Capello opens door to England return: 'I miss it, the packed stadiums… and Russia has worse problem with foreign players'
01:31 GMT, 23 February 2013
01:42 GMT, 23 February 2013
Fabio Capello has opened the door to Premier League suitors, declaring his fascination for English football and revealing his difficulties adapting to life as manager of the Russian national team.
Speaking through a translator at a question and answer session at the Cambridge Union, the former England boss revealed his strong passion for English football.
He said: 'The Premier League is absolutely fascinating. I would be available and would be flattered to be linked with jobs in this league.
Longing: Fabio Capello admitted he misses England after taking over as the manager of Russia
'Both my wife and I enjoyed our time in the UK and what I miss about football in the UK is that the stadiums are packed, whereas the Russian league is often half-empty.
'I am used to the media attention from Italy and Spain, and I can handle the newspapers and press here. It is just part of the job. In Russia, it is great because nobody can read the newspapers!
Although Capello is finding the Russian media easy to deal with, the Italian revealed the frustrations he has found as he tries to get to grips with the Russian language.
He said: 'It is not difficult when we train but it is very hard to pass on my emotions and motivation to the players and I have to rely on the translator.
'Before a match, I show the players videos and show them bullet points to get my point across but the translator even has to write these because the Russian language has a different alphabet. Sometimes, the translator relates the concepts but not with the feeling that I want to convey.'
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Along with the language-barrier, the former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss has grown frustrated with the small pool of Russian players that he has to work with, believing the influx of foreign players in the Russian league to be an ailment even more chronic than the same issue facing the English Premier League, while the long travelling is also proving problematic.
He said: 'I used to complain that there are only playing 38 per cent of Premier League players that are English but the situation is even worse in Russia on this issue. To attract players to Russia, a lot of money is needed.
'Moreover, many of the best teams with these huge private benefactors are located at the borders of Russia so it is a lot of travelling for me.'
And the former Three Lions boss couldn't mask his surprise that AC Milan decided to pay 21million to take Mario Balotelli back to Italy.
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He said: 'When I found out that Milan were signing Balotelli, I thought it was crazy! But he has been playing brilliantly since arriving, he has had no problems with the referee and he can make a difference, as he has showed with four goals in three games. He’s great – but it’s impossible to manage Balotelli!
'With these players, like I had with Antonio Cassano myself you have to speak to them to explain exactly what they have to do before the game – but within five minutes they do whatever they want anyway!'