Capello: Fitness key for England

BY foxsports • March 20, 2010

Fabio Capello believes England can win the World Cup as long as he has a fully-fit squad to choose from in South Africa this summer.

England were impressive in qualification, easing through under manager Capello's guidance in stark contrast to their dismal failure to reach the finals of Euro 2008 under previous incumbent Steve McClaren.

However, recent times have been turbulent for the national team, with Capello stripping John Terry of the captaincy following allegations of an affair with the ex-girlfriend of former Chelsea and England team-mate Wayne Bridge, who subsequently made himself unavailable for selection for England.

First-choice left-back Ashley Cole has also been the subject of allegations surrounding his private life and is currently recovering from surgery for a broken ankle.

David Beckham will miss the World Cup because of an Achilles injury, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon are currently sidelined, and there are ongoing concerns about the fitness of David James and captain Rio Ferdinand.

It is an anxious time for Italian Capello who knows he has to have his players at their peak - physically and mentally - if they are to have a chance of triumphing in South Africa.

Capello told CNN: "I have big confidence in my team. If all the players will be fit and all arrive physically in good condition and in a good moment we can win the World Cup. We are one of the best teams in the world.

"Sometimes you have to be lucky to beat some teams because there are refereeing mistakes, bad luck, post in, post out, this is football."

Capello will have one of the world's best players at his disposal in Wayne Rooney who has been in imperious form for Manchester United with 32 goals so far this season.

The former Real Madrid manager admits he needs the striker to maintain his form this summer, adding: "I hope he [Rooney] will be the same in June, not tired, because he is in a fantastic moment.

"Sir Alex (Ferguson) decided to buy him from Everton when he was really young and he has improved every year.

"I told him, 'Rooney, if you want to score goals you have to go in front of the goal', because he works a lot, he runs a lot, he helps everyone in every moment, he is really generous."

However, the 63-year-old is adamant England are not a one-man team.

"He's one of the most important but I think you cannot win with only one important player," Capello said.

"If you want to win you have to create a group, a squad, a good system and everyone has to know what he has to do during the game in every moment."

Capello identified Brazil, Spain and Germany as the teams to beat, saying: "Brazil is a really strong team.

"They are good technically, organisation on the pitch is really good.

"Spain play a different style, probably at the moment the best style in the world.

"Another one is Germany: always the people think it's not a good team but always they are in the last four."


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