Fabio Capello feels England should make the World Cup final next year, but has warned the squad that form in the qualifying group will mean nothing when they arrive in South Africa.
England sealed their place in the 2010 World Cup with two games to spare in Group Six thanks to a crushing 5-1 win over Croatia at Wembley, making them one of the favourites to lift the ultimate prize next summer.
Capello’s men are one of three teams in European qualification with 100 percent records, the others being Holland and Spain, and again the 1966 champions are being talked about as potential winners of the 2010 World Cup.
England fans have seen a number of false dawns, with the Football Association building up the 2006 squad as the ‘Golden Generation’ who would win the top international trophy.
But many supporters feel that Capello has brought not just belief to the camp, but some much needed discipline to an undoubtedly very talented group of players.
The Italian believes his squad can make it to the showpiece in Johannesburg on July 11 although, as ever, the former AC Milan boss is not getting carried away.
Capello admitted: "I know the expectations will rise, but those eight games mean absolutely nothing now.
“I know all about England's history, but the most important thing when you go to the World Cup is the physical condition of the players. The best players have to be fit."
And the dream for 63-year-old Capello……to play his home nation Italy in the final!