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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Fabio Capello backs Alberto Zaccheroni to succeed as UAE manager if he is given time and support

Former England manager knows his fellow Italian well from their time as managers in Serie A.

Fabio Capello made his comments at the Dubai International Sports Conference. Satish Kumar / Reuters
Fabio Capello made his comments at the Dubai International Sports Conference. Satish Kumar / Reuters

Fabio Capello has backed Alberto Zaccheroni to prove a success with the UAE, but called for his compatriot to be given the time and support to do so.

Zaccheroni was appointed as national team manager in October on a contract through to the 2019 Asian Cup, which takes place for the first time in the Emirates. The Italian has been set the remit of at least reaching its final.

Capello knows Zaccheroni well from time spent together in Italian club football - the latter succeeded Capello at AC Milan before leading them to the 1998/99 Scudetto - and was consulted by the Football Association in September when they evaluated candidates to replace Edgardo Bauza.

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The Argentine left to become Saudi Arabia manager after only four months with the UAE. He has since been dismissed.

Zaccheroni, 64, is currently with the UAE in Kuwait at the hastily arranged Gulf Cup. The team followed a 1-0 victory against Oman in their Group A opener on Friday with a disappointing 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia on Monday. They face hosts Kuwait on Thursday for their place in next week’s semi-finals.

Speaking on Wednesday after his guest appearance at the Dubai International Sports Conference, Capello insisted Zaccheroni is the right man for the UAE because of his experience, particularly in guiding Japan to the 2011 Asian Cup title during four years in charge there.

“Zaccheroni knows everything as to what he needs to do,” Capello said. “Because he was in Japan and he made a fantastic job. When he was at AC Milan, he did the same. He has the experience to do something really, really good with this national team.”

Asked if 15 months is enough time to prepare the UAE for a successful Asian Cup run, former England manager Capello, now with China's Jiangsu Suning, added: “Being with a national team is difficult, to improve, to explain some things, because you don’t train every day.

“For this reason you need to help him. The [Arabian Gulf League clubs] need to help Zaccheroni.”

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