England coach Fabio Capello hailed John Terry’s leadership qualities after revealing the Chelsea skipper will captain the team against the USA at Wembley on Wednesday.
Terry wore the armband under Capello’s predecessor Steve McClaren but was overlooked for the last match in France when Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was given the nod.
Capello will name a permanent captain for the start of the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn but his decision comes as a boost to Terry following his crucial penalty miss in last week’s Champions League final.
Capello, who gave Tuesday’s press conference in English for the first time, revealed he decided to name Terry as captain before last Wednesday’s defeat by Manchester United.
“It’s a good decision for John Terry after Wednesday,” Capello said. “He played very well. I told him he’ll be the captain and he was very, very happy. It’s very important to be a leader and John Terry’s a leader.”
However, Capello would not confirm whether Terry would still be in possession of the armband for Sunday’s match against Trinidad and Tobago, adding: “It’s too early.”
On Wednesday’s opponents, the Italian added: “Against Poland, Sweden and Mexico they scored seven goals and have good organisation.”
Capello also revealed Terry’s Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard will play on Wednesday.
The midfielder, who has previously come in for criticism for his performances on the international stage, missed Capello’s first two matches through injury.
“I’m very happy to see him in the midfield because I think he’s a very important player for us,” Capello continued. “For Chelsea players it is very important to play and forget the last game in Moscow.”
Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham is also in the squad after winning his 100th cap against France, and Capello praised the midfielder’s fitness following the start of the Major League Soccer season.
“He’s very fresh, like USA’s players,” Capello said. “They’ve just started the season. The future is good for him, there’s no problem. He’s very fit.”