UPDATE 4-Soccer-Real Madrid sack title-winning coach Capello

Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:20pm BST

(Adding Capello background details)

By Mark Elkington and Simon Baskett

MADRID, June 28 (Reuters) - Real Madrid sacked coach Fabio Capello on Thursday, 11 days after he led them to their first Primera Liga title in four years.

The 61-year-old Italian, who also won the league title with Real in the 1996-97 season during his first spell at the club, had two years left to run on his contract which Spanish media reported was worth 9.0 million euros ($12.10 million).

"We have taken the decision not to continue with Fabio Capello next season," said Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic.

"It was a difficult decision, but it was a unanimous one based on an exhaustive report I made to the board.

"We don't think Fabio Capello is the right person to lead Real Madrid into the future given what we want this club to achieve.

"We have evaluated all he did as coach. He worked under enormous pressure and achieved an important result in winning the title.

"But we have to have a little more than Fabio Capello gave us this year. We always have to look for people who can give us more than just results.

"Because of the history of our club we have to offer more than that. We need to play a different football to last season. We need something more so our fans can enjoy our football again.

"Now we have time to think over who will be the next coach of the club. We would like a young coach who will be the future of this club."

Capello becomes the second successive coach to win the title with Madrid -- and then be sacked as a reward. Vicente del Bosque was sacked a day after winning the title in 2003 -- their last championship until they won it again last week. Now the same fate has befallen Capello.

Getafe's German coach Bernd Schuster, a former player with both Barcelona and Real, is the favourite to replace Capello at the Bernabeu, but Mijatovic made it clear that the club would not announce the name of the new coach until he had freed himself from his contract with his present club.

Capello was brought in by newly-elected club president Ramon Calderon last July and charged with the task of reining in the players, clearing out the dead wood and getting the club back to winning ways.

ITALIAN DELIVERY

The Italian, who has won a league title with every club he has managed, delivered in all areas.

He restored team discipline, and ended the club's worst run of form in over 50 years by leading them to the league title.

But although the team got back on the trophy trail, they did not play with the sort of open, attacking style demanded by the club and its fans.

The local media subjected Capello to a constant barrage of criticism for what they saw as conservative tactics, while fans called for his resignation after the team exited the Champions League and the King's Cup earlier in the season.

Although many commentators gave him the benefit of the doubt over his decision to offload Ronaldo, he came under fire from all quarters for sidelining David Beckham after the midfielder's announcement that he would be leaving the club.

It was only during the team's thrilling run-in to the end of the season that the criticism from the media relented.

The decision to oust Capello is confirmation of the chronic instability at a club which has devoured seven coaches in the space of just four years.

It is also a highly-risky strategy. Capello has proved beyond doubt that he is one of world's most effective coaches.

In the early 1990's, he steered AC Milan to four league titles in five seasons before leading them to triumph in the European Cup.

He guided Real to the title in 1997 and won the Scudetto with AS Roma 2001, before winning back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006 with Juventus, though the club was later stripped of the honours in the wake of the Italian match-fixing scandal.

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