The worst-kept secret in Spanish football is out as Real Madrid have sacked coach Fabio Capello, a mere 11 days after the Italian guided them to their first league title since 2003.

Capello, 61, still had two years left to run on his contract at the Bernabeu. But his fate was sealed by steady criticism about his tactics and man management.

Real president Ramon Calderon told Marca newspaper: “We’ve laid the foundations, but we need to find a more enthusiastic way of playing.”

German coach and ex-Real player Bernd Schuster is the heir-apparent, having negotiated an amicable release from his job at Getafe.

Capello is in the unusual position of having managed Real on two occasions, both for one season only, and winning the Spanish title for them each time.

Having previously triumphed in 1996-97 with Madrid, he returned last summer from Juventus on a three-year contract.

When Calderon appointed him last July Capello’s brief was to instil discipline among some galactic egos and clearing out the dead wood that had piled up in the squad.

But there is a view in Spain that he paid the price for pushing David Beckham out the Bernabeu exit door.

Once Beckham confirmed he was joining LA Galaxy at the end of the season, Capello publicly declared that the ex-England skipper would never be considered for Real’s first team again.

But Don Fabuo was forced to eat humble pie on that one, and it was Beckham’s superb form that inspired Real’s late and somewhat unexpected surge to the title.

History is repeating itself in one sense as Real again show they have little sentiment as far as successful managers are concerned.

The club’s last Spanish title victory in 2003 was not enough to keep the much admired Vicente del Bosque in his job, and German coach Jupp Heynckes was also sacked after guiding Real to the Champions League title in 1998.

Real’s sporting director Predrag Mijatovic said: “We have taken the decision not to continue with Fabio Capello next season.

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

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

“Now we have time to think over who will be the next head coach.”

Capello has had a distinguished if controversial career in football management. The former Italan international player previously managed AC Milan and AS Roma in addition to Real and Juventus, and has won a league title with every club he has managed.

  • Dave

    Like nobody saw this one coming. Man! Hey Capello, it’s been real & thanks for guiding us to the league championship but uh, well, er, Your fired! Man! goes to show nobody is safe at any big club, manager & players’ alike! Even if you win titles! Crazy stuff dudes!

  • Anonymous

    Madrid shouldn’t be firing managers, they should fire the president. Who fires a coach after they win the league?!!! Who cares if the manager doesn’t play the way you want the team to play? They have had 6 coaches in like 3 years or less. It’s about championships at a club like that, but apparently that isn’t the case anymore. It appears Madrid’s glory days will never return.

  • Ken

    With Capello it came down to personality traits. He has the personality of a wet paper sack & shoots himself in the foot everytime no matter what club he’s been in charge of. Still when the owners brought him on board some years ago they wanted him to crack the whip & keep the players’ in line which is what he did. Did he go over board with his whip cracking? Maybe so but still it’s what the stupid owners were asking for & only the cry babies like Beck’s & Ronaldo seemed to let it get under their skin. Real Madrid have a lot of problems but most of the blame should fall upon the stupid owners. It doesn’t matter who end’s up there as manager that person is going to have problems with the stupid owners micro managing every little thing. Capello has the last laugh & walks away smelling like a rose for bringing the club to a league title. As for the owners they look like clowns for having fired the manager that gave them what they wanted all along.

  • bredred

    I don’t agree with this decision simply because this is the best they could expect at the start of the season. Ageing stars were still on the team at the beginning and they didn’t have the right players to start out with. The only reason why they won the league is because they made all their transfers in the January transfer market. Bringing in Hiaguin and Gago and were the key points to their turn around. So I think there is a problem in the board room and they should have given Capello another year to work his stuff

  • Morgan

    I don’t agree with what they did either. You don’t treat people like that. So what if Capello has what might be considered a gruff personality. They didn’t hire him to be a Mr. nice guy & happy little friend to all the players. They hired him for results & he gave them results. This whole entire mess stems from all that drama earlier in the year with Beckham. Beckham has caused problems his entire career no matter where he was playing. The stupid Madrid owners told Capello to bench Beckham when all that contract drama was going on & then made an about face & leaned on Capello to play Beckham again once Beckham went crying to the media as usual as that’s been his most endearing trait as a player.. It’s a good thing Beckham is going to America as it’s full of people very much like him. He can run to the media 247 there anytime he wants. People will eat up all that drama there. I’ll bet you guys within a year he will have his own reality show there. As for Madrid. I hope they lose the bank this coming season as the owners deserve that.

  • Morgan

    Guys you know if you really think about it Capello is very much from the same school of soccer as Fergie from Manchester United. Both of them are hard driven men. Both of them are all business focused on the end result. The difference between Manchester United & Real Madrid is the owners of United keep their noses out of where they shouldn’t be & let Fergie do his job. The clowns who own Madrid are always injecting themselves into the manager’s area which of course as we have seen this past season just causes problems. It would be good for Capello if he could go to a club that has something to prove. A club with a very young squad of players wo have not been ruined or tainted by the money & fame yet. Give him a club like that where he is free to do his thing & where the owners respect his space & I bet within three years they would be able to contend for Europe. He’s a good manager his record has proven that. He just needs to be at a club where the owners have enough respect & common sense to step back & let him be a manager.