The renowned football manager, Fabio Capello, is known for his successful coaching career in Serie A and La Liga. However, he is also remembered for his role as the opposition coach during a significant moment in Lionel Messi’s career.

During his time as the Juventus boss, Capello managed the opposing team in the 2005 Joan Gamper Trophy, which took place before the start of the 2005/06 season. In a standout performance for Barcelona, Messi was substituted off and received the first of many standing ovations from the Camp Nou crowd.

Capello later expressed his admiration for Messi, mentioning that he discovered the young talent during the Gamper game and even approached Barcelona’s manager at the time, Frank Rijkaard, with a request to loan Messi to his team for the season. According to *Forbes*, the 77-year-old coach referred to Messi as a genius, highlighting his exceptional talent and potential.

Capello also compared Messi to other football legends, emphasizing his status as a genius alongside icons such as Pele and Diego Maradona. He also made a noteworthy mention of Cristiano Ronaldo’s remarkable abilities, placing him in close proximity to the status of these football geniuses.

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