- Title: ITALY/FILE: Capello favourite to take over as England football team manager
- Date: 25th November 2007
- Summary: TURIN, ITALY (FILE - MAY, 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS ROMA PLAYERS TRAINING FABIO CAPELLO AT NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 10th December 2007 12:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA8XQBBANX56RQJX9XVEE5S8UOW
- Story Text: Capello, the 61-year-old former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus coach, is the favourite for the most pressured and thankless job in English football by the bookmakers.
Fabio Capello became the bookmakers' frontrunner to take over as England manager on Friday (November 23) after Aston Villa coach Martin O'Neill ruled himself out of the running.
With a rapidly expanding list of managers distancing themselves from the position left vacant by Steve McClaren's dismissal on Thursday (November 22), Capello sounded a rare note of eagerness.
"I am ready to discuss becoming the England national coach,"
Ladbrokes' 2-1 favourite told Italian media.
"It would be a very interesting challenge and to me difficult challenges have always been fascinating," added the 61-year-old former Real Madrid, AC Milan, A. S. Roma and Juventus coach.
The Italian was sacked by Real in June 2007 for his defensive style despite winning the Spanish title. He won seven Serie A titles, four with AC Milan, two with Juventus and one with A. S. Roma.
Capello won the Champions League with Milan in 1994.
Portugal's former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the second favourite, at 4-1 with Paddy Power, despite British newspaper reports suggesting the 'special one' was more likely to move to a top European club.
Italy's former World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi, a 33-1 long shot with William Hill, refused to rule out the possibility of a move to England but doubted he would get a call.
Former German captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer sang the praises of Juergen Klinsmann, who led Germany to third place at last year's World Cup and played in England for Tottenham Hotspur.
O'Neill, 55, an early favourite for the job after being interviewed last time around, told a news conference before Saturday's Premier League game at Middlesbrough that he was committed to the Midlands club.
McClaren, who took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson after last year's World Cup finals, was dismissed after England lost 3-2 to Croatia and failed to qualify for the 2008 European championship.
Since his departure, a string of home-grown managers have distanced themselves from the most pressured and thankless job in English football.
Newcastle United's Sam Allardyce, another of the contenders last time around, said he intended to honour his contract to the club.
He was followed by West Ham's Alan Curbishley in saying 'no' while Welshman Mark Hughes signed a new contract to June 2010 with Blackburn Rovers.
Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp, at 6-1 with Sky Bet, was the highest rated Briton and Chelsea manager Avram Grant gave him his support.
Former England striker Alan Shearer was at 16-1.
With England's next competitive match not until next September, when they begin their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, FA officials have no need to make a rushed appointment.
In case they needed reminding, Eriksson said he was not interested in the job either.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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