Fabio Capello has confirmed that he will step down as England manager after the 2012 European Championship or sooner if England fail to qualify for the competition.
Speculation had been mounting the FA would be forced to end his £6million-a-year deal prematurely after a terrible World Cup but England’s flying start to qualifying for Poland-Ukraine 2012 has made Capello comfortable to confirm he will see out his contract and then call it a day.
England’s impressive victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland raised the possibility that Capello could consider another World Cup at the England helm to right some of the wrongs of South Africa. But when asked whether he would be finishing up after Euro 2012, he said:
“Absolutely, yes. We have to qualify first of course but after that I will be too old. I want to enjoy my life as a pensioner.”
Meanwhile, Capello also has hinted that Steven Gerrard could take on the captain’s armband permanently from Rio Ferdinand. When asked whether Gerrard had done enough to get the job full time, Capello clearly didn’t want to upset Ferdinand but he refused to rule anything out. He said:
“Is there another question? For me, the performance of the player is important, not the armband. It is not a priority for me. It is more about the players, the performance, the next game. Another question, please.”
It would be interesting to see how that battle turns out, but right the focus for England is on their Euro 2012 qualification. England’s next game will be on the 12th of October against Montenegro in a group which also features British rivals Wales.