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Eriksson Fulfils Lifelong Dream By Managing Liverpool In Charity Game

The 76-year-old former England boss revealed in January he had "best case a year" to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.


Sven-Goran Eriksson-liverpool-
Liverpool Legends’ manager Sven-Goran Eriksson applauds the fans following the Legends football match between Liverpool Legends and Ajax Legends at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on March 23, 2024. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Sven-Goran Eriksson said he had fulfilled a life-long dream by managing Liverpool Legends in a charity match against Ajax Legends at Anfield on Saturday.

The 76-year-old former England boss revealed in January he had “best case a year” to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

At the time the Swede, whose long career in club management included spells in charge of Manchester City and Lazio, revealed his lifelong love for Liverpool and how he had always wished to be manager of the club one day.

His dream became a reality on Saturday as Eriksson, alongside former Liverpool favourites Ian Rush, John Barnes and John Aldridge in the home dug-out, helped oversee a 4-2 win.

Eriksson said afterwards he had shed tears before kick-off, when he received a standing ovation from the crowd as he walked out onto the pitch, with fans singing the Liverpool anthem of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

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“That will be a huge memory in life,” said Eriksson. “Absolutely beautiful.

“To sit on the bench for Liverpool, that’s been my dream my whole life. Now it happened, and it was a beautiful day in all meanings.

“The crowd, the game, the players, everything, fantastic, and thank you to Liverpool for giving me this opportunity, to invite me for such an important game — it’s not points but the importance of the game is incredible.

“It was full of emotions, tears coming. It’s been my dream club all my life — even when I had England, I also supported Liverpool, but I couldn’t say it at that time.

“It’s a good finish, to finish with Liverpool, it can’t be much better than that,” added Eriksson, who guided England to the quarter-finals of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Liverpool were 2-0 down at half-time on Saturday before Kop-end goals from Gregory Vignal, Djibril Cisse, Nabil El Zhar and Fernando Torres turned the match in their favour.

The Reds were captained by Steven Gerrard, who played under Eriksson for England. “He (Gerrard) is the boss out there –- of course (he still has it)!,” said Eriksson.

AFP