June 12, 2021

Capello says greatest player he managed turned “disaster” after weight issues

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Former England manager Fabio Capello has spoken about the greatest player he has ever managed.

Over a 36-year managerial career, Capello managed a host of historic clubs such as Juventus, Real Madrid and Milan as well as several national teams including England and Russia.

In that period, he won seven Serie A titles, two La Liga titles as well as the Champions League with Milan in 1994, when they beat Johan Cruyff Barcelona.

Unsurprisingly, a free-scoring forward is Capello’s greatest player ever.

Talking to FourFourTwo magazine, he said: “Whenever that question is asked, an answer is always expected in reference to an attacking footballer.

“The highest quality was Ronaldo Nazario, without a doubt, but it was a disaster when I trained him at Real Madrid because of his weight problems.”

Fabio Capello during an interview
Fabio Capello has coached plenty of great teams and players in his time

Capello coached Real Madrid in his second spell between 2006 and 2007, when he won one La Liga title.

It was in that period when Ronaldo was struggling with weight and injury issues as he approached the end of his playing career.

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner struggled with injury problems right from his days at Inter, about a decade before Capello joined him at Real Madrid.

He was forced to miss a large chunk of playing time before the 2002 World Cup, which was where he completed his redemption by winning the tournament and scoring eight goals, including two in the final.

Who do you think performed best under Fabio Capello? Let us know in the comments below.

Ronaldo celebrates scoring in the World Cup final of 2002
Capello says Ronaldo was his greatest player
(Image: GETTY)

Ronaldo also suffered from weight issues due to hypothyroidism, a condition which slows down metabolism and causes weight gain, which he only learned about in 2007, when he joined Milan.

It speaks volumes of his talent that he was still able to maintain his talent whilst overweight.

Capello also mentioned other great names when discussing his other finest players: “I also have to speak about Marco van Basten, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Dejan Savicevic, Raul, Alessandro Del Pierro, Francesco Totti, Roberto Baggio and two great, great defensive stalwarts like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini.”

Capello has now retired having last coached Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning.

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