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Mixed Reception on Fabio's First Day

  • Guardian, Monday, January 7, 2008 2 PM
Fabio Capello's first day on the job as England coach was met with derision by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who told BBC: "I would say it is a little surprising that the motherland of football has ignored a sacrosanct law or belief that the national team manager should be from the same country as the players. I have never seen Italy, Germany, Brazil or Argentina with a coach from another country. In fact, most of the best teams have a coach from their own country."

Capello, meanwhile, had a lot to do. The Guardian mapped out his first day, which included meetings with Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA director of football development, and England U-21 coach Stuart Pearce. "It is a huge honor for me to today begin my work as England manager," Capello told reporters. "I have wanted this job for a long time. I have had the privilege of managing some of the most successful clubs in the world, but the England job is as big as any." Apparently, Capello has spent the last three weeks looking at video of recent English Premier League matches.

Across town at Arsenal's Carrington training center, L.A. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham gave the new England boss a warm welcome. "He [Capello] has an aura that players will enjoy," Beckham said. " I enjoyed playing under him, even in the bad times." It's almost a year to the day since Capello told Beckham he would never play for Real Madrid again, after the former England captain signed with the Galaxy.

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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