Capello claims he predicted linesman error would cost England at World Cup

2010 World Cup opening ceremony

Russia boss still haunted by England’s 2010 World Cup exit and Chelsea star Frank Lampard’s goal that never was.

Former England manager Fabio Capello predicted before World Cup 2010 that a simple mistake by a linesman would eliminate the Three Lions, he told FIFA.com.

The Italian was speaking ahead of leading Russia to Brazil 2014 but is clearly still bitter about the Frank Lampard effort against Germany in the last 16 which would have levelled the score at 2-2.

The ball was clearly well over the line, but linesman Mauricio Espinosa didn’t award it and England went on to lose 4-1 and crash out.

Capello said: 'There's still one memory that I haven't managed to get rid of yet. I recall the meeting we had with all the coaches. I asked: ‘Why didn't you bring the assistant referees along as well?’ I was told that that wasn't part of the plan.

'So I made the point that we'd worked hard for two years to get this far, and that a simple mistake – a ball going out or not, or a penalty given or not given – could lead to our elimination. And in the end, that's what happened.

'I've never been able to forget that meeting, which never resulted in any follow-up, because I'd predicted what would happen to us without knowing it.'

The World Cup in South Africa proved to be Capello’s only major tournament with England as he quit the role before the Euro 2012 finals after the FA relieved John Terry of the captaincy without consulting him.

Since then the 67-year-old has impressed in charge of Russia, pipping Portugal to top spot in their World Cup qualification group and beating Cristiano Ronaldo and co in Moscow along the way.

However, the former Real Madrid and AC Milan manager has constantly been linked with a return to club management, and was the favourite to land the Tottenham Hotspur job before it was given to Tim Sherwood.

Capello’s former assistant Franco Baldini is Technical Director at White Hart Lane and there remains a chance that he could be called upon by the North London club if things don’t work out for Sherwood.

The World Cup in Brazil will remain his focus for now though, and Russia have been handed a favourable group stage draw alongside Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.

But the wily Italian will be wary of his opponents as Algeria held his England side to a 0-0 draw in 2010, South Korea have been World Cup regulars while Russia have failed to qualify since 2002 and Belgium’s growing strength is well-documented.

Capello has said he is in favour of goal-line technology, which will be used in Brazil, so he can be thankful that the costly linesman error of 2010 won’t be repeated.

image: © Shine 2010 - 2010 World Cup good news

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