Everything you need to know about Azkals’ new coach Sven-Goran Erikkson

October 31, 2018 - 4:30 PM
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Sven-Göran Erikkson in 2014. (Wikicommons/Anders Henrikson)

Veteran football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former mentor of several top-tier clubs and international squads, has been named head coach of the Philippine national team.

Eriksson has reportedly been signed on for six months and is expected to lead the Azkals in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November 2018 and the Asian Cup in January 2019.

He will be taking over the post vacated by former England national team captain Terry Butcher, who left the team in August 2018 without coaching a single game for the team.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami at the Manila leg of the Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup Trophy said that he believes Erikkson can help the Philippine side “reach the next level.”

“He will be a great addition to the team and I’m sure that the players will learn a lot from him,” he also said.

The 70-year old Swedish-born coach will reportedly start his coaching duties for the Azkals on November 3, 2018.

Those dreaming for the Philippines’ rise in the football world hope that Eriksson, who has been coaching teams around the world for 40 years, will usher in a golden age for the Azkals.

A colorful 40 years of coaching

Eriksson started his career in football as a defender for various clubs in Sweden’s for ten years before shifting to managing.

He first started out as an assistant coach with Degerfors IF before being hired as head coach of Gothenburg club IFK Göteborg,

He found success with Benfica, leading them to the National Title and Portuguese Cup in the 1982-1983 season. He won another National Title for Benfica in 1984 before departing for Italy’s Serie A.

The Serie A, however, proved to be a challenge for Eriksson. In five years divided between A.S Roma and Fiorentina, he failed to win a single domestic league title but managed to give Roma the vaunted Coppa Italia in 1986.

He returned to Benfica for a brief period from 1989 to 1992, leading them to the European Cup final before losing to AC Milan 0-1 in his first season back. He managed to give Benfica another domestic title in 1991 before returning to the Serie A to mentor a number of clubs.

His most notable stint in Italy was with Lazio, his previous club Roma’s cross-city rival, which he led to only its second Serie A title in 2000.

Eriksson’s success drew the attention of England and was hired to manage its national team from 2001 to 2006 and led the squad in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Both campaigns however ended in futility.

He has since bounced around clubs, including English clubs Manchester City and Leicester City, both of which he failed to lead to domestic success.

He returned to the World Cup as coach of Ivory Coast in 2010 but failed to get past the group stage.

Prior to being hired by the Philippines, Eriksson had been coaching a number of teams in the Chinese Super League.

Palami said Erikkson had to be convinced of the impact he could leave on the Philippines.

“He believes in the legacy the can leave behind in the Philippines and in Asia. The Philippines is a very good bed for his time and effort,” he said.