Fabio Capello Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Globe-trotting football coach Fabio Capello has revealed the language barrier is causing him even more problems now he has joined Russia than it did when he was England boss.

The 66-year-old Italian has made a flying start to his job with the Russian federation, leading the team to victories in their first four competitive matches and putting them in a very strong position to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His summer switch to the east came after his sudden exit from the England national team earlier in the year, when he fell out with the Football Association over its decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy in the build-up to Euro 2012.

Capello had a good record with the Three Lions in qualifying for major tournaments, but they under-performed at World Cup 2010 in South Africa and the manager was regularly criticised in the media for his broken English at press conferences, when he struggled to get his message across.

But the former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus coach said in Dubai on Saturday that communication is even more of a problem in his new job. “When I went to Russia, it was something completely different compared to England. It was far more difficult because the relationship with the players was very tough and, given the players didn’t speak any English, there were difficulties in communication. I always needed a translator, which never happened in England,” Capello said at the 7th Dubai International Sports Conference at the JW Marriot Marquis hotel here.

“When I started training the players I realised I was working with one of the best teams in the world, but the most important thing was to convince them they were good enough – this was the toughest point. I wanted to speak directly to them, unfortunately translation made it more difficult. But we have won all four games and proved we are a very tough team and well organised.”

Capello, who was speaking at the ethics conference alongside fellow Italian coaches Walter Zenga of Dubai’s Al Nasr and Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni, also hit out at prima donna players. He has worked with some of the biggest stars in world football and admitted that one of the sights that irks him the most on a football pitch is when players produce histrionics when being substituted.

“I believe that players are very lucky because they have a job that normally is completely out of reach as they work for two to three hours a day and then are free. I always ask players for respect – for their coach and whoever works with them,” he said.

“I want them to understand that everyone’s important, whether they’re a waiter or chauffeur or whatever, don’t treat them badly. I tell players to respect everyone who works for and with them.

“I don’t accept waiting for players just because they are stars. And I don’t like it when a player being replaced gets angry. That’s why I always tell the player the reason why I am replacing them – it’s to enhance the performance of the team, that’s what I’m paid for. It’s useless for them to get angry. It means you understand nothing about football if you get angry.”