Sven-Goran Eriksson reveals his only regret from time as England manager | Football

Sven-Goran Eriksson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer (Photo: Getty)

Sven-Goran Eriksson only has one regret from his football career – and it came during his spell as England manager.

The 75-year-old revealed on Thursday that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has ‘at best a year to live’.

Across an esteemed 40-year career Eriksson managed the likes of Manchester City, Leicester City, Benfica, Roma, Fiorentina and Lazio, as well as the England, Mexico and Ivory Coast national teams.

In an interview with The Guardian in 2019, the Swede was asked whether he had any regrets from his time in the dugout and though he generally tries to live without regrets, one did come to mind.

‘Well maybe one then… and that would be that last World Cup,’ he said.

Eriksson guided the Three Lions to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup that was being held in Germany, with his side featuring many of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’.

After a goalless draw with Portugal, the match went to penalties where, predictably, England were defeated, losing the shootout 3-1.

Sven-Goran Eriksson with England at the 2006 World Cup

England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup on penalties (Photo: Getty)

They missed three of their four spot-kicks, courtesy of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher.

Notably, two players who unquestionably would have been on penalty duty were unavailable for the shootout: David Beckham was injured, while Wayne Rooney had been controversially sent off during the match.

‘I should have taken a mental coach for the penalty shootout,’ Eriksson reflected.

‘I thought we were experienced enough and we had players who were specialists in penalties. It is history now.’

How long was Sven-Goran Eriksson in charge of England?

Eriksson became England boss in January 2001 after leaving Lazio, becoming the first non-British manager of the Three Lions.

He guided the national team to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, as well as Euro 2004.

He left the role following the defeat to Portugal in Germany and was replaced by Steve McClaren.

Eriksson managed England’s ‘Golden Generation’ (Photo: Getty)

How long was Sven-Goran Eriksson in charge of England?

Eriksson won 40 of his 67 games in charge of the Three Lions, drawing 17 and losing 10.

His win percentage of 59.7% ranks sixth among England managers – not including Sam Allardyce’s one win in one game.

He has also managed the fifth most games for the national team, behind only Walter Winterbottom, Alf Ramsey, Bobby Robson and Gareth Southgate.

At each major tournament, Eriksson’s side exited at the quarterfinal stage, losing 2-1 to eventual champions Brazil in 2002, and then on penalties to Portugal in 2004 and 2006.

Though criticised at the time, these results would not be bettered until Southgate’s reign over a decade later


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