Italian soccer coach Fabio Capello, who had taken over Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning in June 2017, said Wednesday that China has a near endless pool of young talents, but some of them get lost as they mix up luck with hard work, and because effective communication with these players falls short.
Speaking on day one of the two-day 12th Dubai International Sports Conference, Capello said, "Throughout my career, I had the chance to work with young talents from age 17-18, and unfortunately some of them got lost after they made it to the first team."
In order to push young talents to the next level, the Capello explained, "you have to check as a team manager the communication, sometimes communication is wrong and we must nowadays consider the impact of the social media age on these youngsters."
In addition, the club "also has to communicate with the families of young players. This is sometimes forgotten," he added.
As an example, the former England and Russia coach mentioned Italian player Mario Balotelli who at age 16 had difficulties at Inter Milan due to disciplinary issues in 2010, (he and his then club coach Jose Mourinho had challenges in working together), but then rebounded in his career after he changed to Manchester City in 2010.
However, once regarded as the "next Messi", Balotelli could not sustain his class and his career hit a low point when Liverpool loaned him to AC Milan for one season in 2015. Upon his return to Liverpool he had no future under German coach Jurgen Klopp and left the English club for Nice in 2016. "Balotelli had a immense potential, but then he got lost," said Capello.
The former Real Madrid, AC Milan, Roma and Juventus boss said said, "I often hear from young players that they have bad luck, but there is no such thing. There is hard work day aby day, and there is no success without sacrifice. I always tell players to go beyond the daily challenges and challenge yourself."
"Don Fabio", as the 71-year-old coach is called, signed in June this year with Jiangsu Suning an 18-month contract worth a yearly salary of 10 million euros (about 11.8 million US dollars).
Asked by Xinhua on the sidelines of the conference if he considers renewing his contract, Capello said, "I spoke with the chairman and I do not plan to renew. I will finish the season as per my contract."
Capello is the third reputable Italian coaching in China following suit of Marcello Lippi and Fabio Cannavaro.