Messages of support have poured in for Sven-Göran Eriksson from the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Steven Gerrard after the ex-England manager revealed he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Eriksson, 75, who also took charge of Manchester City, Leicester City, Benfica, Lazio and Roma across an esteemed 40-year managerial career, stepped down from his position as sporting director of Karlstad BK around 10 months ago, at the time citing ‘health issues’ as the reason for his decision.
The Swede received the diagnosis after collapsing during a 5km run in early 2023 and, during an interview with P1 radio station in his homeland, vowed to keep fighting despite the prognosis which has come as a shock to the football community.
On the severity of the prognosis, Eriksson said: ‘Maybe at best a year, at worst a little less, or at best maybe even longer.
‘You can’t be absolutely sure. It is better not to think about it.
You can trick your brain, see the positive in things, don’t wallow in adversity.
‘Of course this is the biggest adversity, but make something good out of it.’
Eriksson, who handed Rooney his international debut in February 2003 and led the Three Lions at three major tournaments, was told he may have had cancer for a year before his diagnosis.
‘They don’t know how long I had cancer,’ he added.
‘Maybe a month or a year.’
Despite a lack of silverware with the so-called ‘Golden Generation’, Eriksson is fondly remembered in England by fans and former players alike and the football community have united in showing their support for the veteran Swede.
‘Sad news this morning. Thoughts are with Sven Goran-Eriksson and his family,’ ex-England and Manchester United captain Rooney tweeted.
‘A brilliant coach and a special person. Loved and respected by everyone. We’re all with you Sven, keep fighting.’
Former England stars Terry, Gerrard and legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton all joined in passing on their best wishes, while Trevor Sinclair said he was ‘eternally grateful’ for the faith his former manager showed in him during his playing days.
‘Upsetting to read my old boss Sven Goran-Eriksson has terminal cancer!’ Sinclair tweeted.
‘An absolute gentleman and excellent coach that I am eternally grateful to, as I earned all my England caps under him.
‘I wish him love and comfort during his final battle.’
Meanwhile, Bell & Spurling – famed for their hit ‘Sven, Sven, Sven’ in the lead-up to the 2002 World Cup – said Eriksson had forever changed the course of their lives.
‘Upsetting to hear about Sven’s diagnosis,’ the musical duo posted on Facebook.
‘He changed our lives. Wish him well.’
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