No English managers were good enough to be appointed head coach of the national side, FA chief executive Brian Barwick has said.
Italian Fabio Capello, 61, was handed a four-and-a-half year contract by the FA earlier this month, an appointment that has divided opinion among fans, managers and players in England.
Capello, the second overseas coach to manage England following Sven-Goran Eriksson (2001-06), succeeds Steve McClaren who was dismissed after the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
"A month ago, I sat in my hotel bedroom in South Africa and tried to work out what makes an England manager," Barwick told Sunday's News of the World.
"I wrote out a template and put it against our current crop of England managers and not one of them ticked all the boxes.
"So the reality is we can't find a suitable English candidate at present.
"It has to be our ambition to have an English boss, but we have to be realistic. This time around we had to get the right man regardless of nationality. And we believe we have done that."
Capello was the only man the FA interviewed for the job which he will start on Jan. 7. His first match is a friendly against Euro 2008 co-hosts Switzerland at Wembley on Feb. 6.
Barwick said he had no doubts that Capello, who enjoyed a glittering career in club management, would have no trouble working with England's high-profile players.
"People ask me how Fabio Capello will deal with the big stars in the England dressing-room," he said.
"Well, whatever he said privately to us will stay private. But if you look at his experience, he has dealt with some of the toughest and most egotistical players in world football and he's won nine titles."