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Capello admits 2012 Olympic dream

Fabio Capello
England boss Fabio Capello would like to be involved in the Olympics

Italian Fabio Capello has spoken of his "Olympic dream" as he contemplates life after his contract as England boss ends in 2012 - just before the London Games.

He said: "I'll be 66 by then and I'd like to make my dream come true by taking part in an Olympic Games.

"That's something I was denied as a player and it still fills me with regret," he told Fifa Magazine.

But ex-sports minister Richard Caborn says a Great Britain football team should be coached by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Manchester United manager has been informally approached by London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe about the role but previously said he is unwilling to make a long-term commitment to the Games.

"If Sir Alex Ferguson can be persuaded then he should have the job, and I would encourage him to do so," said Caborn.

"Not only is he probably the greatest manager in the world but it would be a great statement for British coaching and British football."

Capello said it is important that Great Britain has a team to take part in 2012.

"It's only fair that Great Britain should have a team at the Olympics, but it is up to others to decide how, and with which players," added Capello.

Great Britain have not sent a football team to the Olympics since 1960, partly because of worries the individual international futures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be threatened.

Olympic organising committee chairman Lord Coe has already spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson about managing a Great Britain side and the Manchester United boss is the preferred choice of sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

England have a 100% record in World Cup qualifying matches under Capello, who took over as the national team coach just under a year ago.

I do not believe that being England coach is quite the 'mission impossible' that it is always made out to be

Fabio Capello
"The bottom line is that his contract ends after the European Championships in 2012," a FA spokesman told BBC Sport.

"If he has any desire to take part in the Olympics that is his personal decision."

Capello also revealed he had been sounded out in 2000 over the England job, before Sven-Goran Eriksson was appointed.

"Howard Wilkinson, who was at the time England's interim coach, asked me whether I would be interested in taking over but in the end the Football Association chose Sven," said Capello.

"It wouldn't have been the right time for me anyway, but now I am eager and determined to help England rediscover the spirit that they once had as the teachers of football.

"I simply cannot understand how England can drop as low (as they did) in the Fifa world rankings."

England's fortunes might have improved since Capello replaced former coach Steve McClaren, but the Italian remains puzzled as to why his side have an "absurd fear" of playing at Wembley.

"Criticism from the crowd has often paralysed the team in recent years," said Capello.

"I can remember the 'lion's roar' of Wembley but recently that roar has turned into boos and moans because of the team's disappointing performances and results.

"Our aim now is to continue on our run of victories as it will not only restore the players' belief in their own abilities, but also the fans' faith in the team.

"We will play more attractive football when we have more confidence.

"I have never set myself targets like that because I am not someone who is happy with half-measures. I always play to win and I want my players to have the same ambition."


Since taking charge in December 2007 Capello has looked at every aspect of the England team's preparations - even their diet.

"I have, for example, impressed upon the players the advantages of a Mediterranean diet over ketchup and chips," he said.

"I have also put some rules of conduct in place for when the national team meets up, from eating breakfast together to the use of mobile phones, which must be switched off from time to time.

"The players have been very co-operative, and that is a clear indication of the high level of professionalism at their clubs."

Being an England manager has often been termed the "impossible job", but Capello maintains it is anything but.

"I am used to being criticised by the media and to doing my own thing, and it helps that I don't read any newspapers whatsoever, regardless of whether my team wins or loses," he said.

"I talk on a daily basis only to my colleagues, and not to the press or the TV, but I know that I have the respect of the English media.

"I do not believe that being England coach is quite the 'mission impossible' that it is always made out to be."

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see also
Fifa says Team GB 'poses no risk'
12 Nov 08 |  Scotland
Ferguson wanted for GB 2012 role
25 Aug 08 |  Football
Brown pays tribute to GB success
24 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Ferguson not keen on London role
25 Jul 08 |  Football
Blatter against British 2012 team
09 Mar 08 |  Football
Government backs GB football team
04 Mar 08 |  Football
Home nations dispute GB 2012 team
30 Oct 07 |  Football
GB football team to enter Games
30 Sep 06 |  Football
Coe hopeful on GB football team
12 Dec 05 |  Internationals
Fifa green light for 2012 GB team
01 Sep 05 |  Football
Premier League backs 2012 GB team
20 Jul 05 |  Olympics 2012
FA wants GB team in 2012 Olympics
06 Jul 05 |  Olympics 2012

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