Fabio Capello has provided England with the perfect World Cup boost by committing his future to the team until after Euro 2012.
Capello's future had been the subject of intense speculation over the last few days after Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti admitted the 63-year-old was at the top of his shortlist to replace the departed treble-winning coach Jose Mourinho.
With a £9million-a-year salary on offer, a 50% increase on Capello's present £6million annual salary from the Football Association, it had been suggested the former AC Milan coach was being tempted.
However, having previously reached a verbal agreement with former FA chairman Lord Triesman to stay until after the next European Championships, by removing a clause in his current four-year deal that would allow either the Italian or his employers to activate a break following this summer's World Cup, Capello had indicated he was willing to stay.
He stuck to his mantra over the weekend, insisting he had not spoken to anyone at Inter about their vacancy. In a matter of hours before Capello and his 23 players departed for the biggest challenge of their careers, the FA released the statement that allows everyone involved in the national team to breathe a large sigh of relief.
“The FA can confirm that Fabio Capello is committed to managing the England team until the 2012 European Championship,” said an official FA statement.
“An amendment to his employment contract was signed and exchanged today, with break clause options for both the FA and Fabio being removed.”
Club England chairman Sir Dave Richards said: “We are very pleased to have Fabio's commitment for another two years and it is good that we have been able to resolve this before the team flies to South Africa. Now we can all concentrate on the World Cup and give Fabio and the players our full support.”
Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Charlton believes Capello (right) has similar characteristics to those which helped Sir Alf Ramsey inspire England to their 1966 World Cup success. Charlton, 72, was a member of Ramsey's World Cup-winning side who claimed their place in history with a 4-2 extra-time victory in the final against West Germany.
Asked if he saw the qualities of Ramsey in Capello, Charlton said: “Yes absolutely. That's the first thing I thought of when they were talking about who was going to be the manager and I thought, ‘Well, you have to have someone that can bring all these these different people from different clubs playing different systems’.
“Bring them all together. That's what Alf did. At the moment England appear to me to have the right manager.
“He knows how to handle all these players that are making fortunes as footballers.”