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Capello makes World Cup vow

SoccerNews in English Premier League, World Cup 11 Aug 2008

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Fabio Capello has guaranteed England will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Capello is in confident mood ahead of the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins against Andorra on September 6, and the Italian believes England have more than enough quality to reach the finals.

The main obstacle to England’s progress will be Croatia, who stopped Steve McClaren’s team reaching Euro 2008 when they won 3-2 at Wembley last year.

But Capello isn’t concerned about any opponent and made the kind of bullish prediction that could come back to haunt him in two years time.

“We will qualify for the World Cup. We will be in South Africa. I am sure of it,” he said. “We are a very good team. It is always the same. For us, the opponent is not important. The important thing is what we do.”

England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 led to claims that Capello has taken over a squad lagging behind the rest of Europe in technical and tactical ability.

But the Italian watched most of the tournament, which finished with Spain’s final triumph over Germany, and saw nothing that made him think England were inferior.

“I watched some games live and saw the rest on TV,” he said. “Only Spain played in a different style. Only the characteristics of their play was different.

“But I have a lot of confidence in my team and I think we will be okay.”

Capello, who was speaking at the National Football Festival at Wembley which was organised by McDonalds, will name his squad for next Wednesday’s friendly against the Czech Republic after Saturday’s Premier League matches.

The former AC Milan and Real Madrid coach will then reveal his new captain on Tuesday.

Rio Ferdinand has been tipped as Capello’s favoured choice ahead of John Terry, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham and the England coach will give his chosen one the good news when the squad meet up next week.

“I will announce the captain two days before the game,” Capello said. “I will speak with the captain just a moment before I tell the rest of the squad, then everyone else will find out.”

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