Sven-Goran Eriksson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and in a “best case” scenario has around a year left to live, the former England manager has revealed.
Eriksson, who managed England for five years before leaving after the 2006 World Cup, stood down from his most recent role as sporting director at Swedish club Karlstad 11 months ago due to 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.
“It’s better not to think about it. 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 of course.”
Eriksson led Benfica to three Portuguese top-flight titles and a runners-up finish in the European Cup before guiding Lazio to their second and most recent Serie A triumph in 1999-2000.
He succeeded Kevin Keegan as England boss in January 2001, taking charge of the country’s so-called golden generation – the label attached to a group of players who were thriving for their clubs.
Despite a wealth of talent to call upon including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, Eriksson presided over quarter-final exits at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as well as at Euro 2004.
His intrepid career since leaving the England job has taken in stints at Manchester City and Leicester, as well as spells in charge of the Mexico, Ivory Coast and Philippines national teams.
Eriksson added: “I was fully healthy and then I collapsed and fainted and ended up at the hospital. And it turned out that I had cancer. The day before I had been out running five kilometres.
“It just came from nothing. And that makes you shocked.
“I’m not in any major pain. But I’ve been diagnosed with a disease that you can slow down but you cannot operate. So it is what it is.”
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