Fabio Capello has lifted the lid on the furore surrounding John Terry which led to his resignation as England manager in 2012.
The Italian took over from Steve McClaren after the Three Lions missed out on qualifying for Euro 2008.
At a time when England’s “golden age” under David Beckham was in transition, Capello was touted by the FA as an indispensable disciplinarian, even if he did not have a good command of the English language.
The Italian quickly got into the thick of things, guiding England to qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
And the 77-year-old fondly remembers his time as England manager despite a poor performance in 2010 and his impromptu exit from the role.
Capello resigned on the spot when the FA intervened and removed Terry as captain after he was accused of racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand during a match between Chelsea and QPR.
But it was too little, too late as Terry was found not guilty in July 2012, five months after Capello cleared out his office.
“Working at Wembley and being England manager was wonderful, and it was disappointing to leave the national team because of differences of opinion over John Terry,” the Italian told the Daily Mail.
“We had qualified for Euro 2012 but I could not accept that the position of captain was decided by the board of directors, given that it was in my contract that I would appoint the captain, as coach . I could not accept that my level of leadership was reduced. I was happy with everything I was doing and what I was allowed to do working for the FA. It was a fantastic moment.”
Capello won 28 of his 42 games in charge of the Three Lions, but crucially the defeats were ill-timed and he struggled to leave a lasting impression on English football.
England face Italy on Tuesday at Wembley – live on talkSPORT – and the legendary manager is expecting a tough night for his home country.
“England were my favorites to win the World Cup last year, given the level of their players, but I was disappointed with their performances,” he added.
“Gareth Southgate has some great talent at the moment. As an Italian, I hope that the new coach Luciano Spalletti will be able to put them in the right frame of mind. I respect him a lot. It should be an honor to wear the Italy jersey.
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