Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Leighton Baines, Darren Bent, Michael Dawson and Adam Johnson also missed out from the provisional 30, with Chelsea's Joe Cole earning a place on the plane after an impressive display against Japan.
Manchester United's Michael Carrick also made the cut, as did Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.
West Ham defender Matthew Upson was preferred to Tottenham's Michael Dawson as cover in central defence, while Gareth Barry will travel to South Africa despite being unlikely to be fit for the group stages.
Capello opted for Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe to supplement Wayne Rooney in attack.
ENGLAND'S 23 IN PICTURES
England World Cup squad: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham); Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa); Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City); Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).