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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 12, 2008

GB Olympic team a ''dream'' for Capello

Fabio Capello has spelled out his ''dream'' to coach a Great Britain football team at the London 2012 Olympics.

The England head coach's contract expires in 2012 and he wants to go out on a high at the London Games.

He could face stiff competition, however - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe has held informal talks with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson about filling that position.

The Italian also revealed he has told the England stars to stay off ''ketchup and chips'' and follow a Mediterranean diet.

Capello told the latest issue of FIFA Magazine: ''I will be 66 by then (2012) and I will have reached retirement age. Then I want to travel and visit all of the ancient cultures that fascinate me so much.

''But I would also like to make another of my dreams come true by taking part in the Olympic Games, something that I was denied as a player, and something that still fills me with regret. I think it's only fair that Great Britain should have a football team in the Olympics, but it is up to others to decide how, and with which players.''

Capello added he had fallen in love with London - he has a flat in Belgravia.

''There is also so much culture for me to explore in London,'' he said. ''There are also many excellent restaurants with cuisine from all around the world.''

Capello, 62, summed up his first year in charge of England as ''very positive'', but said there was still room for improvement in how the team bonded - and in their diet.

''I have, for example, impressed upon them the advantages of a Mediterranean diet over ketchup and chips,'' said Capello, in a revealing Q&A interview conducted by Sergio di Cesare, a former Italian football writer who now works for the Italian FA.

''I have also put some rules of conduct in place for when the national team meets up, from eating breakfast together to the use of mobile phones, which must be switched off from time to time. The players have been very co-operative, and that is a clear indication of the high level of professionalism at their clubs.

''Arsenal's academy, for example, is the perfect example of how young players should be brought along at all European clubs.''

Capello admitted he was baffled at how England could have sunk so low before he took over.

''I am eager and determined to help England rediscover the spirit that they once had as the teachers of football,'' he said. ''I simply cannot understand how England can drop as low, as we speak, as 15th in the FIFA world ranking (they are now joint 10th).

''We have to rediscover the fighting spirit that English football has always been famous for,'' he said. ''More importantly, though, we have to get over this absurd fear of playing at Wembley, where criticism from the crowd has often paralysed the team in recent years.

''I can remember the 'lion's roar' of Wembley, but recently that roar has turned into boos and moans because of the team's disappointing performances and results. Our aim now is to continue on our run of victories as it will not only restore the players' belief in their own abilities, but also the fans' faith in the team. We will play more attractive football when we have more confidence.''

Capello insisted Michael Owen and David Beckham, the two longest-serving England players, could still have vital roles to play, and that Theo Walcott, who has been his biggest success, will get even better.

The Italian said: ''(Predecessor Sven-Goran) Eriksson had told me only good things about Walcott. He had taken him to the World Cup in 2006, don't forget, even though he didn't play, so I called him up to the squad and I was immediately impressed with his dribbling skills, his pace and his range of passes.

''At Arsenal, he has a manager, Arsene Wenger, who can help him get even better. I have also seen a lot of good players in the England Under-21 side, and that fills me with great hope for the future.''

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