Capello arrives in London | sports | Hindustan Times
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Capello arrives in London

sports Updated: Dec 17, 2007 17:31 IST
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Fabio Capello was being introduced as England's new soccer coach Monday, bringing a no-nonsense, disciplinarian's approach to a national team that has repeatedly failed to live up to expectations.

The former AC Milan, AS Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid coach signed a 4 1/2-year contract on Friday worth a reported 6 million pounds (US$12.06 million; euro8.4 million) a year, making him the highest paid national manager in world soccer.

The 61-year-old Italian replaces Steve McClaren, who was fired last month after England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship. His first task is to make sure England qualifies for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Capello is bringing in four Italian assistants to help him turn the team's fortunes around.

"Psychologically, they are a team that needs to find its confidence," Capello told Italian TV before traveling to London. "I watched them play against Russia and they looked a very impersonal side when playing.

"It's a team that needs to find itself and that will be my role. The England national team seems to have lost the determination and grit that they had in the past. We will have to create in a short time the right atmosphere and the right characteristics to get results."

Capello was to hold his first news conference as England manager on Monday, facing a throng of media at a hotel near Hyde Park. Because he speaks little English, he is expected to have an interesting time with the English press, who frequently gave his predecessors, Sven-Goran Eriksson and McClaren, a rough ride.

Eriksson quit two years early after failing to get England further than the quarterfinals of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and Euro 2004.

McClaren was dismissed after a 3-2 loss at home to Croatia meant the team didn't qualify for Euro 2008. "From today, I'll learn more English. The most important thing is to get to know the atmosphere," Capello told Italian TV channel Rai.

Capello arrives with an impressive record at club level. He won 14 titles with the four clubs he managed, including the Champions League with Milan. That 4-0 triumph over heavily favored Barcelona in the 1994 final in Athens was one of the best performances in the history of the competition.

Capello has no experience of English soccer, however, and was in Italy fulfilling TV commitments over the weekend. He missed the two biggest games of the Premier League season so far Arsenal's 1-0 triumph over Chelsea and Manchester United's 1-0 victory at Liverpool.