Capello out for redemption

2014-05-18 12:00
Fabio Capello (AFP)

Moscow - Fabio Capello has vowed to learn from his bitter World Cup experience with England when he returns to the tournament as Russia coach in June.

Capello's first taste of management at a major international tournament ended in humiliation as England crashed out with a 4-1 defeat against old rivals Germany in the last 16.

The humbling nature of England's exit was a major stain on Capello's otherwise pristine CV, with a series of uninspired performances in the group stages followed by the one-sided loss to the Germans in South Africa.

To make matters worse for Capello, he had to endure reports that England's players were unhappy with a training camp they regarded as dull, as well as complaints about his stern man-management style.

Capello survived the storm of criticism following that failure and guided England to qualification for Euro 2012.

But the Italian resigned before the tournament after disagreeing with the Football Association over the decision to take the captaincy from John Terry, who was facing racism allegations.

Now Capello has an opportunity to right the wrongs of his painful experiences with England as he prepares to take Russia to the World Cup in Brazil.

When Capello accepted the Russia job two years ago, he found a squad with its morale in tatters following the team's embarrassing group-stage exit at Euro 2012, which ended in the resignation of boss Dick Advocaat.

The Russians also failed to reach the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but Capello has got them back on track and they have a good chance of advancing to the latter stages of the competition after being drawn in a winnable group including Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.

Capello is keen to play down talk that he underachieved with England, but there is no doubting his desire to make an impact on the global stage in South America.

"When you win everything is perfect. When you lose, everything is wrong. This is the history of football. But we didn't play really, really well," Capello told CNN's World Sport.

Capello is confident this time he has made the right choice for Russia's Brazilian training camp in the town of Itu, close to Sao Paulo.

"We are really lucky because it's one of the best camps in terms of location, distance from the airport, everything. We are really happy," he said.

After years of failure, the Russians are back at World Cup for the first time in 12 years and Capello's reward was a lucrative new contract lasting until the end of the next edition of the tournament, which will be staged in Russia in 2018.

"We are back in the World Cup after 12 years, the experience is really important for the players," he said.

However, Capello admitted that the language barrier between him and the majority of the players was a big hurdle to overcome.

"It's difficult to work with players who are ignorant of foreign languages," he said.

"Sometimes you need to cheer up the team, to get the players worked up. And I'm not completely confident that the interpreter is capable of reproducing my thoughts and emotions unchanged."

The prospect of leading Russia's World Cup challenge on home turf appeals to Capello, yet the 67-year-old has been linked with several top jobs in club management, including Tottenham, this season and may find it difficult to resist the lure of an approach from the Premier League or Serie A.

For now he is just focused on Brazil, where he expects the hosts to make a major challenge for the trophy.

"Brazil is my favourite team because I saw the games they played in the Confederations Cup," he said.

"They improved a lot game after game and they are really strong. The quality is not the top like normal Brazilian players, but they are compact and they are really physically strong.

"After this it's Spain, the World Cup champions. And Germany. Always. I don't know why but they always finish in the first four."

Read more on:    2014 swc  |  fabio capello  |  soccer


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