Capello: ‘Conceiçao has what it takes to be Milan coach’


Former Milan coach Fabio Capello offered his opinions on the possible candidates to replace Stefano Pioli, suggesting Sergio Conceiçao ‘has what it takes.’ The Rossoneri look almost certain to part ways with Pioli at seasons end, and have been linked with Antonio Conte, Julen Lopetegui and, most recently, Porto boss Conceiçao.

Speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via CM), Capello weighed in on the potential appointment of the Portuguese tactician, explaining why he might be the right fit for Milan:

“He knows Serie A due to his past as a player. He played and won with us, which can certainly help him manage the pressure of the environment. As a coach, he did very, very well at Porto, demonstrating great tactical and offensive attention. His teams are solid, balanced; we saw it in the Champions League. When Italian teams faced Porto, they often struggled. But there’s another thing I like about Conceiçao: he’s a coach capable of working with both important players and prospects, bringing out the best in everyone. He’s used to building with a winning mentality. He has adopted Porto’s philosophy, where historically value is created by winning. Is this the profile Milan is looking for? I would say yes. If Milan is convinced about him, it could be on the right track. Conceiçao has what it takes.”

“The important thing is that everyone at the club agrees; the Lopetegui case teaches us: the fact that a club like Milan gave in to the will of the fans suggests that perhaps there wasn’t total unanimity on the choice. Otherwise, it would be a serious reconsideration: if decisions in the past had been made based on the mood of the fans, Milan wouldn’t have had Sacchi, nor Capello…”

“Fonseca? His advantage is his knowledge of our league: Fonseca already knows everything about Serie A and has been away from Italy for only a few years. In his two years with Roma, he showed good things, a proactive playing style, an offensive mentality. With him, there would be no need for revolutions; he’s a coach who can adapt to the players he has.”

“De Zerbi? He’s a prepared coach who asserts his ideas wherever he coaches. And he has a very respectable sponsor in Guardiola. So far, however, no one has come forward, despite his name being linked to top clubs’ benches. And then, with Brighton, he has a €15 million clause: honestly, it seems too much to free a coach.”

“Van Bommel? He also lacks experience at the highest level: he won in Belgium, but Milan is another matter. Of course, if he were to arrive, he would already be capable of swimming in the Rossoneri sea. Because as a player, he won a title alongside Ibrahimovic; this is undoubtedly an advantage, especially for a foreign coach.”

“Roberto Martinez? If we talk about international experience, here’s another profile that meets Milan’s requirements. Before leading Portugal and Belgium, Martinez coached in England and did well, winning the FA Cup with Wigan, a club that had never won anything. Then he entertained with Everton, almost making the Champions League and finishing ahead of Tottenham and Manchester United in the Premier League. Lukaku flourished under him; his Belgium entertained and reached the podium at the 2018 World Cup. And let’s not forget a detail that could change things at Milan: since Martinez became Portugal’s coach, Leao has become a regular starter for the national team. Working with Martinez at Milan could encourage Rafa to raise the bar.”


Serie A obsessive.