Former England manager Fabio
Capello vowed to turn Russia into one of the world's top teams
after signing a two-year contract as national coach on Thursday.
Italian Capello replaced Dutchman Dick Advocaat, whose
tenure ended following Russia's disappointing Euro 2012
campaign, where they failed to advance past the group stage.
The 66-year-old Italian, looking dapper in a grey suit with
a dark blue tie, did not waste any time in promising to deliver
the goods after being presented to the media in Moscow.
"I'm very proud to be the coach of the Russian national
team. Russia have great potential. I will live and work in
Moscow," he said.
"I will maintain close ties with the Russian Football
Union, update them on all my plans on a weekly basis. I have
many ideas how to make Russia a much better team," he added.
"I hope to teach Russian players a winning mentality. We
have to work towards the 2014 World Cup, it's a new challenge
Acting RFU chief Nikita Simonyan looked a happy man.
"There's not much one can say about Fabio Capello," the
85-year-old Simonyan said after introducing Capello.
"Everyone knows his motto, which is to win, win and win."
Capello, who had success coaching top clubs such as Real
Madrid, AC Milan, AS Roma and Juventus, also promised to blood
new players into an ageing team, something his predecessor
failed to do in his two years at the helm.
"I plan to follow not only the [Russian] Premier League
looking for players but the second and third division as well.
I'm sure there are many talented players in such a big country
as Russia," said the Italian, whose first game in the new job
will be a friendly against Ivory Coast on August 15.
Asked about Andrei Arshavin, Russia's most talented and
influential player, Capello said: "I must first talk to Arshavin
before making any decision about his future with the national
team. The same can be said about other elder players."
Capello, who quit as England manager in February after
clashing with bosses over John Terry being stripped of the
captaincy, said he was first contacted about the job by Sports
Minister Vitaly Mutko.
"While I was in Rome I got a call from [Mutko]," said
Capello, who stands to make up to 10 million euros a year,
according to reports in Russian media.
The Italian was only a second choice for former RFU chief
Mutko, who said last week he would "personally prefer" Real
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
Not everyone in Russia has been satisfied with Capello's
"Who'll pay for all of this?" former Soviet international
Yevgeny Lovchev, now a leading football columnist for daily Soviet
Sport, asked when told that Capello plans to bring five Italian
assistants to help him get a better feel of Russian football.
"Honestly speaking, this whole affair has left more
questions than answers. Why are we kept in the dark?"
It will probably be left to a new RFU boss, to be elected in
September, to find sponsors to pay for Capello's contract.
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