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Fabio Capello says Leeds and England star Kalvin Phillips is 'phenomenal'

Former England manager and Italian legend, Fabio Capello, has heaped the praise on Leeds United midfield star, Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips has been playing a starring role in Euro 2020 with the Three Lions.

The Leeds star has started every game and, arguably, has been one of the players of the tournament so far. His partnership with Declan Rice has been instrumental for Gareth Southgate’s tactical plans.

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It’s been quite the rise for Phillips. The Yorkshireman was questioned when he came into the Premier League with Leeds. But since then, his performances have gone from strength to strength.

And speaking for the Daily Mail, Capello believes Phillips – as well as Rice – is a ‘phenomenal’ player.

‘Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice are two phenomenal players, very different from Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who I coached,” Capello said.

“They are the secret of this great England. If the defense is iron, it is thanks to them because they protect their comrades.”

Not quite Pirlo

Despite Phillips being nicknamed the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ by the Leeds natives, Capello stopped short of that comparison.

However, the Italian does believe Phillips is his own player, and deserves a lot of praise for being just that.

Phillips is not like Pirlo and he will never be. He is a much faster and more aggressive player, of good quality but he is not Andrea’s heir. He reflects a lot the tactical qualities of Marcelo Bielsa,” Capello added.

“At Leeds with Bielsa, Phillips has really grown a lot and today he is the best modern midfielder I have seen on the pitch – but no one should compare him to Pirlo.”


Few players get the term world-class banded at them but Phillips is well on his way to being in that bracket.

If he continues his form in the Euros, and can guide Leeds towards Europe next season, then few will doubt his ability.

In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of the very best come in for Phillips eventually. Indeed, Madrid and Barca have already been linked.

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