Domenech hails Capello as great coach
© AFP

Outspoken France coach Raymond Domenech on Thursday described his England counterpart Fabio Capello as a "great coach and a good guy".

Domenech hit out in December at the decision to approve Capello, an Italian, as the new England manager, saying it was a "real shame for all the English managers."

"It's a shame to go looking for a Swede or an Italian. It is as if you are saying to the English coaches: "You are in England, you are all rubbish and we are going to look elsewhere," Domenech said at the time.

But Domenech, speaking on Thursday after naming a 39-strong squad for full and A friendlies against England and Mali next week, insisted: "I never criticised Capello.

"He's a great coach and nice guy. I never doubted his qualities as a manager, but I just said that to choose a foreign coach was a discredit to the coaches of the country in question.

"I see Capello at all the English games, and with him there is a real evolution in the team, and there is a rigour that has been put in place. It will not be an easy match against them.

"England have a very organised game, solid, Italian-style," he said.

"Attention when I say Italian-style, it's positive for me. We learnt a lot when French players went to play for clubs in Italy. England will do everything to thwart us."