Friday December 30 2011
Capello: ‘We cannot poach talent’

Fabio Capello has hit out at youth policies in both England and Italy and called for an end to the ‘stealing of talent’ from other countries.

The Italian’s strong views on the subject were revealed in comments made at the Dubai International Sports Conference this week, which as the Press Association report, he is attending as a guest and without accompaniment from any member of the English Football Association.

“In Europe we risk the historical and cultural identity of football that represents a lot. For this we are right to praise Spain for preserving their love of education,” began the current England Coach, before then citing that “globalisation also brings with it problems.

“In Italy, the number of foreign players present in teams is 40 per cent. Let’s go over to England, to the point where in the Premier League only 30 per cent of the players present are eligible for the national team.”

Capello was quick to indicate that he is not advocating ‘halting this story’ and took time to praise the work of clubs like Udinese who ‘use every possible market with great competence’.

However, the 65-year-old looked to express that value of ‘the work of those who build with patience and effort in a footballer’ and indicated that such work also needs protection from the game’s governing bodies.

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

“These players are acquiring new passports. Germany had five of Turkish origin who opted to represent them and we all know what happened,” commented Capello, in reference to the starting line-up that defeated his England side 4-1 at the 2010 World Cup.

“Problems need to be addressed. Decisions need to be made. Players can be bought, especially when they come from poorer backgrounds, where their families need the financial resources.

“I worked for six years with the youth team at Milan and I do not accept that, having trained as a player, a different team can pop by and steal the player from me. UEFA should pass new 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 [UEFA president Michel] Platini and he's resolute, he thinks like I do. In future, clubs will be forbidden to steal players from abroad at a very young age.”

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