The Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea great verdicts that will make Sven-Goran Eriksson proud amid cancer diagnosis

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Sven Goran Eriksson managed the 'Golden Generation' of England footballers, including Wayne Rooney and David Beckham

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson announced this morning he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and confirmed he has been given ‘one year to live’. 

Eriksson, who managed the national side from 2001-2006 told Swedish radio station P1 that “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. 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.”

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The 75-year-old’s England career is best associated with launching the careers of some of England’s greatest stars, named the ‘Golden Generation’, with figures such as David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney all featuring. 

Erikssen led England to two World Cup quarter-finals and during the 2002 World Cup qualifying stages, he managed the Lions to a 5-1 win over long-standing rivals Germany.

Wayne Rooney (L), David Beckham (C) and Eriksson in 2005Wayne Rooney (L), David Beckham (C) and Eriksson in 2005
Wayne Rooney (L), David Beckham (C) and Eriksson in 2005 | Getty Images

Gerrard and Rooney are among some of the many from around the world to have offered their love and support for their former ‘gaffer’ with the ex-Manchester United striker saying: “Sad news this morning. Thoughts are with Sven Goran-Eriksson and his family. A brilliant coach and a special person. Loved and respected by everyone. We’re all with you Sven, keep fighting.”

Ex-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard previously stated how big a personal impact Eriksson had on his life and believes it would not have been possible for him to have become such an international star had it not been for his Swedish boss. 

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In 2013, the midfielder spoke to the London Evening Standard: “When it comes to a coach who had a big role in my England career, Sven-Goran Eriksson always helped me hugely because he put a lot of confidence in me and broke me into the team pre-Euro 2004.

“There wasn’t anything in particular that Sven said to me that was inspirational apart from saying, ‘You are in the team’, but that was more than enough to provide a huge lift.

“He really gave me my chance, gave me my self-belief at international level. I will always remember that with high regard.”

Lampard was far from the only one who offered calls of praise to the ex-Three Lions boss with Manchester United and England superstar David Beckham admitting in 2004 that Eriksson had “been a great man to me, and to the rest of the players.

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“Everyone of the players respects him as a manager and what he does for the team and what he’s done for the country, really - and football. I’ve enjoyed working with him and I hope I’ll carry on working with him.”

Lampard and Beckham’s former international teammate Michael Owen was another to have piled on the praise to Eriksson and speaking to the Independent in 2004, the Newcastle and Real Madrid legend said of his international manager:"I know that everyone in the (England) squad rates the manager highly.”

"The job is different to the role of a club manager. When you go away with England you're not with your best buddies that you are with at your club, [but] there's a great atmosphere.

"Everyone gets on. In everyone's eyes he plays good formations and picks good teams and its enjoyable coming away with England. He's second to none in what I've been used to - he knows an awful lot, his tactics are good. He has what it takes to be a good manager."

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