England manager Fabio Capello was awe-struck as he unveiled a bust at Wembley of Sir Alf Ramsey, the man whose World Cup winning achievement he hopes to emulate in South Africa next year.
Ramsey became the first and so far only England manager to lead the side to World Cup glory when in 1966 he guided the hosts to a triumph that culminated with a 4-2 extra-time Wembley final win over West Germany.
Several members of the late Ipswich manager’s victorious England side, including final hat-trick star Sir Geoff Hurst, as well as Sir Bobby Charlton, Martin Peters and George Cohen, were at Wembley on Friday for the unveiling of a bust that will be displayed in the tunnel area of the stadium.
“It is not easy for me to talk in front of world champions, it’s very emotional,” said Capello.
“I saw the England final on TV and remember everything, and now I am England manager.
“I remember my history in football and the first time I met Sir Bobby Charlton, it’s magical for me and incredible to be here among these players.”
Capello also unveiled a replica of the Jules Rimet trophy, the prize awarded to World Cup final winning teams before Brazil were allowed to keep it permanently after being crowned world champions for a third time in 1970.
“I think all the fans hope that the new (World) Cup will be here (at Wembley),” Capello added.
Next week sees England continue their build-up to the World Cup with a friendly against Brazil in Doha.
Several players are set to miss the match because of injury, including Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.
However, United striker Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit and Old Trafford great Charlton said he would be delighted if the ex-Everton forward, who has so far netted 25 times in 56 internationals, broke his England record of 49 goals.
“Nothing would give me greater pleasure,” Charlton said. “I would be happy if that happened.
“I think he is a terrific player, inspirational, and people like him. As long as he doesn’t get suspended for arguing with referees or doing something daft on the pitch – he is learning rapidly and doing less and less of that.”
Charlton added Capello’s emphasis on discipline was reminiscent of Ramsey’s approach to the England job.
“He reminds me of Alf Ramsey, no question. His history has always been as a tough character but he gets teams to listen and perform to their best.
“Not just in finals but in friendly matches, they are expected to play just as hard.
“That was the same with Alf Ramsey. You knew what was expected of you and you did it.”
Looking ahead to next year, Charlton said: “I think England have a great chance of winning. I’m not getting carried away because it’s a tough game and you are playing against the best in the world.
“It would be sensational if we could win but I don’t want to put any more pressure on them.”
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