Sven-Goran Eriksson is granted his dying wish to manage Liverpool, as former England boss leads their Legends team for a friendly after revealing he only has a year to live
Sven-Goran Eriksson will fulfill his dream of managing a Liverpool team after the club confirmed he will be part of their charity legends match next month.
The former England manager revealed last month that he had been secretly battling terminal cancer for a year, having only previously told close family and friends.
After his announcement, he admitted that he was a Liverpool fan and had ‘always wanted to be the manager of the Reds.
Since then, the club’s fan base and former players, including Robbie Fowler, have called for him to be in the dugout when LFC legends face Ajax in a charity match next month.
Liverpool today confirmed that they have granted the 76-year-old his wish, revealing that he will be part of a management team for the game on March 23.
Liverpool have confirmed that Sven-Goran Eriksson will lead out their legends side in a charity match – fulfilling a dying wish of the former England manager.
Sven revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and that he had been battling the disease in secret for a year, only telling close family and friends.
The 76-year-old has since revealed in an interview that his dream was to manage Liverpool
He will join Liverpool legends including Ian Rush and John Barnes on the management team
The Reds said in a statement: ‘We are delighted to confirm Sven-Goran Eriksson will be part of the LFC Legends management team for the match against Ajax Legends at Anfield on 23 March.
‘The former England boss will join a group of LFC greats including Ian Rush, John Barnes and John Aldridge for the annual LFC Foundation charity match.
“Everyone connected with the club and LFC Foundation is looking forward to warmly welcoming LFC fan Sven and his family to Anfield – and seeing him in the basement on the day – for a fantastic fundraising event.”
Former Liverpool players confirmed to take part in the match include 2005 Champions League hero Jerzy Dudek, Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio and Djibril Cisse, while former Reds and Ajax forward Ryan Babel will feature for both sides in the match. More legends will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sven told Good Morning Britain it would be his dream to take one game in charge of his boyhood club and said he had been invited to watch the game.
Asked if he would accept the offer to manage the legends’ side, he said: ‘Of course I would, it’s always been my dream. But as if it were a dream.
‘I’m not complaining I’ve had very good football teams, national teams and clubs. I’m happy anyway.’
Eriksson managed England from 2001 to 2006 – with Liverpool star Steven Gerrard (left) part of the famous ‘Golden Generation’ that reached the quarter-finals at three tournaments
Robbie Fowler, who played for England under Eriksson, has made a request for the Swede to be involved in next month’s game.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also said Eriksson was ‘very welcome’ to take his seat
Current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also given his approval for Eriksson to play a role in next month’s legends game.
“For the first time I heard about his admiration or love for Liverpool and that he has been a fan all his life,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said last month.
‘Now I heard about the Legends (game) and stuff like that. I am not in control of it.
‘The only thing I can say is absolutely he is very welcome to come here and he can sit in my seat in my office and do my job for a day if he wants to. It’s no problem.
“Being on the sidelines can be a bit more difficult. To have him here and show him everything and how this great club has developed over the years, I think that’s definitely something we’ll tell him.
“He can come and enjoy some wonderful hours here, I’m sure.”
It will not be Eriksson’s first visit to Anfield, as his England side played at the stadium against Paraguay in 2002 and Uruguay in 2006.
Before the 2006 game, he spoke of being influenced by the famous Anfield dressing room in his formative years in management.
Eriksson revealed during his time as England manager that former Liverpool boss Joe Fagan (far right) invited him to Anfield during his formative years as a football coach
He said: ‘As a young man I used to come here to Anfield every now and then and I used to visit the famous boot room.
‘Joe Fagan invited me there 30 years ago. I saw them practice and I saw them play many times in games and I learned many things.
‘Joe was a very nice man and I got to know him very well. They were always very helpful and I learned a lot. But I think the whole world learned from the great Liverpool teams of that time.
“They kept the ball, kept things simple. It was very difficult to attack them. You’ve got one very special thing here that gives me chills, and that’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ when it’s sung before the teams come out.’
Eriksson was the first foreign coach to manage England and was in the dugout for their famous 5-1 win over Germany in 2001.
He took the team to the quarter-finals of the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments as well as Euro 2004.
During his managerial career that spanned from 1977 to 2019, his best success came at Lazio where he won the Serie A title, two Coppa Italias, the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.