Renowned Swedish football coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson, has revealed that he is suffering from incurable pancreatic cancer. In his illustrious career, Eriksson has coached a number of club and national teams, and gained significant public attention in the early 2000s when he was in charge of the England national team.
Eriksson, who celebrated his 76th birthday on February 5, disclosed his diagnosis in January, stating that he may only have a year left to live. His journey through life is colorful and eventful, marked by a series of coaching roles in various countries, a number of scandals often linked to his romantic relationships, and his early passion for football and ski jumping.
His coaching career took off when he was called to assist his former teammate, Tord Grip, at Degerfors IF. Eriksson soon took over as head coach and led the team from the third division to the second. His success earned him the opportunity to coach IFK Göteborg, where he led the team to a UEFA Cup victory in 1982. His talent was soon recognized internationally, and he moved to Portugal to coach SL Benfica.
After a stint in Italy with AS Roma and Fiorentina, Eriksson returned to Benfica. He then spent five years at Sampdoria, followed by another stint in Italy with SS Lazio, where he won the Italian championship in 2000. He considers this period the pinnacle of his career.
In 2001, Eriksson became the first foreign coach of the English national team, a role he held for five and a half years. However, his time in England was marred by the invasion of his private life by the media, fueled by his own controversial romantic relationships. Despite these challenges, Eriksson maintains that he has no regrets.
Eriksson’s recent roles have included coaching stints in Mexico, the Ivory Coast, and China, as well as being the technical director of clubs in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. His last coaching job was with the Philippine national team from 2018 to 2019.
Besides his many coaching roles, Eriksson’s career is also marked by significant opportunities he missed or turned down. He claims to have been approached by clubs such as Tottenham, Barcelona, Manchester United, and Chelsea, and was even offered a contract by Manchester United, which fell through when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to stay on.
Despite his health struggles, Eriksson’s legacy in football remains impressive and his impact on the teams he has coached is undeniable.