Foreign influence helps English football develop, insists Sunderland boss Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio
Paolo Di Canio
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PAOLO Di Canio is convinced that the increasing number of foreigners in English football will HELP not hinder the country’s hopes of success on the international stage.

Roy Hodgson’s England are involved in an important World Cup qualification game against Moldova at Wembley tonight before flying out to take on Ukraine for a crucial clash on Tuesday.

Ultimately, England hope these games will help see the country through to the finals in Brazil next year and the opportunity to make a big impact in the biggest footballing tournament on the planet.

And as well as wishing the country well in its mission, Italian Di Canio reckons that he and his fellow foreigners working in English football can contribute towards improving the national game.

“I do not agree that a big foreign influence in the English game is a bad thing – though I can sympathise with those that do,” said the Sunderland head coach.

Di Canio’s own national team has enjoyed outstanding international success down the decades, with Italy second only to five-time winners Brazil in terms of World Cup successes, with the Azzurri having won the trophy four times.

The Italians have regularly reached the finals and semi-finals of major tournaments down the years and Di Canio points out that his home country has been constantly exposed to foreign influences down the years.

He said: “I am a big admirer of English football, but it is obvious that the country has not done as well as it should have done in tournaments in the last few decades.

“My own view is that England should have an English manager for its national team – that’s just the way I feel.

“But I also feel that there is a lot of benefit that English football can get from being exposed to footballers and managers from abroad.

“Better footballers from abroad can help raise standards in England, in my opinion, and the same goes with managers from abroad who bring fresh techniques and ideas.

“If English players buy into the those techniques and ideas that are used regularly abroad, and with a lot of success, then maybe then will not go out of tournaments in the early stages of them.

“That is what I hope for England, because I do believe there are positive influences on English football coming from abroad.”