Former England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson has revealed he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and in a “best-case” scenario has about a year left to live.
Eriksson managed England for five years before leaving after the 2006 World Cup campaign.
His most recent role was as sporting director at the Swedish club Karlstad, from which he stepped down close to a year ago, citing health issues.
The 75-year-old told Swedish Radio P1: ‘Everyone can see that I have a disease that’s not good, and everyone supposes that it’s cancer, and it is. But I have to fight it as long as possible.’
‘I know that in the best case it’s about a year, in the worst case even less. Or in the best case I suppose even longer. I don’t think the doctors I have can be totally sure; they can’t put a day on it,’ he added.
Eriksson was diagnosed after collapsing the day after a five-kilometre run, also suffering a stroke.
‘It’s better not to think about it,’ he said, ‘You have to trick your brain. I could go around thinking about that all the time and sit at home and be miserable and think I’m unlucky and so on.’
‘It’s easy to end up in that position. But no, see the positive sides of things and don’t bury yourself in setbacks, because this is the biggest setback of them all.’
Many former England players, including Wayne Rooney, offered their support to the former England manager after he revealed the diagnosis.
Rooney described Eriksson as ‘a special person.’
‘Sad news this morning,’ the former England striker posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. ‘Thoughts are with Sven-Göran Eriksson and his family. A brilliant coach and a special person. Loved and respected by everyone. We’re all with you Sven, keep fighting.’
Rooney burst onto the scene at the Euro 2004 and made his international debut the previous year, under Eriksson.
Eriksson shot to fame in the early-1980s when he won the UEFA Cup with Swedish club IFK Gothenburg.
Successful spells with Benfica, Roma, Fiorentina and Sampdoria followed before the Swede took Italian club Lazio to their second Serie A title in 2000.
In 2001, Eriksson became the first non-British manager of England and oversaw a 5-1 win against Germany in Munich to take England’s ‘Golden Generation’ to the World Cup the following year.
England came close to winning under Eriksson, at Brazil in 2002, before two penalty defeats against Portugal at Euro 2004 and the World Cup two years later.
After his time with England, Eriksson went on to manage Manchester City for one season in 2007-08, before maanging spells in charge of Mexico, Ivory Coast and Leicester. Eriksson also worked in China between 2013 and 2017.
The England national team’s X account said they were ‘sending our love, Sven’ while former clubs joined in expressing their best wishes to the Swede.
Manchester City said ‘everyone at the club is thinking of Eriksson’ and sent their ‘collective support to our former manager, and his family and friends, during this time.’
Leicester said ‘we are all with you, Sve’ and Notts County posted that they are ‘sending love and strength to our former director of football, Sven-Göran Eriksson.’
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