Thursday, March 19, 2009

Capello : Title race far from decided

England coach Fabio Capello believes the destination of this year's Premier League title is by no means a foregone conclusion.

Recent months saw league leaders Manchester United earn an abundance of plaudits as they swept everyone before them in their search for an unprecedented Quintuple.
However, the champions have stuttered of late and their humiliation by Liverpool last weekend blew the title race open once again - although Sir Alex Ferguson's men are still four points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand.
"A month ago United were fresher," he told COM Radio. "But then they played many games on the trot.
"This late on in the season, we all have to wait a bit more to see how each of the teams does at the moment of truth."
Capello is more confident about Barcelona's chances of taking the title despite the Spanish giants going through their own blip of late to see their lead at the top of the Primera Liga table cut to six points.
The former Real Madrid coach revealed he is a big admirer of Barca under Pep Guardiola, who took charge at the beginning of the season.
"Guardiola's Barca are a team with a lot of potential, even though it's obvious that they haven't been as strong as they could be in the past month," said Capello. "At the beginning of the season Barca were incredible.
"Guardiola has done very well up until now. Everything was very easy at the beginning, but in their most difficult period he knew how to dig in and he continued with his ideas.
"He left important players on the bench because he was convinced the team could still win, and it turned out well for him.
"That is a sign that the coach has a great personality."
Capello also waxed lyrical about Barca star Lionel Messi, who he admitted he tried to buy while in charge of Juventus.
"He's a player who makes the difference," he said. "I asked (former Barca coach Frank) Rijkaard to sell him to me because he does things that others don't even think about,
"Every era has its superstar, like Pele or Maradona, and Messi can be the superstar of the next decade."

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