Fabio Capello has revealed that despite Ronaldo Nazario being the best player he has ever coached, he was also to one to cause him the most ‘problems’ during his managerial career.
The Italian technician enjoyed two one-year spells with Los Blancos, winning La Liga on both occasions, and boasting some fine players in the Spanish capital.
His time with Ronaldo was short-lived, however, with the pair only working together for a brief six-month stint during the 2006/07 season.
By this time, the striker had already netted 100 goals for Real during his second foray into Spanish football, but despite only playing seven matches that season due to persistent injuries, he still left his mark on Capello. Both positively and negatively, it seems.
“The greatest talent I ever coached was Ronaldo,” Capello told Sky Sport Italia. “But at the same time he was the player who created the most problems for me in the dressing room.
“He used to throw parties and do everything. Once [Ruud] van Nistelrooy said to me ‘coach, the dressing room smells like alcohol’. Then Ronaldo went to Milan and we started to win, but if we’re talking about talent then he was the greatest, without a doubt.”
The man in question, Van Nistelrooy, has since weighed in with his take on events, and in lovely controversial fashion, has refuted Capello’s claims. Speaking on Twitter, he strongly denied those comments, insisting the Madrid side that season were complete professionals.
A tenor de unas declaraciones que se le atribuyen a Fabio Capello, señalando que yo, en su día, le comenté que el vestuario del @realmadrid “olía a alcohol” quiero desmentir rotundamente tales afirmaciones. Ese vestuario desde el primer día demostró una profesionalidad máxima. pic.twitter.com/Z2xmRFwZpN
— Ruud van Nistelrooy (@RvN1776) May 20, 2020
“According to some statements attributed to Fabio Capello I told him that the Real Madrid locker room smelled of alcohol,” the Dutchman said. “I want to strongly deny such claims. That team, from the first day, showed maximum professionalism.”
It was added by Capello, however, that despite Ronaldo’s party nature, he and Van Nistelrooy remain on good terms, insisting they speak ‘warmly and pleasantly’ whenever they meet up. Clearly, warmer and more pleasantly than he thought.