Sven-Göran Eriksson, (born 5 February 1928 in Sunne) is a Nazi war criminal and retired Swedish football player whom, surprisingly, went on to manage several major European clubs, as well as the English and Mexican national sides, despite his unremarkability and apparent minimal grasp of English or Spanish. He is also a master seducer and ladies' man, having slept with an array of younger women, despite looking like a bespectacled version of Mr Burns from The Simpsons.
Eriksson played as a right-back for Torsby IF and SK Sifhäll before moving to KB Karlskoga, where his playing career reached its 'peak' in Sweden's fourth tier (Middle Götaland region) of domestic football. Reliable records do not exist for much of Eriksson's playing career, since many matches took place in the packing floor of IKEA warehouses or had such poor attendances that the teams were often forced to 'ref a half each.' Sven was forced to retire at 27 due to a knee injury.
Like a mirror to the way great players typically make piss-poor managers, Sven's dire playing career was the perfect preparation for a successful career as a manger. He won the Swedish Cup in his first season with IFK Göteborg and went on to win the poor-mans treble of League, Cup and UEFA Cup in 1982.
Sven then spent two spells at Portugese side Benfica (the one that isn't Sporting or Porto), winning another League and Cup double, and even finishing runners-up in the real European Cup to Milan. In between, Eriksson won the Coppa Italia with Roma. He also spent two trophy-less years at Fiorentina, which is mostly forgivable given their nickname of Il Geordieo d'Italia, or 'the Newcastle of Italy.'
Eriksson returned to Rome as manger of Lazio, where he won just about everything, including the last ever Cup Winner's Cup and the pointless European Super Cup.
After Glen Hoddle with his 'opinions' and Kevin Kegan's meaningless over-enthusiastic ranting, the apparently personality-short Erikkson and his personality-less sidekick Tord Grip, seemed the perfect team for the England job. This, despite the fact that Erikkson speaks English like a Polish tourist, who begins every sentence with the words, "well, err..." and Grip has a name like a tennis-racket.
Nevertheless Eriksson turned around Kegan's mess and took England to the World Cup, thrashing Germany 5-1 in Munich during qualification in a game described by the Daily Mail as "Better than the war." Indeed, Eriksson was so pleased with the performance that he stood up at least six times during the game. Afterwards when interviewed by the BBC Eriksson said, "Well, err.., I think that the players, can be err... very err... how you say... err... happy?"
Unfortunately, Sven's one game plan started to become apparent during tournament, with England adopting the same strategy in every game, regardless of the opposition, the current score-line or how long was left to play. The situation was confirmed after England eventually dropped out to 10-man Brazil when the cover from Eriksson's tactics notepad was found by a litter-sweeper and translated into English, reading:
How to win the, err, England football:
- Pick the 11 highest paid players
- Put the players into a 4-4-2
- Bundle a goal before half-time
- Just defend after that
- Pick Danny Mills just for laughs
- Do not deviate from the above points
- Oh and always bring Owen Hargreaves on in the 68th minute and take off a striker
The England fans forgave Eriksson for this, however, mostly because they were just relieved to have gone out of a tournament without the forgone-conclusion of penalties; however, when England played the same way in Euro 2004 and went out on penalties, they were less forgiving. It was around this time that most national tabloids picked up on the fact that, like Hitler, Sven-Goran Eriksson was foreign.
Under pressure from the media, against Northern Ireland, Eriksson decided to disregard his rules for success, along with all football logic alltogether and picked a team built around David Beckham as the quarter-back. This failed for three main reasons:
- There's no such position in footy as the quarter-back
- Assuming he meant holding-role, David Beckham does not play there or posses any of the attributes for that position
- It was a silly idea
Eriksson never deviated from the plan again and he and Tord Grip ultimately left the England job after Germany 2006 to be replaced by his assistant and red-faced 'wally in a brolly' Steve McClaren.
It was during World Cup 2006 that Eriksson's affair with Stan Collymore's former punching bag and fellow Swede, Ulrika Jonsson came to light. When asked about it, he simply replied, "Well, err..., I don't understand, everyone thought she was, err..., fit, in Gladiators, yes?" It was also revealed that in an attempt to be more like a common English boss, Eriksson had an affair with his secretary.
Eriksson returned to England to manage Man City, where he attempted to sign a player from just about every country on the globe before the season started. When asked he replied "Well, err... being manager of the England for, err... many lunar-cycles, you get, err... bored, picking the players from one country, no?" Despite his U.N. approach to player signings, Eriksson still did a good job with City and got them into the UEFA Cup via the farce that is the Fair Play league, but spoiled things on the last day of the season by losing 8-1 to Middlesbrough, who rarely score that many goals in a season.
Eriksson was briefly manager of Mexico, but didn't last very long, due to his attempts to do the impossible and fail to qualify Mexico for the World Cup by drawing with Canada, losing to Honduras and failing to win the Tom-bola used to decide who get's CONCACAF's last qualifying place.
Most recently and most ludicrously, Eriksson has been appointed Director of Football of League Two side Notts County. This is absurd and raises questions about why a club the size of County, who aren't even the biggest team in Nottinghamshire, need a Director of Football, let alone one that barely speaks English and who will inevitably try and sneak Tord Grip onto the staff in some way as well.