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Soccer: Capello linked to Inter, Juve after England exit

Italian media sympathetic after coach quits over Terry case

09 February, 11:53
Soccer: Capello linked to Inter, Juve after England exit (ANSA) - Rome, February 9 - Fabio Capello's shock resignation as England manager just four months before Euro 2012 has sparked a whirlwind of media speculation about who will be the Italian coach's next employers, with Juventus and Inter Milan seen as favourites.

Capello resigned on Wednesday over a row about the decision by the English Football Association (FA) to strip the national-team captaincy from John Terry, the Chelsea centre back who is due to stand trial for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Capello told Italian television on Sunday that he had not been consulted over the decision and disagreed with it, as Terry has so far not been found guilty of anything. This prompted a showdown with the FA that culminated in the coach's exit.

According to the media reports, there is a good chance the 65-year-old will return to Juventus, but in an executive role such as general manager rather than as coach.

He is also being strongly linked with Inter Milan, even though he has previously said he would not move to the Nerazzurri.

Inter, who are in the hands of Claudio Ranieri after Gian Piero Gasperini was sacked early in the season, are currently fifth in Serie A, nine points behind leaders Juve, and risk missing out of qualification for next season's Champions League.

Inter Chairman Massimo Moratti has expressed his admiration for Capello many times.

The Italian media was broadly sympathetic with the position of the former AC Milan, AS Roma, Juve and Real Madrid boss Capello.

"If the FA did not consult him in the Terry decision, he did the right thing in leaving," former Juventus and Napoli midfielder Massimo Mauro, who is now a pundit, told Sky television.

Some experts argued the Capello's contract stated that he had the right to nominate the captain and so the FA had breached the deal by stripping Terry of the job.

Corriere della Sera said that "Capello has lost a few million pounds (in salary) and become a golden unemployed man.

But his reputation and dignity remain in tact".

Many commentators claimed the FA has seized the opportunity to offload Capello, who came under intense fire in the British press following England's poor showing at the 2010 World Cup, because it wanted to replace him with an English coach, with Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp the obvious choice.

"Capello was tired of the Byzantine workings of the FA and of the fear of the newspapers," read an editorial in Italy's top sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The FA couldn't wait to get rid of him and go for an Englishman, as the public have been calling for". And while some pointed out that Capello's win ratio at the helm of England was better than that of 1966 World Cup-winning coach Sir Alf Ramsey, at 66.7%, an editorial in La Repubblica said the real reason for the separation was "the national team's ugly, none-too-productive football".

Capello, who was a midfielder for Roma, Juventus, Milan and the Italian national team in his playing days, should not be out of work long given his coaching record.

He won four Serie A titles and a European Cup with Milan between 1991 and 1996.

He also won the scudetto with Roma in 2001 and with Juve in 2005 and 2006, although the Turin club were stripped of those trophies because of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

He lifted the Spanish title twice as well, during two stints at Real Madrid, in 1997 and 2007.

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