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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 17:19 GMT
The players' view of Capello

Fabio Capello has been appointed England manager, replacing Steve McClaren who was sacked following his side's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

BBC Sport spoke to three men who have played under Capello and know the Italian better than most:

Marcel Desailly (right) and Clarence Seedorf (right)
Desailly (left) and Seedorf say Capello is the right man for England

  • Marcel Desailly, a World Cup and European Championship winner with France, played under Capello during both of the 61-year-old's spells in charge of AC Milan, the first of which saw them clinch the European Cup together in 1994.

  • The former Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban, who won four Serie A titles with Milan, was also part of Capello's European Cup winning team of '94.

  • Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, the only player to have won Champions League titles with three different clubs, worked under Capello at Real Madrid in the late 1990s.


    Marcel Desailly: The guy's a winner - you look at his background and see he's won titles at every club he's been manager of. The players will have to put their egos to one side a little bit because Capello is a very demanding coach. He doesn't give you the chance to fool around and you have to show in every training session that you are the man who is going to be his first choice.

    Zvonimir Boban: Capello is a very good trainer and coach who has a great feeling for tactics. He prepares for matches in the perfect way, paying great attention to the finer details. He's a really big coach and a very special person.

    Clarence Seedorf: He is a tough guy, very straight, very dedicated. It has been quite a while since I was working with him in Madrid. He has much more experience now than he did 10 years ago. Then he was already one of the best coaches I have ever had.


    MD: I think this is just what England need - a guy who doesn't care about pressure and is focused on his job. You have top players but they need to be put under pressure they are to climb to a higher level. That is when England will succeed.

    Capello really is the man, he's a winner. He's a killer winner.

    ZB: England players are big players and Steve McClaren worked very badly with them. It really was amazing that he almost always took the wrong decision. Maybe Capello will make a few mistakes but it is very difficult to see him making big tactical mistakes. I'm sure he will do a great job for England.

    CS: I was talking with him, I think, two weeks ago about this possibility. He sees it as a very interesting challenge. I think it would be a very good thing for England to do.


    MD: Yes, if the players manage to understand what the guy is asking of them.

    Initially at Real Madrid the players did not understand what he was asking of them and there was a bit of conflict.

    But in the end, they managed to win the league because the players said "Oh yes, this guy is good, he's trying his best and he's putting us under pressure for our own good."

    606: DEBATE

    That's why I'm asking the England players to really put their egos down and follow this guy.

    Capello will be very confident when it comes to dealing with the tabloid newspapers - he doesn't mind, his life is all about football. You won't find anything on him. He will go on his own line and if you follow him you will be a winner. Otherwise, it will be a big mess.

    ZB: Absolutely.

    CS: It is going to be a challenge for him. One of his major qualities is to get the best out of his players, to make sure everyone is committed to the team's goals.

    He is very, very specific in what he wants and very clear what he wants from every player. Sometimes he really pushes you to the limits and that, of course, has proven effective.


    MD: Looking at the Croatia game, you could see the technical mistakes England were making. Capello will show you your mistakes on TV the next day, he will shout at you and he will be very hard on you.

    The players that Steve McLaren selected recently were the correct ones - it was just about their attitude and the management of them.

    Zvonimir Boban
    Boban says Capello sometimes created tension on purpose

    England had 12 games to qualify for Euro 2008 and they failed but Capello will choose more or less the same players.

    The likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are top players. We know they have talent offensively but Capello will tell them: 'first of all don't forget we have to defend our position and after I will give you the freedom to express yourself.'

    He will really put the players under pressure and show them that nobody is indispensable. If you do your job, you are the man. If you don't do your job somebody else will be take your position.

    ZB: Sometimes he wants to create conflict inside the dressing room because that way he can get more from his players.

    When you fight with Capello it is very difficult to understand if he is angry or just that he wants you to react. The next day he comes to you and you are friends again. He provokes your reaction because he always wants to create a big tension in the group. That's fantastic in a club team but I think he will have to change his mode and behaviour as national coach. When you are a national coach it is different because you have the players for one week and after that they will not come for a long time.

    He'll be able to adapt, though, because he has huge experience and I am sure that with time he will find a way to take England his way.

    He is perfect tactically and his players will be convinced and share his footballing ideas. He will make England function.

    CS: He has always asked for 100% in training and on the field but he is not a very demanding person off the field. He can also drink a beer with the players in the bar or the hotel.

    When the focus is on the training, then he really expects 100 per cent and not less. That has basically been his approach when I have been playing under him.

    He would rather have less quality but committed players rather than quality players who are not committed. But he is also very experienced with great players and is able to get the best out of them.


    MD: He loves travelling around the world so for sure he speaks English - technical English. We don't need him to make conversation with the players, we need him to be precise on what he is asking of the players.

    I still believe that if they chose him they will have put into the management group an English guy who will act as a link between the English players and Capello.

    CS: He speaks English but I do not know how fluent he is. He is a very intelligent man so I do not think he is going to have problems learning it fast.

    Even in Spain in the first month, his Spanish was not that good but he made it very clear what he wanted. His body language is well known, so he will know exactly how to deal with it.


    ZB: Capello had Beckham in Real and at the start their relationship was very difficult. But after that he recognised that Beckham is a big player and they then lived a beautiful story with Real.

    So I think Beckham will be his first man at the beginning, simply because he knows him. For me it would be a big surprise if it didn't work out like that.

    Desailly was speaking on BBC News 24 and to 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire, Boban to 5 Live's Mark Saggers and Seedorf to 5 Live's Nicky Campbell.

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