Capello confirmed as new Real Madrid boss

July 5, 2006

MADRID, July 5 (Reuters) - Fabio Capello was named the new coach of Real Madrid on Wednesday, just a day after resigning from Italian champions Juventus.

The 60-year-old Italian, who steered Juve to back-to-back league titles in his two years at the club, returns to Real 10 years after his first stint with the nine times European champions. He is expected to sign a three-year contract.

Juventus are at the core of a match-fixing scandal in Italy and could be relegated and stripped of their last two league titles if a sports tribunal finds against the club.

Real said Capello would arrive in Madrid on Wednesday and would be presented officially at 1000 GMT on Thursday.

His appointment comes two days after Ramon Calderon became Real's president following a controversial victory in an election marred by bitter personal disputes and confusion over the validity of the postal vote.

The former Juventus, AC Milan and AS Roma coach will have to turn round the fortunes of a club that have not won a major trophy for the last three seasons, its worst run of form in more than 50 years.

Capello first joined Real in 1996 after a contractual dispute with AC Milan and led the Spaniards to the title in his only season at the club before deciding to return to Italy.

Calderon said on Monday that Capello was the ideal person to take charge of a squad of players that had failed to live up to expectations.

DISCIPLINARIAN COACH

'Capello will ensure there is discipline, preparation and planning, something that this club has lacked in recent years,' Calderon said.

Capello, a strict disciplinarian, has a matchless record of success as a coach, winning a league title with every club that have employed him.

He led AC Milan to four domestic triumphs as well as a scintillating 4-0 victory over Real's arch-rivals Barcelona in the final of the European Cup in 1994.

He then steered Real to the title ahead of a Ronaldo-inspired Barcelona in the Primera Liga in 1997 before returning to Italy and delivering AS Roma their first championship in 18 years in 2001.

Unable to build on his success at Roma, a club coping with financial problems in the boardroom and personality clashes amongst the players, Capello returned north to take charge of Juventus in 2004.

He led Juve to successive league titles but had no time to celebrate the club's second 'scudetto' because the Turin-based side became engulfed in the Italian match-fixing scandal in May.

In Madrid, Capello will be reunited with three members of the squad that he led to the 1997 title - striker Raul, Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos and midfielder Guti.

Capello will also link up again with Montenegrin striker Predrag Mijatovic who was a player at Real in 1997 and is now the club's sporting director.

Although Capello inspired respect during his first spell at Real and is credited with laying the foundations of the team that won the European Cup the season after he left, the pragmatic style adopted by his team did not meet with universal approval from the club's fans.