Rome

Soccer: Capello says Serie A 'impoverished'

Russia boss has no ambition to coach Italian national team

Soccer: Capello says Serie A 'impoverished'

Rome, May 10 - Fabio Capello said Friday that his former side Juventus has deservedly won this year's Serie A title, but he added that the Italian top flight is much diminished from when he trained in it. Serie A sides were the dominant force in European football in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But the relative spending power and competitiveness of Italian teams on the continental stage has declined significantly over the last decade. Serie A has fallen to fourth in the UEFA ranking after being overtaken by the Bundesliga. This means that now only three Italian teams qualify for the Champions League, rather than the four they had before this season, with the extra place going to a German side. "There are no rivals for Juve in this championship, I've said that since the start of the year," Russia boss Capello told Sky television. "But the Italian championship isn't what it once was. Once the best players came to Italy, now the best ones go to foreign teams, so there's been an impoverishment in terms of the players". Capello won four Serie A titles and a European Cup with Milan between 1991 and 1996, another Italian league title with AS Roma in 2001 and two more with Juventus in 2005 and 2006, although the Turin side were stripped of these scudetti for involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal. The former England manager also had two successful stints at Real Madrid. "I have to say that the Italian championship has lost a lot if we compare it to other championships, to the Spanish, German and English ones," he said. "How the Italian sides are doing in Europe speaks clearly". Capello's words echo those of Juve's current coach. Antonio Conte said that, given the difference in spending power, he could not see an Italian side winning the Champions League again for some time after seeing Juve turfed out of the Champions League last-eight 4-0 on aggregate by Bayern Munich. Capello added that he did not see himself ever becoming Italy coach. "I have absolutely never had the ambition of being the coach of the Italian national team," he said. "Unfortunately, I like going around. I like challenges and trying different things".

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