'I exist to win'
Saturday, 12 June, 2010
England Manager reveals ambition to reach World Cup Final.
Fabio Capello will go in search of a dream tonight as England take on the United States in what they hope will be the first of seven games at the 2010 World Cup.
England Manager Capello may look serious on the outside but he insists he is as excited as any Three Lions fan on the inside and secretly picturing what it would be like to lift the World Cup on 11 July.
“It’s a dream, no? But it was a dream to be England Manager,” he said. “I hope the next dream comes off, too. Why not? I’m focused always to win. Always, to look ahead. In my career as a manager, I’ve built teams, worked with teams, worked with players, and always I’ve been focused to win. That’s all that matters to me: to win and get to the Final. In my mind, we play to win. That’s all. I exist to win.”
That’s exactly what England supporters want to hear going into the first game of a major tournament and Capello is relishing the opportunity to take on the best teams on the planet and soaking up the special atmosphere of Africa’s first ever World Cup.
He said: “It’s, for me, fantastic. It’s exciting. It’s a tough job. I understand perfectly that it’s a tough job – not only for me but for all managers, because you can feel that, behind you, you have a whole country.
“When you arrive here it’s completely different. You have to live one month with policemen, press conferences every day, TV, everything at every moment. You switch on the television and it’s all about the World Cup. Really strong pressure from the media and everything.
“It’s really important to understand that you [the media] exist, but we have to stay out. We have to live with this pressure. It’s not easy. But I try. We try.”
With millions of fans in England and across the world cheering Capello’s team and hoping to see a long 44-year wait for a trophy come to an end it’s not difficult to imagine how much pressure the Italian must be under. British Prime Minister David Cameron even described him as the most important man in the country - but that’s a description Capello shies away from.
“No, no,” he said. “I’m a normal man. But my job is important. At this moment, yes, because the World Cup is important for the country, the fans, but also for me. I hope against the USA we win and we play a very good game.
“How can I make a difference? I think the confidence of the players. Also, to be focused at every moment. The players will be really focused, that’s really important here.
“I hope that I can help the players to be perfect in every moment. Also, the performance like a team will be really good.”
England’s preparations have certainly gone well so far, especially as all 23 of the squad trained in Rustenburg last night and are available for selection - including James Milner who had been ill earlier in the week and Gareth Barry who has battled back from an ankle injury.
All that stands between them and a positive start to the tournament now is a strong USA side that will battle right to the final whistle.
Capello said: “The US are really dangerous at set-pieces and corners. When you play the counter-attack it’s really fast. I respect all the teams. We have to play like a compact team.
“But my team, I think, is OK. We arrived at a good moment, we trained really well, we spoke with the players. We had some problems to breathe with the games we played, but we trained and played well last night. No problems. We were fresher.”
That’s certainly a good sign because although Capello will be hugely influential from the sidelines he knows that after two years of preparation he must now rely on his players to finish the job. The dream is in their hands.