Capello meets English press for first time

December 17, 2007

Fabio Capello revealed it was 'a dream come true' to take over as England manager today as he was officially unveiled as the new national team boss.

Capello signed a four-and-a-half-year contract last week worth £6.5million a year.

And Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick spoke of his delight at securing a 'world class' replacement for Steve McClaren, who was sacked having failed to secure Euro 2008 qualification last month.

Capello spoke initially to the media conference in English, before taking questions in Italian.

'I am very proud and honoured to be the England manager. I have wanted this job for a long time,' he said in English.

'It's an honour to be the coach, and it's a dream come true. It's a job that everybody wants and everybody knows there are great expectations with the job and I will work to achieve these with the FA.

'I unofficially started work yesterday by watching Super Sunday (the televised games between Liverpool and Manchester United and Arsenal against Chelsea) but the official job will start on January 7.

'The main objective will be to meet the players and coaches of the English leagues. I am convinced this is a great team and can go right to the top.'

Barwick said: 'I think we have an outstanding man with an outstanding record and I look forward to working with him from January 7.

'We knew the next appointment had to be somebody of world-class status, a man with a strong personality, vast experience, a coach used to handling big players, big matches and big in-match situations, a man who is tactically astute, adaptable, of proven pedigree, mature and who can handle a big job with the pressures that go with it.

'A winner with a capital `W'.

'That was the template, this is the man. Fabio Capello.'

Capello insisted his multi-million pound contract meant less to him than being successful.

'Money is really a secondary issue. It's important but obviously secondary,' he said.

'The main issue we have to deal with is the results.'

The Italian, who currently speaks only basic English, is confident of being able to improve his knowledge of the language before his first game in charge against Switzerland on February 6.

The 61-year-old added: 'I'm convinced that, in one month, when the national squad will meet for the first time under me, I will be able to speak the language,' he said.

'I believe that it's very important to be able to communicate with the players and, for sure, I will undertake a really strict routine for myself.

'I will apply myself every day and I want to learn the language in time to meet the players next month.'

Capello will ask his players why they feel England have underachieved in recent years.

'I'm going to try to understand what's happened by talking to the players and I believe that wearing the England shirt should be a matter of pride and I want to see all players play for England like they do for their clubs.'

Capello refused to commit himself to confirming who would captain the team under him, saying: 'I have just arrived.

'There are many things I have to think about, I have got over a month and I will make my decision.'

Capello was asked whether he was prepared to make tough decisions and drop under-performing stars, he said: 'A spot in the England squad needs to be deserved through behaviour and attitude.'