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England boss Fabio Capello targets World Cup semi-final

England manager Fabio Capello
Capello's England team lost only one of their 10 World Cup qualifying games

England manager Fabio Capello insists the Football Association's target of reaching the semi-finals at the World Cup in South Africa is achievable.

The Italian believes his side contains one of the best players in the world in striker Wayne Rooney and is one of the leading contenders for the finals.

"The semi-finals is a minimum. We can beat all teams because we play at the same level as the best teams," he said.

"Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rooney are the best in the world."

Rooney is in a rich vein of form, having scored 28 goals for Manchester United this season.

He has only scored once for England in the last six internationals, although that did come in one of two World Cup qualifiers played since September.

His goal, in the 5-1 victory over Croatia, took his tally in qualifying to nine, five more than Frank Lampard, who scored four.


The FA set its target almost two years ago, two matches into Capello's reign as England manager.

The national side has not reached the last four of a major tournament since Euro 96 when Terry Venables' side lost to Germany on penalties.

And the last World Cup semi-final appearance came in 1990, when England were again beaten on penalties by the tournament's eventual winners Germany.

Capello, speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards on Wednesday, said he expected tough games in Group C against the United States, Algeria and Slovenia, but he was looking towards the later stages of the competition.

"Algeria played against Egypt and beat them (in the World Cup qualifiers) so Algeria are probably stronger than Egypt," he stated. "I respect this team.

"I hope to play against Italy in the final but my shirt at that moment will be an England shirt."

The World Cup kicks off on Friday 11 June, with England's opening game against the United States on the following day.

see also
FA probes England security breach
09 Mar 10 |  Football
World Cup beyond England - Hurst
06 Mar 10 |  World Cup 2010
England 3-1 Egypt
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Capello praises goal hero Crouch
04 Mar 10 |  Football
FA sets England semi-final target
06 May 08 |  Football

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