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Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 08:37 GMT
Man with the Midas touch
Sven Goran Eriksson
Eriksson is renowned for his tactical acumen
BBC Sport Online profiles Sven Goran Eriksson - the first foreigner ever to take charge of the England football team.

Swede Sven Goran Eriksson has won a reputation as one of the most progressive coaches in world football.

And despite being forced to stand down as boss of Italian champions Lazio because of a run of poor results, he is highly regarded for his tactical acumen and attention to detail.

He has long been linked with posts in Britain after making his name as coach of IFK Gothenburg, Benfica and Sampdoria before moving to Rome.

He signed a contract to take over at Blackburn in 1997 before reneging; has expressed an interest in the Manchester United job when Sir Alex Ferguson retires; and was also linked with the Celtic manager's job.

A Serie A title with Lazio changed his mind, adding to a list of honours including the Super Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup (with Lazio), Uefa Cup (IFK Gothenburg), three Portuguese titles (Benfica) and the Swedish title (Gothenburg).

  Sven Goran Eriksson
1948 Born Torsby, Sweden, Feb 5
1975 Ends playing career with Degerfors
1981 Wins Swedish title with IFK Gothenburg
1983 Wins Portuguese league and cup double at Benfica
1984 Second Portuguese title
1986 Takes Roma to Italian Cup victory
1991 Third championship in Portugal, back at Benfica
1994 At Sampdoria, wins Italian Cup
1998 Italian Cup victory with Lazio
1999 Wins European Cup Winners Cup and Uefa Super Cup
2000 Clinches Serie A title and Italian Cup for Lazio
31 October 2000 Named by FA as England boss
9 January 2001 Resigns as coach of Lazio

With that record of success and his tactical nous, the multi-lingual Swede was regarded by many as an ideal candidate to take England, and the English game, forward.

Others, though, will find it hard to look past the fact he would be the country's first foreign manager.

Eriksson boasts an excellent track record, winning five championships in three different countries, his native Sweden and in Portugal, before giving Lazio only their second Serie A title in Italy last season.

Before the shortlist was drawn up for the England job, he was not well known in Britain, but elsewhere was regarded as one of the most knowledgeable coaches in world football.


He agreed to take over at Ewood Park in 1997, publicly announced he was "honoured" to accept Jack Walker's offer of the Rovers job, then back-tracked on the deal.

Eriksson may have the ability to handle the massive pressure which goes with the England post, and is remarkably dignified.

Quietly-spoken and not given to showing too much of the strain that comes with the territory, he is single-minded in the extreme.

One ex-player claims he never raised his voice but exercised remarkable control, and he should have no language problems.

At the age of 52, he may well regard England as his last big challenge.

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