German FA not happy with Capello
The German Football Association has been left seething at Fabio Capello's criticism over their recruitment policy.
Speaking in Dubai on Thursday, Capello said rules should be brought in that prevented clubs "stealing'' youngsters from another country, which in turn tips the balance on the international stage.
Capello used the example of Germany, who took 11 players to the last World Cup who had dual eligibility, including star man Mesut Ozil and defender Serdar Tasci, both of Turkish origin. They helped Germany beat England 4-1 in Bloemfontein, a scar which has not healed with Capello and continues to fester heading towards Euro 2012.
Although the DFB are not interested in making a public statement on Capello's comments, it is known they are not happy and privately have questioned the Italian for getting his facts wrong.
In the case of Ozil, a third generation Turk, he was born in Germany and represented the country at all youth age groups, in much the same way as Manchester United's Danny Welbeck - who has opted for a career with England despite being eligible for Ghana through his parentage.
The DFB are not alone in drawing a parallel between the two cases, even though Capello has insisted there was a difference and he consulted with Welbeck's parents before handing the 21-year-old his competitive debut in Montenegro, which ended any chance of him representing Ghana. And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger cannot see a problem with big countries selecting the best eligible players.
"You cannot reproach a country for using players who are not German or English for generations,'' he said.
At least there is a blood link to Turkey for Ozil and Ghana for Welbeck, unlike former Chelsea midfielder Deco, who was able to represent Portugal purely on residency grounds, after leaving his native Brazil as a 20-year-old in 1993.
"It wasn't in my interests to see Deco play for the national team. Now Pepe is the same,'' said Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. "There must be an historical relationship, and family relationship, rather than just a player who has played in a country for some time to get Portuguese citizenship.''
The spat has overshadowed a general point about major European clubs trawling the globe searching for players of promise, most of whom do not make it. Yet, according to Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, if anything the matter has improved since he started out on his successful playing career three decades ago.
"What is a young player?'' he said. "I left home when I was 13 because I wanted to play football. I had to leave my parents and my family and I was alone. It was not easy and it is not easy now for people in that situation.
"However, now you have the possibility to move to another city, or another country, and your parents, or someone from your family, can come with you. That is very important.''