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Feb 11, 2009

Casillas hails Capello effect

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes England now have exactly the right man as manager in his former mentor Fabio Capello.

The Spanish international won a Primera Liga title under Capello at the Bernabeu and has hailed the Italian's transformation of the Three Lions ahead of Wednesday's international friendly against England in Seville.

"Capello brings discipline and character," Casillas said. "He imposed real character on all of us when he came to Real Madrid and won the league after we had three or four years with nothing.

"He doesn't have any favourites in the dressing room, he always demands the most of everybody and creates real competitiveness within the team.

And Casillas, who will captain Spain at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, feels Capello's no-nonsense approach will bring the best out of England.

"I think the FA have made a very good decision. I am sure there is a new atmosphere, a new discipline about England now.

"He has a lot of intensity and is on top of everybody all the time. After negative results in the past for England he is a good appointment."

Capello is not afraid of making big decisions, even when they leave him open to ridicule.

Recalling David Beckham from the wilderness at Madrid was one such case in point, although in the end Capello's judgement was proved correct as the Spanish giants went on to win the championship.

And Capello is still relying on Beckham now. The former England skipper is expected to equal Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps at some point this evening, which is testimony to Beckham's refusal to throw in the international towel when former England boss Steve McClaren seemed to have done so on his behalf two years ago.

Now Beckham seems assured of a place at next year's World Cup, particularly if he manages to secure a permanent move to AC Milan as Casillas thinks he should.

"David Beckham is a reference for the England team and a key figure," said Casillas.

"Everyone knows how he plays. His decision to come back to Europe is dead right if he wants to continue to play for England."

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