FABIO CAPELLO stunned English football late last night by announcing he will quit as England coach after the 2012 European Championships.
The Italian coach signed a new extension to his £6m contract just before the World Cup, only to then lead England to a dismal campaign.
Capello has redeemed himself somewhat with back-to-back qualifying victories for Euro 2012, but the 64-year-old dropped the bombshell by announcing these major championships in Ukraine and Poland will be his last in charge.
Asked whether he would be leaving after Euro 2012, Capello replied: “Absolutely. Yes,” before repeated his answer again.
“We have to qualify first of course but after that I will be too old. I want to enjoy my life as a pensioner.”
Capello signed an initial two-and-a-half year contract to take charge of the Three Lions back in January 2008 and became an instant hit with the fans with his no-nonsense approach which culminated in nine victories from ten World Cup qualifying matches.
Pressure from Inter Milan prompted the Football Association to offer Capello an extension in June just prior to the summer showpiece in South Africa, but many saw that as a mistake when England crashed out 4-1 to Germany in the last 16.
Victories against Bulgaria and Switzerland have put England well on the way to qualifying for Euro 2012, but it seems the hunt has now already begun to groom Capello’s successor for the start of the World Cup 2014 campaign.