Madrid states faith in Capello – for now

Real Madrid still has faith in Fabio Capello - at least for now.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Real Madrid still has faith in Fabio Capello - at least for now. Madrid sports director Predrag Mijatovic denied media reports that the embattled coach had quit but could only promise that Capello would be in charge for the next two games - Tuesday night's Champions League match with Bayern Munich and Saturday's league clash at Atletico Madrid. "What has appeared today I view as an attempt to destabilise the team before tomorrow's match," Mijatovic told Punto Radio late on Monday. "He is our coach, we have confidence in him and he will be there on Saturday." "I hope he is still here until the end of the season and that then he can see out his contract. We all depend on results, although we have full confidence in Capello." Sports daily Marca added to the speculation about Capello's future on Tuesday by saying the coach will leave once the two parties can agree on the terms of his departure. In a story headlined 'The Divorce is Complete,' the paper said Capello quit yesterday but changed his mind when Madrid told him he wouldn't receive a payoff. The Italian coach's contract runs until 2009. Capello was reportedly irritated on Sunday when club president Ramon Calderon advised him to give more playing time to younger players - including recent two Argentine signings, forward Gonzalo Higuain and midfielder Fernando Gago. Seventh coach Capello's departure would leave Madrid seeking its seventh coach since June 2003, during which the club has failed to win a major trophy in its worst streak since the early 1950s. Reports suggest reserve team coach Miguel 'Michel' Gonzalez, a former Spain midfielder and team stalwart, would take over until the end of the season. Capello, who guided Madrid to the Spanish title in his first spell in 1997, has received criticism for the team's unimpressive play this season, particularly at home. Madrid has scored only 12 goals in 11 league matches at its stadium - the lowest tally in its history. Capello has also been questioned about his decision to drop David Beckham in January after the player announced his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy in August. The coach did a U-turn a month later and recalled the former England captain. Capello's rift with Ronaldo, which led to the Brazil striker's move to AC Milan last month, has also irritated some fans. Supporters have signaled their discontent at Madrid's last two home games by calling on Capello and Calderon to resign. Madrid is fourth in the league, four points behind leader FC Barcelona. It was eliminated from the Copa del Rey last month. (AP)