Sven-Göran Eriksson discusses his terminal cancer diagnosis and his tenure in what he considers the most significant role in football.


Two months after sharing news of his terminal cancer diagnosis, Sven-Göran Eriksson remains optimistic, facing his situation with the same determination he brought to managing some of football’s most challenging roles.

“The doctor’s prognosis may not be ideal, but I’m feeling relatively well,” Eriksson shares with CNN Sport. “I understand the gravity of my condition, but I’m coping as best as I can. It’s about managing the cancer as effectively as possible.”

The former England manager, known for his lengthy and illustrious coaching career spanning over four decades, now finds himself back in his homeland of Sweden, undergoing treatment while reflecting on his remarkable contributions to the sport.

“I’m undergoing treatment, and it’s a rollercoaster ride,” Eriksson explains. “There are ups and downs, moments of progress and setbacks. It’s a battle, but I’m not letting it defeat me. I’m carrying on with life as much as possible.”

Eriksson’s managerial journey saw him achieve success with clubs like IFK Göteborg in Sweden, Lazio in Italy, and Benfica in Portugal. However, it was his time as England’s manager that left an indelible mark on his legacy.

“Managing England is something truly special,” Eriksson reflects. “It’s a country where football holds immense significance, and the Premier League stands as the pinnacle of the sport. Leading the national team is arguably the most prestigious role in football.”

Navigating England’s “Golden Generation” through multiple major tournaments, Eriksson faced intense scrutiny, particularly from the tabloid press, which often focused on his personal life rather than his managerial decisions.

“The tabloid press isn’t a true reflection of the English people,” Eriksson remarks. “But as England’s manager, I had to accept that my personal life became public fodder. It’s part and parcel of the job, unfortunately.”

Despite the challenges, Eriksson cherishes the highs he experienced with England, including memorable victories and qualification for major tournaments.

“I have fond memories of moments like the win against Germany and Beckham’s iconic free-kick,” Eriksson recalls. “Those moments epitomized the spirit of English football and the excitement it generates.”

Now, as he grapples with his health battle, Eriksson finds solace in the outpouring of support from the football community worldwide.

“It’s been heartwarming to receive such overwhelming support,” Eriksson acknowledges. “Being invited to manage a legends match for my beloved Liverpool is a dream come true. It’s a chance to savor the game I love one last time.”

As he reflects on his storied career and faces his health challenges with resilience, Eriksson remains grateful for the love and appreciation he’s received.

“I consider myself fortunate to hear such kind words while I’m still here,” Eriksson concludes with a smile. “I’ll take it all in stride and continue to cherish the beautiful game that has been my life’s passion.”


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