Capello: Ancelotti’s Madrid like mine

Fabio Capello has drawn comparisons between his Real Madrid side of 2006-07 and the one currently managed by his former Milan charge Carlo Ancelotti.

The veteran Coach won La Liga twice with Los Blancos in two separate spells, but the latter is considered more memorable due to how his team managed to defy the odds and pip Barcelona to the Primera crown on the last day of the season.

“I’ve heard of ‘Operation 30 Points’ before. It’s the same objective [my Madrid] set ourselves – to win every game,” he began in an interview with AS.

“I think this Madrid also started believing in themselves after the Clasico, where they gained plenty of merit. They deserved [to win].

“For starters, they have a very good, very smart Coach, and I see the same team spirit we had [in the current team].

“They’re all fighting together, with heart, and it shows. You can see it on the pitch. Everybody knows I’m a Real Madrid fan [so I want them to win the title].

“[My most memorable matches of 06-07 were], for me, the last two games. At [Recreativo] Huelva, we were leading 2-0 until they equalised. Roberto Carlos then made it 3-2, and that was the key to us winning the title.

“Then, in the final match against Mallorca, we looked afraid, misplacing passes. We went into half-time losing 1-0. Everyone looked very down.

“I always spoke up for the players, but this time I sat with them, along with Roberto Carlos.

“[I said:] ‘Lads, don’t play with fear! We’ve pulled back five points in nine games. It was fantastic! This is the last step. Go out there and play without tension.’ And we did it.”

“[On whether it was a difficult season] I received some criticism, especially from this newspaper!

“[Referring to his defensive-minded midfield of Emerson and Mahamadou Diarra], there was no money like there is now at Madrid, and a Coach can only play with the players he has, so I think we did great things.

“Look at the team there now, what a difference. Also, remember that I won my first League title playing with only [Fernando] Redondo and [Clarence] Seedorf, who was an attacking midfielder, in central midfield.

“Plus I had to start Raul [Gonzalez] on the left because I had nowhere else to put him, with [Davor] Suker and [Pedja] Mijatovic up front.

“Of course [I helped Madrid win those titles]. We created a very favourable environment for ourselves.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Fabio Capello