Fabio Capello prepares to face the biggest challenge of his career this evening when his side kick-off their FIFA World Cup™ campaign, but he claims: "I exist to win."

Capello's coaching CV boasts UEFA Champions League triumphs and league titles in Spain and Italy. However, for England's coach, all that has gone before would pale into insignificance if he were to lead the Three Lions to FIFA World Cup glory in Johannesburg on 11 July.

"It would be my biggest achievement. It is a dream, no. It was a dream to be England manager and I hope the next dream comes off too. Always, I am focused to win. Always, I look ahead. I have built teams and worked with teams. All that matters to me is to win. We play to win. I exist to win," he said.

On the eve of England's Group C opener against the United States in Rustenburg, it was the type of speech Gareth Southgate was looking for in the 2002 tournament when, struggling against Brazil, the defender claimed the team were "expecting Winston Churchill and instead we got Iain Duncan Smith" when Sven-Goran Eriksson addressed his troops.

The delivery of Capello's words came on the day another Conservative leader - and Prime Minister - David Cameron, declared the Italian "the most important person in the country".

Tomorrow evening, for two hours, Cameron will be spot on, with Capello the man charged with guiding England to glory.

It would be my biggest achievement. It is a dream, no. It was a dream to be England manager and I hope the next dream comes off too.

England manager Fabio Capello dreaming of lifting the FIFA World Cup.

"I am a normal man - but my job is important. It is fantastic. It is exciting. It is a tough job. Behind me there is a whole country. For a month we have to live with policemen, press conferences every day, TV, everything at every moment. You switch on the television and it is all about the World Cup. I have to live with this pressure. It is not easy. But I will try," he said.

Only once has Capello shown any sign of buckling under the magnitude of what he has been asked to achieve. Forty-eight hours after his training ground blast at a photographer, the smooth veneer was back, unrepentant, determined and utterly convinced his players can find the right tune.

"I am not tense. Privacy is privacy. Taking photos of the dressing room is not good. I have always said that a manager is important, he has his worth. But without good players you cannot win. Either you have a band or you have an orchestra," he said.

For the former to become the latter, talent alone is not enough. It is about being able to produce the perfect performance at the right time and getting all the right sections in their rightful place. To that end Capello has come up with a plan that will not be unveiled to his players until two hours before kick-off.

Only one man has been ruled out of his starting XI: Gareth Barry, who will start on the bench. It means Robert Green, Joe Hart and David James can still dream of being first-choice goalkeeper, that Liverpool team-mates Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson can both think they will start at right-back.

Skipper Steven Gerrard will definitely play. But will it be alongside Frank Lampard in central midfield or wide on the left, where Joe Cole thought he was going to get a game. Capello believes he has plausible options in Michael Carrick and James Milner, who the Italian has confirmed is fit to start.

"Milner has said he is okay. He is fit and available to play," said Capello.

As a manager, Capello is entering virgin territory, in the international job he coveted more than any other, even his own Squadra Azzurra. He does have FIFA World Cup experience though, a bitter one as it turned out, from 1974 when Italy went to West Germany as favourites and returned after the group stage having beaten only Haiti.

Like the elephants his players went to see on their safari earlier this week, Capello does not forget.

"I remember everything that happened. I studied everything from that period and we have prepared every moment of this competition, from when we stayed in Austria and then here, to make sure we did not make the same mistakes than when we (Italy) stayed in Germany," he said.

A nation hopes and expects. One senses there is no room for home in Capello's mind, only belief and conviction.

"This tournament is different. Being the manager with England is not like being a club manager. If you lose two games with your club, you can recover. Here, it is in or out," Capello said.