Many of the managers on the list — which included former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp — were considered longshots for the gig.
But the RFU made a splash on Monday, when it announced Italian Fabio Capello as Russia’s newest manager. Capello replaces Dutchman Dick Advocaat, who resigned following Russia’s group stage exit at the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.
Capello was most recently manager of the English national team, a position from which he resigned in February after successfully guiding the Three Lions through qualifying to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. His resignation was prompted by the ongoing John Terry racism controversy. Terry allegedly racially abused Queen’s Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in November 2011, and in February, the English Football Association stripped Terry of the captaincy of the English national team. Capello stood by the defender, and resigned in protest of the decision.
Capello, 66, has managed at a high level for over two decades, guiding AC Milan, Real Madrid, AS Roma and Juventus in addition to England.
Russia begins qualifying for the 2014 World Cup on Sep. 7 against Northern Ireland in Moscow. The country is scheduled to host the 2018 World Cup, but with the brief lifespan of international managers, it’s unlikely Capello will be the man to lead the host nation six years from now.
Photo via Facebook/Lino Pulcino