Micah Richards: In Brazil you get taught to dribble all day, in England you get taught to kick people all day

Last updated at 23:32 03 May 2008


Micah Richards believes Manchester United and Chelsea's progression to the

Champions League final provides encouraging evidence that England can win the

2010 World Cup.

The Barclays Premier League rivals meet in an historic first all-English final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on May 21.

Yet while the Premier League continues to prosper, the national side hit

rock-bottom just six months ago.

A 3-2 home defeat to Croatia in the final Euro 2008 qualifying group game not

only cost Steve McClaren his job and England a place at this summer's finals,

but also led the Football Association to promise a 'root and branch' inquiry

into the reasons for such abject failure.

Manchester City and England defender Richards, 19, dismissed the theory that

British footballers are technically inferior to players from countries such as

Brazil, where traditionally emphasis is placed on ball-playing skills from an

early age.

Richards, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, told PA Sport: "I

don't think we're behind the likes of Brazil at all.

"It's just different mentalities and the way you are brought up. In Brazil you

get taught to dribble all day, in England you get taught to kick people all

day.

"We've got flair players in the England team but it's just the way they are

taught to play.

"The talent is there and I think it's there for everyone to see.

"There are two English teams in the Champions League final, so we must be

doing something right.

"It's just about getting it right on the big stage now and England have got

the players to win anything."

England have not won any silverware since the World Cup on home soil in 1966

and have often failed spectacularly in big tournaments.

But Richards insists Fabio Capello can end over 40 years of hurt by inspiring

the Three Lions to World Cup glory in South Africa in 2010.

England open their qualifying campaign in September with a trip to Andorra and

Capello's CV makes heartening reading for Richards.

The Italian, 61, has won the league title with all four clubs - AC Milan, Real

Madrid, Roma and Juventus - he has been in charge of.

"If we go to the World Cup in 2010 we've got just as good a chance as anybody

else to pick it up," said Richards. "We can definitely win a major

tournament.

"There is a really positive feeling in the camp now and if you look at

Capello's CV, you can see he has done it in the big games.

"Hopefully he can bring that to our camp and be an influence on some of the

players."

Richards, meanwhile, will not be rushing his comeback from knee surgery as he

is determined to ensure he is fully fit for the start of next season.

The teenager was forced to undergo surgery at the end of February and said:

"It's coming along nicely but I'm still not 100% fit yet.

"They have told me to take it easy and relax until I know it's 100% right.

"I will probably just have the summer to relax and come back for the start of

next season ready to fire."

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