London: Former England manager Fabio Capello has added fuel to the existing footballing rivalry between the Three Lions and Italy by having a crack at England’s best player Wayne Rooney, claiming that the striker didn’t understand English.
The Italian, who himself never had a thorough grasp of the English language during his four years as England manager, hit back at Rooney after the Manchester United talisman on Sunday claimed that having an English manager made understanding team talks and tactics easier and “nothing got lost in translation”
Rooney’s comments left Capello exasperated but the Italian accepted he found it tough to explain his tactics to the players.
“Look, when I spoke they did understand me. But every now and then, when I tried to explain tactics, things didn’t work out,” Capello said.
“You know what? Maybe it’s because Rooney doesn’t speak English. He doesn’t understand English,” he added.
Rooney and any of his aides refused to comment on Capello’s outburst.
Capello, who earned around 20 million pounds with England before quitting over the axing of John Terry as captain in January, spoke out on Italian radio.
Rooney, who scored the only goal against Ukraine on Tuesday to send England through to the knockout stages, also had a dig at Capello’s regime at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where all the players did was “eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep”.
Rooney said: “Roy has given us a lot of rest and down time. We understand what he wants from us, what we have to do and he gives us the chance to relax and put football aside.”