Capello's piece of history not the record he wanted

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England have never performed as poorly at a World Cup finals as they did in South Africa.

It was already obvious Fabio Capello's men would be rated somewhere between ninth and 16th given they were beaten by Germany in the first knock-out stage. And, in their assessment of England's performances, FIFA are reported to have rated them only 13th.

That is two places worse than their previous lowest mark, in 1958, when, shorn of Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor following the Munich air crash, England finished 11th.

It just emphasises how far short of Fabio Capello's pre-tournament expectations the Three Lions fell.

When England left for South Africa at the beginning of last month, Capello claimed his side could reach the final.

In the end, it was Spain and Holland who contested Sunday night's showpiece in Sun City, England having long since departed for home.

England's demise is still a mystery to many, including it seems, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who could shed no light on the failure either.

Asked why England had performed badly in the tournament, Blatter said: "You will have to ask the Football Association.

"England is considered as being the motherland of football, as Brazil is the heartbeat of football, but there are no small national teams any more.

"There are small countries but their national teams are very strong as football has developed."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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