Moratti praises Hodgson: England are not weaker without Capello

The outspoken Nerazzurri supremo has nothing but nice things to say about the Croydon native, who enjoyed two separate spells at San Siro during the 1990s
Inter president Massimo Moratti is baffled by the belief that Italy's quarter-final opponents England would represent a more difficult obstacle to overcome had Fabio Capello not been replaced at the helm by Roy Hodgson earlier this year.

That Capello is no longer manager is being viewed as a major plus by the Italian press, given the coach's stellar reputation within the game and, even more significantly, his obvious familiarity with the Azzurri.

However, Moratti believes that Hodgson's talents are being underestimated, particularly in light of England's progression to the knockout stages as winners of Group D.

"On Italian TV they do nothing but repeat how much more dangerous England would be with Fabio Capello as coach," the Nerazzurri supremo told Il Giorno.

"Let me say that I admire Capello a lot. But I do not think that with Hodgson England are in trouble. They got seven points in their group, the same as Spain - only Germany got more."

Hodgson enjoyed two separate stints as Inter boss during the 1990s and the Croydon native made a lasting impression on Moratti.

"I always liked him for his loyalty, his culture and his education," the oil tycoon revealed. "Unfortunately, in our country, he has not been sufficiently appreciated.

"But he's a competent technician and very pragmatic, as demonstrated by the results he has obtained with England so far. So, some of the comments, I just do not understand them. "

Moratti is extremely wary of the threat posed by England, whom he believes are, man for man, better than Italy.

"I shall trust in [Azzurri boss Cesare] Prandelli, who is prudent person and will prepare for the game without listening to the TV.

"But we must remind ourselves that Hodgson can sometimes leave a player like [Andy Carroll] on the bench. Taking players one by one, our opponents are probably stronger."

Italy's clash with England in Kiev will kick off at 20:45CET on Sunday.