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Sven-Göran Eriksson

Sven-Göran Eriksson Template:Audio (born February 5, 1948) is a Swedish football manager. He is currently the manager of the English national football team.

Born in Torsby, Eriksson had a fairly undistinguished playing career in the lower divisions of Swedish football at KB Karlskoga and Degerfors IF, before being forced to retire prematurely due to a knee injury in 1975. After retirement, Eriksson became first a coach, and then manager of Degerfors, taking the side from the Third Division to the First Division in three years.

His success with Degerfors attracted the attention of much larger clubs, and Eriksson joined IFK Göteborg in 1979. He won the Swedish Cup in his first season, and a "treble" of League, Cup and UEFA Cup (Göteborg beating Hamburger SV 4-0) in 1982.

Eriksson's European success led to him being head-hunted by Portugese club SL Benfica, and had a similarly quick impact there, Benfica winning the Portugese Championship and finishing runners-up in the UEFA Cup. After a second Championship the following year, Eriksson moved on to Italy, becoming boss of AS Roma. He was not as immediately successful at Roma as he had been before, but he still won a Coppa Italia in 1986.

After a trophyless two years at Fiorentina, Eriksson moved back to Benfica for a second stint in 1989, where he led the team to the final of the European Cup (losing to AC Milan 1-0) in 1990, and another League title in 1991. In 1992 Eriksson returned to Italy to try his luck again, with Sampdoria, but he only managed another Coppa Italia in 1994.

Eriksson finally found major success in Italy when he joined Lazio in 1997 (after controversially reneging on a deal to join English club Blackburn Rovers); with Lazio he won the Coppa Italia twice (1998 and 2000), the European Cup Winners' Cup (1999 - the very last tournament), and the Serie A title (the Scudetto) in 2000 — only the second time that the Roman club had won the Italian championship in their history.

After the resignation of England manager Kevin Keegan after a home loss to Germany in September 2000, the Football Association specifically pursued Eriksson as his replacement. Eriksson agreed to take over after his contract with Lazio ended in summer 2001, although he would resign his post early and join in January of that year. Eriksson was the first foreigner to be appointed coach of the England national team, leading to a mixed reception. The Daily Mail columnist Jeff Powell famously railed:

"So, the mother country of football, birthplace of the greatest game, has finally gone from the cradle to the shame. We've sold our birthright down the fjord to a nation of seven million skiers and hammer throwers who spend half their lives in darkness."

Eriksson turned round England's bid for qualification for the 2002 World Cup, with several crucial wins over lesser opposition before his first real test, England's rematch with Germany in Munich on September 1, 2001. He passed it with flying colours - England crushing their long-time rivals 5-1. Despite this England still needed a late equaliser at home to Greece to automatically qualify, and England's initially strong performance in the 2002 World Cup finals culminated in a distinctly flaccid 2-1 loss to Brazil, the eventual winners.

After the World Cup, Eriksson's England came under more fire after an embarrassing home loss to Australia in a friendly and a draw with Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifier. England still managed to qualify for Euro 2004, but the team's performance was decidedly mixed, and Eriksson was again criticised for England's overly-defensive performance in their quarter-final to hosts Portugal, which England lost on penalties. Eriksson has also been criticised for often making numerous substitutions during friendlies and playing players out of position. Despite this, Eriksson still maintains a superb competitive match record.

Eriksson has also had to weather considerable speculation about his private life, most notably his alleged affairs with the television presenter Ulrika Jonsson, and FA secretary Faria Alam (in a scandal that led to the resignation of the FA's chief executive, Mark Palios). Despite this, Eriksson has committed himself to managing England until 2008.

Managerial career

External links



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