Thursday, December 17, 2009

Capello Hopes for England-Italy World Cup Final

England manager's dream opponent would be the Azzurri

England manager Fabio Capello hopes to lead the Three Lions to the final of next year's World Cup in South Africa, and there's one team in particular he would love to face: Italy.

The Italian, who took over as manager of the English national team in 2007, admitted he would love nothing more if his home country would be England's opponent in the final in Johannesburg on July 11.

"I would love a final between England and Italy. For Italy, for me and for all of us. The strangest moment will be during the national anthems. But, I am wearing a different shirt now and I must work for the England shirt," Capello told French television station Canal Plus.

Capello, whose England side has been drawn into a first-round group with the United States, Algeria and Slovenia, believes his team can go all the way and reach the final for the first time since 1966, when it won the World Cup on home soil.

"My team is strong. The fans are proud of what we've done, as are we. There's a World Cup to play for and our goal is to reach the final," Capello stated.

"We will be competitive and I repeat: We can play with our head held high against the best teams in the world."

By John F. Molinaro, CBC Sports