Sven-Göran Eriksson

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Sven-Göran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson 2012.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1948-02-05) 5 February 1948 (age 71)
Place of birth Sunne, Sweden
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Shanghai SIPG (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1971 Torsby IF 109 (23)
1971–1972 SK Sifhälla 22 (1)
1972–1973 KB Karlskoga 19 (4)
1973–1975 Västra Frölunda IF 50 (5)
Total 200 (33)
Teams managed
1977–1978 Degerfors IF
1979–1982 IFK Göteborg
1982–1984 Benfica
1984–1987 Roma
1987–1989 Fiorentina
1989–1992 Benfica
1992–1997 Sampdoria
1997–2001 Lazio
2001–2006 England
2007–2008 Manchester City
2008–2009 Mexico
2009–2010 Notts County (Director of Football)
2010 Ivory Coast
2010–2011 Leicester City
2012 BEC Tero Sasana (Technical Director)
2013 Al Nasr (Technical Director)
2013–2014 Guangzhou R&F
2014– Shanghai SIPG

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Sven-Göran Eriksson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈsvɛn ˈjœːˈran ˈeːrɪkˈsɔn]; born 5 February 1948), commonly referred to just by his nickname Svennis in Sweden,[1] is a Swedish football manager and former player. Eriksson won 17 major trophies as a manager, with a variety of league clubs in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, between 1979 and 2000, and became the first manager to win league-and-cup doubles in three different countries. He later managed the national teams of England, Mexico and Ivory Coast, and three clubs in England. He is currently the manager of Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.

He has worked in nine different countries: Sweden, Portugal, Italy, England, Mexico, Ivory Coast, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Playing career

Born in Sunne and raised in Torsby, in Värmland, Eriksson had an unremarkable playing career playing as a right-back in the lower divisions of Swedish football.[2] The highest level he played at was Division 2 with KB Karlskoga FF, where he also worked as a physical education teacher in Örebro.[3] He was heavily influenced by his player-manager, Tord Grip, who favoured the English style of play that Bob Houghton and Roy Hodgson had brought to the country.[3] Eriksson was forced into an early retirement owing to a knee injury in 1975 aged 27.[4]

Management career

Degerfors IF

Having retired as a player, Eriksson received an offer to become Tord Grip's assistant at Degerfors.[3][5] A year later, Grip was appointed assistant manager of the Swedish national team, and Eriksson became Degerfors' manager. His stint as manager lasted from 1 January 1977 to 31 December 1978.[6] He led the team to the playoffs in 1977 and 1978, winning the latter and promotion to Swedish Football Division 2.[3]

IFK Göteborg

His success with assistant manager Tom Chadney by his side attracted the attention of much larger clubs, and Eriksson was appointed manager of IFK Göteborg on 1 January 1979.[7] The move was such a surprise that many of the players had never even heard of him.[3] They finished second in the Allsvenskan and won the Svenska Cupen for the first time in the club's history, defeating Åtvidabergs FF 6–1 in the final. Although results had improved, the team's style did not make him popular. He put results ahead of style, emphasised tactical awareness, work-rate and reigned in the team's old cavalier style.[3] As a consequence, the average attendance fell by 3,000 to 13,320.[3] Like Grip, he was influenced by Houghton and Hodgson and played a 4–4–2 with zonal marking and heavy pressing.[3]

Göteborg finished third in the 1980 season and second again in 1981. The following season, they won the "treble". The team won the League and subsequent playoff, the Svenska Cupen, defeating Östers IF 3–2 in the final.[citation needed]

Eriksson's international breakthrough came during the spring of 1982, when he led IFK Göteborg to the first ever UEFA Cup for a Swedish club, defeating FC Valencia in the quarterfinals and 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the semifinals. Awaiting them in the finals were Hamburger SV. At Nya Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Göteborg managed to score a late deciding goal, and took a 1–0 score with them to the away fixture, which they won 3–0, and with it, the 1981–82 UEFA Cup by an aggregate score of 4–0.[8] His club's success sparked interest in his skills from other clubs, leading him to leave IFK Göteborg in August 1982.[7]


Eriksson's European success led to him being head-hunted by Portuguese club Benfica. Eriksson joined Benfica on 1 September 1982.[9] Eriksson had a similarly quick impact there, winning the Primeira Liga, the Taça de Portugal, and finishing runners-up in the UEFA Cup to Anderlecht. After winning a second consecutive league title,[10] Eriksson moved on to Italy, becoming manager of A.S. Roma.[11]


Eriksson joined Roma on 1 July 1984.[11] He was not as immediately successful at the Giallorossi as he had been before, but he still won a Coppa Italia in 1986. Eriksson left the club on 6 May 1987.[11]

Fiorentina and return to Benfica

Eriksson was manager of Fiorentina from 1 July 1987.[12] Eriksson stint with the club was trophyless. Eriksson moved back to Benfica for a second stint in 1989.[9] Eriksson led the Portuguese side to the final of the European Cup (losing to Milan 1–0) in 1990, and another League title in 1991. Eriksson left the club in June 1992.[9]


In 1992, Eriksson returned to Italy with Sampdoria.[13] where he managed to win another Coppa Italia in 1994. Eriksson left in June 1997.[13]


In 1997, Eriksson agreed to leave Sampdoria at the end of the season to manage Blackburn Rovers. Later on that year, however, he went back on his word and opted to stay in Italy and become the new manager at Lazio. Eriksson took over Lazio on 1 July 1997.[14] Eriksson stated family reasons for wanting to stay in Italy. Rovers eventually appointed Roy Hodgson. Eriksson employed fellow Swede Tord Grip as his assistant. Eriksson finally found major success in Italy with Lazio when he won the Coppa Italia and the Italian Supercup in 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.[15]

England manager

In 2001 Sven became the first foreign manager to take charge of the English national team.[citation needed] Throughout his 5-year reign and 67 matches, they won 40 games and lost 10. Almost immediately he turned the teams fortunes around and they qualified top of the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification group 9. They qualified ahead of bitter rivals Germany and remained unbeaten after Kevin Keegan's side had lost to the Germans in what was the last ever game at the old Wembley stadium.[citation needed]

Despite his Swedish nationality he had a passion for English football and based his style and tactics on that of the English sides using a 4-4-2 formation, on occasion to the annoyance of the fans of the different clubs he managed, especially at IFK Göteborg.

2002 FIFA World Cup

Following the resignation of England manager Kevin Keegan after a home loss to Germany in October 2000, The Football Association specifically pursued Eriksson as his replacement. Eriksson had initially agreed to take over after the expiration of his contract in summer 2001, but decided to resign his post at Lazio early and he officially began his England duties in January of that year.[16] Eriksson was the first foreign manager to be appointed coach of the England national team.[citation needed]

Eriksson turned around England's bid for qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup with several crucial wins over lesser opposition before his first real test — England's rematch with Germany in Munich on 1 September 2001. England crushed their long-time rivals 5–1. Despite this, England still needed a late equaliser at home to Greece to qualify automatically. At the Finals, England drew with Sweden, defeated their other longtime rivals Argentina 1–0, and drew with Nigeria to qualify in second place from the four-team group. They went on to defeat Denmark 3–0 in the Round of 16 before losing 2–1 to 10-man Brazil, who went on to win the tournament.[citation needed]

UEFA Euro 2004

After winning their first qualifying match in Slovakia, England drew at home with Macedonia and were then booed off by their fans after losing a friendly to Australia.[17] England, however, won their next five qualifiers and, needing a point from the last game to qualify, drew 0–0 in Turkey to top the group.[citation needed]

In their first match in the finals, England were winning 1–0 against France after 90 minutes but lost after Zinedine Zidane scored twice in injury time. A 3–0 victory over Switzerland and a 4–2 victory over Croatia, however, meant England still qualified for a quarter-final against the hosts Portugal. There, Michael Owen gave England an early lead but Hélder Postiga equalised. England had a Sol Campbell goal disallowed before losing on penalties.[citation needed]

2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying

Regardless of the antipathy to Eriksson expressed by some in the English media, the England team professed total confidence in him, and in July 2004, threatened to strike during a media driven campaign to oust him.[18] He was also backed by the official England Fan organisations. The FA renewed and extended Eriksson's contract by two further years to include UEFA Euro 2008. On 7 September 2005, Eriksson's England team lost a World Cup qualifying match against Northern Ireland 1–0, the first time that England had lost to that team since 1972,[citation needed] and one of only five competitive games lost during Eriksson's tenure.

Although it was England's first ever defeat in a World Cup or European Championship qualifying match under Eriksson, it brought his position under pressure and he was criticized, both by some fans and by BBC commentators, for his alleged lack of charisma and tactical awareness. Criticism continued as England scraped a 1–0 victory over Austria in a game which saw David Beckham controversially sent off.

Some of the criticism from within the media was answered however, as England put in a much improved performance, despite the absence of Beckham through suspension and Sol Campbell and Steven Gerrard through injury, in a 2–1 win against Poland.

Successor announced

In 2006, Eriksson was recorded saying he would be willing to leave England to manage Aston Villa if England won the World Cup, after being duped into believing that a wealthy Arab would buy the club and wanted him as manager. The wealthy "Arab" was in fact the "Fake Sheikh" Mazher Mahmood, an undercover News of the World reporter.

On 23 January, The Football Association announced that Eriksson would leave his job after the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and it was thought that the News of the World allegations played a part in this decision.[19] This was later denied by both parties, with Eriksson explaining that there was a prior arrangement to terminate his contract immediately after the World Cup. The announcement that Eriksson was to depart from the job as England team coach was met with extensive protests and a "Save Our Sven" campaign from the Official England Fan organisation backed by several British national newspapers.[citation needed] Following a lengthy period of public and media speculation as to his successor the FA announced on 4 May 2006 that Steve McClaren, Eriksson's assistant, would take over the reins after the World Cup.[citation needed]

2006 FIFA World Cup finals

England finished top of Group B at the finals, beating Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago, before a 2–2 draw with Sweden, although the English press considered their performances far from satisfactory.[20]

In the second round, a David Beckham trademark free kick was enough to see Eriksson's England past Ecuador in a lacklustre 1–0 encounter affected by very high temperatures. Eriksson, however, once again fell to nemesis Luiz Felipe Scolari's Portugal. They defeated England 3–1 on penalties with the score 0–0 after extra time, with Beckham lost to injury and Wayne Rooney sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho. The result was Eriksson's third successive exit in a major tournament quarter-final. In his farewell speech, Eriksson wished England well and singled out Rooney for special praise, advising the press not to blame the youngster's dismissal for England's exit.[citation needed]

England manager summary

Eriksson improved England's FIFA World Ranking from 17th place in January 2001 to 5th place in July 2006, reaching 4th during the 2006 World Cup, and was rated by the FA as England's second most successful manager after Alf Ramsey. He is the only England manager — other than the short-lived Terry Venables — who has never failed to guide England to the last eight in a major tournament.[citation needed]

Under Eriksson, England achieved the highest point percentage in major tournament matches of all time for an England manager,[21] losing only three competitive games (excluding extra-time) and achieved top qualifying place in all three International tournaments. Only Brazil matched England's record of reaching the quarter-final in tournaments in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Coincidentally, the same manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, knocked England out of all three of these tournaments, first with Brazil and then twice with Portugal.[citation needed]

Eriksson is the only England manager never to have led an England team out at their permanent home venue of the old Wembley Stadium or the new Wembley Stadium. Wembley was closed for redevelopment the same month that the FA asked him to take over, October 2000, and he resigned before the new Wembley Stadium was opened.[citation needed]

Manchester City

In July 2007, virtually a year to the day that he left the England job, Eriksson was confirmed as the new manager of Manchester City after signing a three-year contract worth £2 million a year plus bonuses.[22] He was Manchester City's first manager from outside of the UK[23]

Before the season started, he signed striker Rolando Bianchi for £8.8 million, along with midfielders Gelson Fernandes, Geovanni, Martin Petrov, and Elano; and defenders Vedran Ćorluka and Javier Garrido.[citation needed]

On 19 August, Manchester City beat league champions Manchester United to go top of the Premier League after three games without conceding a goal. Eriksson received the Premier League's Manager of the Month award for August. The club stayed in the top six throughout the rest of 2007, and were third throughout October and November, but fell to seventh on 12 January 2008 after winning only one of their previous five games.[citation needed]

In Spring 2008, Shinawatra claimed that he would replace Eriksson after only one full season, because of an "avalanche of very poor results which is unacceptable at this level." This resulted in an outcry from Manchester City fans who coordinated an SOS ("Save Our Sven") campaign — similar to the Official England Fan's campaign in the spring of 2006 — including a well attended march from the City centre to Eastlands Stadium and a flood of letters to the club and the Manchester Evening News. The failure to react to public and fan demands resulted in high volume of fans cancelling or not renewing their season tickets. Also, the team announced that they would go on strike. Eriksson rejected any interference and also persuaded his players against potentially damaging their careers by an all out strike. In the last game of the season, Manchester City suffered an 8–1 loss to Middlesbrough, the biggest defeat of Eriksson's career. Many concluded that the team had "gone on strike" as a symbolic protest during the game, although a red card for Richard Dunne after 15 minutes made the game difficult for City.[24]

Manchester City ended in ninth place in the league, one place away from the UEFA Cup 2008–09 qualifying positions. Manchester City subsequently qualified through the extra place awarded to the Premier League for finishing as the highest placed team who hadn't already qualified for a European competition in the UEFA Fair Play League for 2007–08.[citation needed]

Eriksson became the first Manchester City manager since 1969–70 to win both league derby games against Manchester United and also achieved the club's joint highest Premier League point total, 55.[citation needed]

On 2 June 2008, Manchester City confirmed by club statement that they had parted company with Eriksson by "mutual consent", with Eriksson still having two years left on his contract. Following news of his departure, the City supporters' groups organised a petition with around 14,000 signatures which was handed to the club.[25]

Mexico national football team

On 3 June 2008, he was officially signed to become the manager of the Mexico national team.[26] He formally started the role after Mexico's World Cup qualifier against Belize on 21 June).[27]

On 20 August 2008, he debuted as manager of the Mexico national team in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier versus Honduras. Mexico went on to win 2–1. On the next matches some results were poor, as Mexico tied with Canada and lost to Jamaica and Honduras.[citation needed]

On 11 February 2009, Eriksson was put under further pressure as his side lost 2–0 to the United States. Calls for him to quit or be sacked were heard from the fans while the English club Portsmouth were rumoured to be interested in making him their new manager. This link was strengthened by reports of members from the Portsmouth board flying to Mexico City to discuss contract offers with Eriksson and a possible compensation settlement with the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación. In early March, Eriksson continued to deny that he would leave Mexico and return to manage Portsmouth, insisting that he would remain and help Mexico qualify for the World Cup.[28] After a 3–1 World Cup Qualifying loss at Honduras, Eriksson was removed as national team coach. Eriksson had only won one of his last seven non-friendly games as manager.[29]

Notts County

On 22 July 2009, Eriksson was appointed as Director of Football at English League Two team Notts County following that club's takeover by Middle East consortium Munto Finance with Eriksson getting a reported, but unconfirmed, £2m a year deal. It is believed his contract was based on the future success of the club with a large percentage share holding making up his contract. Eriksson later said that he was attracted by the consortium's plans to take the world's oldest league club to the top of the Premiership, and believed that they had the finance and commitment to do that. Large-scale investment in new facilities were promised, and Sol Campbell and Kasper Schmeichel joined the club from Premier League teams. Campbell, however, played only one game before departing and Schmeichel was released at the end of the season.[citation needed]

The consortium attempted to involve Eriksson in the running of the North Korean team, taking him to Pyongyang in October 2009. This came to nothing, however, with Eriksson later saying that his efforts were wasted as he was unable to contact anyone on the North Korean side.[citation needed]

County's large debts, including an unpaid tax bill, emerged in November 2009.[30] On 11 February 2010, Eriksson resigned as Director of Football following the club's takeover by former Lincoln City chairman Ray Trew.[31] Eriksson waived a multi-million payoff in order to assist the takeover therefore chairman Trew described him as an "absolute gentleman". Notts County went up as League 2 Champions at the end of the season.[30]

Ivory Coast national team

On 28 March 2010, he became the manager of Ivory Coast.[32] Disclosure of the amount of money Eriksson’s contract was worth has never been confirmed, but it has been reported that he got £270,000 for the job.[33] On 15 June, Ivory Coast played a 0–0 draw against Portugal in their opening game in Group G of the 2010 World Cup Finals, followed by a 3–1 loss against Brazil on 20 June. Despite defeating North Korea in the final group game 3–0, Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the knock-out stages. Prior to the match against Brazil, the Brazilian coach, Dunga commented "With Eriksson, Ivory Coast has great balance. We used to see them play and they didn't have this type of organisation that they have now".[34]

Eriksson while manager of Leicester City

As there were no reported negotiations of an extension to Eriksson's contract between his agent and the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football, his contract ended on 25 June.[35]

Leicester City

He was appointed manager of Leicester City on 3 October 2010 as the Foxes sat in the relegaton zone of the Championship.[36][37] His first league game in charge resulted in a 1–1 draw against Hull City, managed by Nigel Pearson who had managed Leicester for the previous two seasons. This was quickly followed by Leicester's first victory under Eriksson, beating Leeds 2–1 at Elland Road.[38] Boosted by the loan signings of players such as Kyle Naughton and later Yakubu, results steadily improved under Eriksson as Leicester gradually began to climb the table, until a good run of form in the new year saw Leicester win seven of their first eight league games of 2011[39] and also take Premier League title-challengers and eventual cup-winners Manchester City to a replay in the FA Cup. On 18 February 2011, after an injury-time winner from Martyn Waghorn at home to Bristol City, Leicester had climbed to 7th in the table and just one point off a play-off place.[40] However Leicester's form began to stutter as they won just two out of their following 11 games.[39] The Foxes ended up finishing the season in 10th position.[41]

Eriksson spent big in a bid for promotion in the summer of 2011, including multimillion-pound transfer fees on Matt Mills and Jermaine Beckford.[42][43][44] making them pre-season promotion favourites.[42][44][45][46] However, after 13 league matches Eriksson left the club by mutual consent on 25 October 2011 with the Foxes sitting in the 13th position in the league, 2 points from a play-off position.[47] Three players who were signed by Eriksson, Kasper Schmeichel, David Nugent and Paul Konchesky, were part of the Leicester team which won the 2013–14 Championship and survived relegation from the 2014–15 Premier League under Nigel Pearson. Nugent credited Eriksson for his improved form at the club.[48]

Bangkok and Dubai

In an interview with Yorkshire Radio on 8 February 2012, the chairman of Football League Championship club Leeds United, Ken Bates, revealed that Eriksson had applied for the vacant managerial position at the club after the dismissal of Simon Grayson. Bates went on to state that his application was unsuccessful.[49] On 3 September 2012, Eriksson was unveiled as the Technical Director of BEC Tero Sasana, a team in the Thai Premier League.[50][51]

On 17 November 2012, Norwegian media reported that Eriksson was in talks with Vålerenga Fotball about the possibility of taking over the soon-to-be-available manager job for the Oslo-based club. A meeting between the two parties was held on 21 November in Oslo but no deal was made. In December, negotiations between Eriksson and the Football Federation of Ukraine, who had offered him the position of head coach of Ukraine's national football team, did not bear fruit.[52] On 15 January 2013, it was announced that Eriksson would be joining TSV 1860 München as assistant to Alexander Schmidt.[53] On 18 January 2013, the club however reported, that Eriksson declined the offer to join 1860.[54]

On 21 January 2013, Eriksson became technical director of Dubai-based club Al Nasr SC in the UAE Pro-League.[55]

Eriksson in China

Guangzhou R&F

On 4 June 2013, Guangzhou R&F, a club who played in the Chinese Super League, announced Eriksson as their new head coach on a 19-month contract lasting until December 2014.[56][57] He was believed to be paid around £2 million a year for the job.[58] He came up against former Italy manager Marcello Lippi in the city’s derby matches, as the World Cup winner was manager of local rival Guangzhou Evergrande.[citation needed]

Personal life

Eriksson's autobiography My Story, was published in November 2013.[59]

During June 2014, he launched two Italian wines in Sweden, named SVEN.[60]

Managerial statistics

As of 10 November 2014
Nation Team From To Record
Pld W D L Win%
Sweden IFK Göteborg[61] 1979 1982 100 51 32 17 51.00
Portugal Benfica[62] 1982 1984 60 46 11 3 76.67
Italy Roma[63][64][65] 1984 1987 90 41 26 23 45.56
Italy Fiorentina[66][67] 1987 1989 64 21 20 23 32.81
Portugal Benfica[62] 1989 1992 144 94 32 18 65.28
Italy Sampdoria[68][69][70][71][72] 1992 1997 170 71 52 47 41.76
Italy Lazio[73][74][75] 1997 2001 136 78 32 26 57.35
England England[76] January 2001 July 2006 67 40 17 10 59.70
England Manchester City[77] July 2007 June 2008 45 19 11 15 42.22
Mexico Mexico[78] June 2008 April 2009 13 6 1 6 46.15
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast[79] March 2010 June 2010 5 2 2 1 40.00
England Leicester City October 2010 October 2011 55 24 13 18 43.64
China Guangzhou R&F 4 June 2013 10 November 2014 51 26 10 15 50.98
Total 1,000 519 259 222 51.90

List of seasons

Champions Runners-up Third / SF Unfinished
Season Club Nat Domestic Continental Trophies
1979[61] IFK Göteborg Sweden RU W n/a 1
1980[61] IFK Göteborg Sweden 3rd QF n/a QF
1981[61] IFK Göteborg Sweden RU 6R n/a 1R
1982[61] IFK Göteborg Sweden W W n/a W 3
1982–83[62] Benfica Portugal W W n/a RU 2
1983–84[62] Benfica Portugal W 5R n/a RU QF 1
1984–85[63] Roma Italy 7th R16 n/a
1985–86[64] Roma Italy RU W n/a RU 1
1986–87[65] Roma Italy 7th R16 n/a
1987–88[66] Fiorentina Italy 8th R16 n/a
1988–89[67] Fiorentina Italy 7th QF n/a
1989–90[62] Benfica Portugal RU 4R n/a W RU 1
1990–91[62] Benfica Portugal W QF n/a 1R 1
1991–92[62] Benfica Portugal RU SF n/a RU GS
1992–93[68] Sampdoria Italy 7th 2R n/a
1993–94[69] Sampdoria Italy 3rd W n/a 1
1994–95[70] Sampdoria Italy 8th R16 n/a RU SF
1995–96[71] Sampdoria Italy 8th R16 n/a
1996–97[72] Sampdoria Italy 6th R32 n/a
1997–98[73] Lazio Italy 7th W n/a W RU 2
1998–99[80] Lazio Italy RU QF n/a W W 2
1999–00[74] Lazio Italy W W n/a W QF n/a 3
2000–01[75] Lazio Italy 3rd QF n/a 2R n/a

Managerial honours

Degerfors IF[81]
IFK Göteborg[81]

See also


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External links