Capello’s criticism causes anti-Fabio fury

When Fabio Capello opined that “Spain are not as strong as Brazil as they don’t defend as well” it could have been taken in two ways in the home of FIFA’s newly-crowned number one team.

It was either going to be a measured response taking into account the England coach’s experience and chin-stroking at the faults he identified or... to be honest... La Liga Loca is full of baloney and bull, here. It was always going to go down as well as a lettuce in Maniche’s larder with the Spanish press, who tend to view Capello as some kind of footballing Anti-Christ. With Spain having been absolutely magnificent throughout much of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Argentina now is a very bad time indeed to suggest that there is anyone better than Del Bosque’s boys in Planet Football. And this is why Marca is tooting the horn on the big backlash train with a somewhat defensive José María Rodríguez huffing and puffing in Monday’s edition that “when it comes to playing football, keeping the ball, wanting it, knowing what to do with it, there’s no-one who can touch us.

"Not Argentina, nor Brazil, nor Holland and especially not Capello’s England. Spain are the best. End of discussion.”This accusation of footballing heresy from the former Real Madrid manager is followed up by the normally rational Roberto Palomar, who scoffs that Capello’s comments were a way of “covering up England’s terrible game against Brazil. It was fearful, rancid and conservative... it was Capello,” ranted the columnist on Monday’s back page. AS have yet to react to Capello’s comments but their readers have.

And bless their cotton socks, the feedback on the message-board below the story has been fairly calm and collected with Zenit scribbling that “I see Brazil as being stronger, but because they are more balanced, not because the players are better.”Joe, for one, agrees with Capello when writing that “if everyone maintains their current form, then the favourites for the World Cup are Brazil, Germany, Spain and England in that order.”Aside from fuming at Fabio, the weekend’s Spanish press has been full of praise for their national team’s perky performance against Argentina on Saturday night, and for the dastardly fouling ways of their foes. “Spain played, Argentina kicked,” moaned the headline on AS’s website on Sunday with international footie expert Maldini noting quite rightly that the South American side had “an alarming lack of football in midfield,” due to the presence of Lady Gago. “The team appears to be modelled more on Heinze than Messi,” writes the paper’s editor, Alfredo Relaño. Sunday’s Marca followed a similar theme and boasted that “Argentina couldn’t stop Spain either with punches or with kicks,” before calling La Furia Roja ‘Magicians’ on the front page. Even the Barcelona press were vaguely excited by the performance, especially considering Saturday’s starting line-up featured five of their players - something that must still continue to give Joan Laporta the heebie-jeebies. However, Sport’s focus was on Messi’s continuing disappointing performances for Argentina, where he seems to be deployed as a full-back from what La Liga Loca could see.

“Not even Messi can stop Spain” blasted Sunday’s headline. Marca’s editorial on Sunday suggests that the good people of Spain can genuinely dream about winning the World Cup in South Africa, but with some reservations. And after witnessing Saturday’s performance, that sounds like the right approach to take, thinks La Liga Loca.

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