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Former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson opens up about on his illness after a year being away from the game. Image Credit: Reuters

Stockholm: Swedish football coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said he has cancer and might have less than a year to live.

The former England coach told Swedish Radio P1 he discovered he had cancer after collapsing suddenly. He said in February last year that he was reducing his public appearances because of health issues.

“Everyone understands that I have a disease that is not good, and everyone guesses that it is cancer and it is,” Eriksson said in an interview published on Thursday.

Inoperable stage

Eriksson said he has pancreatic cancer and that it is inoperable.

“At best I have maybe a year, at worst maybe a little less,” he said.

The 75-year-old said he is trying to think positively.

“I could go and think about it all the time and sit at home and be grumpy and think I’m unlucky and so on,” he said. “I think that is easily done, that you end up there.

“No, look at things positively and don’t wallow in adversity. Because this is, of course, the biggest setback.”

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Eriksson guided England to quarterfinals in World Cups 2002 and 2006, losing to Brazil and Portugal. Image Credit: AP

Eriksson was England’s first ever foreign-born coach from 2001-06 after making his name winning league titles at club level with Lazio in Italy, Benfica in Portugal and IFK Gothenburg in his native Sweden.

Quarter-final exits

Eriksson led what was regarded as a “golden generation” of players, including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, at the World Cups in 2002 and 2006 and got the team to the quarter-finals at both tournaments before elimination by Brazil and Portugal respectively.

In the only other major tournament under Eriksson — the European Championship in 2004 — England were also ousted at the quarter-final stage, again by Portugal and via a penalty shoot-out like at the World Cup in 2006.

The England national team and Manchester City, one of the many clubs he coached, were among those to send their best wishes to Eriksson over X, formerly Twitter.

Eriksson’s last coaching role was with the Philippines’ national team in 2018-19 and most recently had the role of sporting director at Karlstad, a team in Sweden’s third division.