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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Andorran coach Rodrigo: I'm better than Capello

Andorran coach David Rodrigo has mocked Fabio Capello after his England side stuttered to an unconvincing win over the nation who are 186th in the FIFA rankings in the Olympic Stadium.

Rodrigo insisted he would have achieved more than a 2-0 win had the roles of the two coaches been reversed and Capello had been in charge of the Andorran part-timers.

And he believes Croatia - whom England face in Zagreb on Wednesday - are favourites to top the qualifying group and reach the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Capello appeared bemused by Andorra's ultra defensive approach even after their determined rearguard had been breached by two goals from substitute Joe Cole early in the second half.

But Rodrigo claimed: ''Mr Capello says he does not quite understand why a small team like Andorra, when losing 2-0, is still in the defensive position.

''I can tell Mr Capello, he can try coaching Andorra and I will try coaching England - and I am sure that we will beat Andorra by more than 2-0!

''I see the English media make jokes about the players of Andorra because they are not professionals and some of them are working outside of playing football.

''But those 11 guys make the English supporters go against their own team and get negative - just like they did two years ago. What does that say?

''Then it means whenever Andorran can manage to play 11 professional players, England will lose the game.''

Rodrigo added: ''We understand we cannot beat England but, even though we lost on the scoreboard 2-0, we are proud. We played in a very organised, defensive way and again stopped them scoring in the first 45 minutes.

''It is not easy to play against England. From our point of view, it is no consolation but we have to say we achieved a moral victory from the game.''

It was Croatia who shattered England's dreams of reaching the Euro 2008 finals and Rodrigo is adamant Slaven Bilic's side will again be in pole position to go through.

He said: ''Who is going to top the group? I think Croatia play excellent football - in attack, good defensive football, they are fast and are strong.

''They know how to play with or without the ball, with or without the space, I think Croatia are the favourites to qualify - and Belarus could be the dark horses.

''Belarus are playing good football and the Ukraine are always difficult. I think it will be between Croatia, England and Belarus in terms of who will go through.''

The one consolation for Rodrigo is that his players can this time add the shirts of the multi-millionaire English superstars to their collection.

He said: ''This time they changed their shirts with us. They decided not to do that in the previous game 18 months ago.''

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