Sven-Goran Eriksson reveals cancer diagnosis and says he has 'at best a year' to live

Virgin Radio

11 Jan 2024, 10:58

Credit: Getty

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has revealed that he has terminal cancer.

The 75-year-old Swede told a Swedish radio station: "Everyone understands that I have an illness that is not good. Everyone guesses it's cancer and it is. But I have to fight as long as I can," 

Regarding his prognosis, he told P1 that he has "maybe at best a year, at worst even less, or in the best case, I suppose even longer". 

He continued: “It's impossible to say exactly, so it's better to not think about it.

“But you can trick your brain. See the positive in things, don't wallow in adversity, because this is the biggest adversity of course, but make something good out of it."

He added: “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.”

The ex football coach collapsed while on a 5km run, which caused doctors to look into his health. They informed him that he had suffered a stroke and subsequently discovered the cancer.  He explained: “They don’t know how long I had cancer, maybe a month or a year.”

Eriksson’s four-decade career in management included a spell as England manager between 2001 and 2006, succeeding Kevin Keegan. 

He became the first first foreign coach to manage the Three Lions, and his team included the likes of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. Memorable results include a 5-1 win in Germany, and he led England to three consecutive quarter-finals at major tournaments, two of which ended in heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeats.

After five years as England boss, he left in 2006, and went on to manage Manchester City, Leicester City and Notts County.

He also took charge of the national teams of Mexico, Ivory Coast and the Philippines.

During his years as England manager, his personal life was often the subject of tabloid interest, most notably his relationship with fellow Swede Ulrika Jonsson and Football Association secretary Faria Alam.