Football: Sven-Goran Eriksson - successful coach and tabloid darling

Sven-Goran Eriksson is right back on the radar in South-east Asia after being appointed head coach of the Philippine national team on Oct 27, 2018.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is right back on the radar in South-east Asia after being appointed head coach of the Philippine national team on Oct 27, 2018.PHOTO: XINHUA

SINGAPORE - Sven-Goran Eriksson is a name that has had little resonance with football fans here since he departed Leicester City and English football in 2011.

But the 70-year-old former England coach is right back on the radar in South-east Asia after being appointed head coach of the Philippine national team on Saturday (Oct 27).

The Swede's track record in management is not to be sniffed at, winning the Italian Serie A in 2000 with Lazio and leading England to two quarter-final appearances at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

But media coverage of his on-pitch successes were arguably matched by sensational stories about his personal life and these made him a tabloid mainstay during his stint as England coach.

No one knows how this latest chapter of a four decade-long managerial career will turn out, but here is a little refresher on Eriksson in case you've forgotten his claims to both fame and infamy.

ON THE PITCH

His resume speaks for itself, although critics will no doubt note the relative lack of success in the last decade:

- 1982 Uefa Cup champion with Goteberg

- 1983, 1984, 1991 Primeira Divisao champion with Benfica

- 1986 Coppa Italia winner with Roma

- 1994 Coppa Italia winner with Sampdoria

- Won 1998, 2000 Coppa Italia and 2000 Serie A with Lazio

- First foreign manager to take charge of England in 2001. Led them to quarter-finals at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups

- Appointed 25-year-old David Beckham England captain ahead of more senior players

- Achieved first AFC Champions League qualification for Guangzhou R&F (2014) and Shanghai SIPG (2015) in Chinese Super League

OFF THE PITCH

- His marriage to Ann-Christine Pettersson fell apart in 1994 because of an affair with, in Eriksson's own words in his autobiography, "a dark curvy Italian beauty called Graziella Mancinelli".

- Subsequently he got together with Italian-British lawyer Nancy Dell'Olio in 1998, whose marriage to Giancarlo Mazza he broke up.

- While with Dell'Olio, he had two affairs dug up by the English media when he was Three Lions coach. He had a four-month fling with TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson in 2002 and cheated on Dell'Olio again in 2004, this time with Football Association secretary Faria Alam.

- He also memorably fell victim to a "Fake Sheikh" tabloid sting in 2006. Then, he told a reporter from the News of the World, who was posing as a sheik, that he would quit England if they won the World Cup and was prepared to become the £5 million (S$8.8 million)-a-year manager of Aston Villa as part of a takeover bid. In a series of indiscreet remarks about then England internationals, he also offered to "tap up" Beckham and convince his captain to leave Spanish giants Real Madrid and join Villa.