti, but “Don Fabio,” as he was called in Spain during his two spells at Real Madrid, remains one of the best coaches in the world. Everywhere he has been, Capello has made his team better than they were before he arrived. Some would say that his England side was dismantled by Germany 4-1 at the last World Cup in South Africa but it’s important to remember that England didn’t qualify for the Euro 2008 and Capello qualified them for the World Cup in South Africa. Statistically, he still remains the best England manager ever.
Capello’s best years were with AC Milan where he won four titles and one Champion’s League during his first spell (1991-96) before moving to Real Madrid in 1996. He won La Liga during his only season in the Spanish capital but fell out with former President Lorenzo Sanz, which led to his departure. After an unsuccessful return to Milan in 1997, Capello signed for AS Roma in 1998 and won the title in 2001. He left Roma in 2004 and signed for Juventus winning again two titles that ended up being attributed to Inter Milan after Juventus were found guilty in a match-fixing scandal before leaving in 2006 to return to Real Madrid. Once again, Capello won the Spanish League on the better head to head against Barcelona in one of the most contested La Liga seasons ever. Despite his achievement, Capello was sacked, his style being judged too defensive by the club.
Despite the fact that he hasn’t coached a top European club since leaving Real Madrid in 2007, Fabio Capello is still one of the very best coaches in the world. His long list of trophies is here to remind everyone how great of a coach he is. Even though some see him as too authoritarian, his methods have produced results everywhere he has been. It is very difficult to argue against someone who has won so much.