Fabio Capello managed England from 2007 to 2012 (Photo: Getty)

Former England boss Fabio Capello believes that the Three Lions’ chances of winning the 2022 World Cup are very high because the tournament is taking place at the end of the year.

Gareth Southgate’s side are already one of the favourites for the World Cup that is due to be held in Qatar and was controversially moved from its usual summer slot to November and December to avoid the scorching summer heat.

While that move prompted much outrage worldwide, Capello thinks that the change will benefit England as their players won’t be suffering from end of season burnout.

‘The problem sometimes is that English players arrive tired at the end of the season,’ the 75-year-old told The Sun.

‘Did you see Liverpool [in the Champions League final]? It was their 63rd match. They weren’t fresh. They played well but weren’t as fast as they usually play.

‘As England manager, I always said that you can play September, October, November against all the teams in the world — we are fresh, we are running, the mind is clear and clean.

Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane will be aiming to lift the World Cup in December (Photo: Getty)

‘The next World Cup for England is really, really good. It has arrived at the best moment for English football and English players. They will be fresh.’

While Capello’s point is valid, there is still concern that players will be tired going into the World Cup, with the opening day of the tournament, when England will face Iran, scheduled to take place just eight days after the Premier League begins its break.

Now retired, Capello was one of the most successful managers of his era, winning countless trophies with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Roma, before joining England in 2007, leading the national team to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

But despite the squad still containing many of the ‘golden generation’ of England players, the tournament was a disaster off and on the pitch with the Three Lions scraping through the group stage only to get battered 4-1 by Germany in the round of 16.

This time round though, Southgate’s side have a real chance to emulate the heroes of 1966, and Capello singled out Harry Kane and Jack Gealish as England’s key men.

More: Premier League

‘Kane’s really involved in every moment, doing everything that [Antonio] Conte has asked him,’ the Italian added.

‘For me, he’s one of the best strikers in the world. Not a lot of teams can say, “We have a really good forward”. Maybe only France with Kylian Mbappe.

‘Jack Grealish is a good player with good qualities. One year with Pep Guardiola at [Manchester] City will be really important for him and what he needs to do to be a top player.

‘He needs to sacrifice, to learn to be good not only when you have the ball. After this season, these lessons, I hope he has learned a lot.

‘Conte with Kane and Guardiola with Grealish, these two professionals, it’s very important.’


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