Capello relishing 'hardest test'

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Football News

Fabio Capello admits the World Cup will be his hardest test as a manager but is already tasting the excitement of the tournament.

Capello's England go into Friday night's draw as one of the eight top seeds but the Italian insists he is unconcerned about who will end up in their group. England are guaranteed to avoid the powerhouses of world football such as bookies' favourites Brazil, holders Italy and European champions Spain.

"It's new for me. As a player it was different, because you think for you, now you have to think of more things, decide more things, check more things. The next five months will be really important to decide everything," said Capello.

"For me it's the first time I've breathed this atmosphere of the World Cup, the sensation. I can taste it. The airport, the people, the FIFA World Cup, Bafana Bafana, it's exciting.

"It will be a great test, the hardest test of me as a manager."

Capello insists Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has plenty of time to shake off his nagging back problem.

"It's not a worry if he's not fit even in January," said Capello. "An Italian example is Alessandro Nesta who was injured for one year, now he's the best, and people are saying please come back into the national team.

"I cannot say he will be fit or not but I hope so - I hope the best England players will be fit."

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