England manager Fabio Capello has described Michael Owen as his "tormentor". The Italian has continued to leave the Manchester United striker out of his squads even though the 29-year-old has scored 40 goals for his country, more than any of his rivals.
Capello compared his situation to that of Italy coach Marcello Lippi, who has been criticised for overlooking Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano. Speaking at a seminar based at Coverciano, he said: "Cassano? I have Owen. I already have a tormentor, each one has their own."
Owen, who missed the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus through injury, has not played for England since early last year and his chances of making it to South Africa 2010 look slim.
Capello also ruled out succeeding Lippi in charge of Italy, but acknowledged that a return to Serie A giants Juventus at some point in the future could not be ruled out.
He added: "Coach of the Italian national team? No, never. A return to Juventus? You can never say never, in football anything can happy."