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Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 10:50 UK

Capello targets World Cup final

England coach Fabio Capello
Capello is looking forward to his first tournament as an international coach

England coach Fabio Capello believes his team must reach the World Cup final for their campaign to be a success.

Capello's team defeated Croatia 5-1 on Wednesday to win their eighth straight qualification game and secure their place in next year's finals.

"Playing in the final would be success," said Capello.

"For now, playing in it will do, rather than winning it. But if people are asking me what my aspiration is, then it is to reach the final."

Steve McClaren's team failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and England were eliminated at the quarter-final stage at all three major finals they reached under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

But optimism is high after a successful qualifying campaign - although Capello is keen to stress that the form in shown in reaching South Africa will count for nothing at the actual finals.


"I know the expectations will rise," added Capello. "Other people will help that, as well as our results [in qualifying].

"But that is the past now. It is nothing. For me and the players it is gone.

"Those eight games mean absolutely nothing now. I know all about England's history.

"But the most important thing when you go to the World Cup is the physical condition of the players. The best players have to be fit."

Capello, 63, is a former Italy international and would like to meet his native country in next year's final.

"I hope the final will be England versus Italy," he added.

"I always said I did not want to be Italy manager. My dream was to be here. This is the big challenge of my career."

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see also
England's road to World Cup 2010
09 Sep 09 |  Football
Capello to keep England grounded
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
How Capello has lifted England
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Capello hails 'best' England win
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
England 5-1 Croatia
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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