Moscow – The Russian Football Union (RFU) on Monday appointed Italian coach Fabio Capello as new national manager to revive the flagging fortunes of the team after its flop at Euro 2012.
“Today we decided to appoint Capello as our national team's new manager,” the RFU deputy president Nikita Simonyan told ITAR-TASS news agency. “We expect him to come to Moscow in the nearest future to finalise the details of his contract and sign it.”
“I think this will happen on Wednesday or Thursday,” said Simonyan, who is acting chief of the RFU after previous head Sergei Fursenko resigned last month.
The 66-year-old Capello will be the immediate successor to Dutchman Dick Advocaat whose side were disappointingly knocked out of the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine at the group stages.
The last days have seen frenzied rumours in Russia that Capello was the RFU's first choice for taking over the country's national squad and leading it into the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign after Advocaat's resignation.
Capello has previously coached AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid during his managerial career, winning domestic titles with each one, before becoming England manager in 2007.
Under Capello, England qualified for Euro 2012 before the Italian resigned after falling out with Football Association chiefs after he stood by John Terry as skipper despite the Chelsea man being embroiled in a racism trial which ultimately saw the defender acquitted.
In a sometimes farcical selelction process which earned ridicule at home and abroad, the RFU last week announced a star-studded 13-man list of candidates.
The hugely-ambitious list included ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, former Barcelona
coach Pep Guardiola, Italian veteran Marcello Lippi and Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa.
The list also contained the names of seven Russian coaches but also Capello, who in the end appeared to be the only serious candidate.
Last Thursday, Capello came to Moscow to hold talks with the RFU and his arrival caused a sensation in the Russian media.
However, the Italian came to Moscow in a hurry and was reportedly forced to stay in the airport on arrival waiting for several hours while RFU officials finalised formalities to grant Capello a Russian entry visa. – Sapa-AFP