Capello: Terry still leader without being captain

Capello: Terry still leader without being captain

Published Feb. 28, 2010 9:52 a.m. ET

England coach Fabio Capello hopes John Terry's leadership qualities will help the team win the World Cup despite his decision to drop the defender as captain over his alleged affair with the former partner of Wayne Bridge.

Bridge, the Manchester City left back, has told Capello that his position in the World Cup team alongside Terry is untenable. Bridge refused to shake Terry's hand in the pre-match ritual Saturday when City beat Chelsea 4-2.

While Capello hopes to persuade Bridge to reverse his international retirement - especially with first-choice left back Ashley Cole injured.

"I asked for the captain to set an example for the young people - for the children and the fans," Capello said, spelling out his reasons for firing Terry for the first time. "What he did was not good. I told him this and he understood, but I took the decision only because of what happened with Wayne Bridge, nothing else. I didn't ever consider taking John Terry out of the squad, and I don't believe the other players will have lost respect for him.

"To me, being a leader is more important than being the captain. John Terry is a leader. I have asked him to be the same. He will be the same. He will still be a leader without wearing the armband."

And that will never happen again under Capello.

"Until the World Cup, John Terry will not be the captain again," said Capello, who is signed until the 2012 European Championship. "After the World Cup? If I remain as England manager? I think not."

Capello has told the 29-year-old Bridge not to let the turmoil in his private life prevent him from appearing at a second World Cup.

"Bridge has a different vision of life that he thinks it's better for him to stay out of the team - this is the opinion of the player, I think he can stay in the squad without problems," Capello said.