Fabio Capello: Clubs must stop stealing young players

Capello calls on Platini to act after swipe at Germans for “stealing talent”

Fabio Capello has taken a swipe at Germany for adopting players of Turkish origin and called upon football’s rulers to end the drain of talent from poorer countries.

Capello is still haunted by England’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Germans in last summer’s World Cup and raised the issue of citizenship when he addressed the Dubai International Sport conference.

‘A line needs to be drawn,’ said the Italian. ‘Richer clubs are talent-scouting and stealing players by bidding higher and not thinking about the consequences for those countries.


Capello”s complaint: Germany”s midfielder Mesut Ozil is of Turkish descent

‘These players are acquiring new passports. Germany had five of Turkish origin who opted to represent them and we all know what happened.’

Germany’s squad for the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa contained 11 players who could have qualified for other countries. Capello claims Turkey would have been far stronger with the ‘five’ who opted to represent Germany but his facts are muddled. Two players of Turkish descent were in Joachim Low’s squad — Mesut Ozil and Serdar Tasci — and both were born in Germany.

Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, who both scored against England in Bloemfontein, were born in Poland. Podolski moved to Germany aged two and Klose aged seven.

The crux of Capello’s complaint is about young players bought by rich clubs, lured from poor countries and nationalised, and he expects UEFA president Michel Platini to tackle the issue.

Plea: England manager Fabio Capello was speaking in Dubai

Plea: England manager Fabio Capello was speaking in Dubai

‘Decisions need to be made,’ said Capello. ‘Players can be bought, especially when they come from poorer backgrounds. I do not accept that, having trained a player, a different team can steal the player from me. UEFA should pass rules allowing people to reap the seed that’s been sown instead of having talents leave when they receive a major offer.

‘I’ve spoken to Michel Platini and he is resolute. Clubs will be forbidden to steal young players from abroad.’

Capello denied England had stolen Danny Welbeck, who qualified for Ghana, saying: ‘He was born and brought up in England. I spoke to his family and they were fine.’