Former England manager Fabio Capello insists his players understood him when he was national team boss.
Roy Hodgson’s men finished top of Group D at Euro 2012 after winning two and drawing one of their opening three games of the tournament, as they set up a date with the former manager’s native Italy in the quarter-final.
Reports have suggested the 66-year-old, a friend of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, could offer important information on England’s strengths and weaknesses to their knockout round opponents.
Capello defended his reign in charge of England, where he was criticised for failing to grasp the language, suggesting players such as Wayne Rooney had trouble understanding English as well.
“Look, when I spoke they did understand me,” Capello told reporters.
“But every now and then, when I tried to explain tactics, things didn’t work out.
“You know what? Maybe it’s because Rooney doesn’t speak English. He doesn’t understand English.”
The Manchester United forward, however, has praised Hodgson for creating a relaxed atmosphere in the camp.
The 26-year-old said: “Roy has given us a lot of rest and down time. We understand what he wants from us, what we have to do and he gives us the chance to relax and put football aside.”
Rooney added that all the players had put domestic rivalries behind them to unite as a squad.
“You’ve got (Manchester) City players playing snooker with United stars, Chelsea playing against Liverpool players,” Rooney wrote on Twitter.
“Everyone is getting on well, there is a good chemistry.”
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