Former England Manager Sven Goran Eriksson has just turned 70, but the Swede is showing no signs of slowing down. With talk about potentially buying a football club he also has some advice for Gareth Southgate ahead of the World Cup, writes Charlotte Duncker.
“Do it your way, use your head, don’t listen to other people and don’t read the press,” that’s the advice Sven Goran Eriksson would give to Gareth Southgate ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
The Swede is predicting a good tournament for England 12 years after his own personal disappointment.
“In 2006 I thought we should win it, I thought there wasn’t any team better than us, so that was a huge disappointment,” he told The Offside Rule Exclusives.
“I think they have a good chance and I’m positive they will do well. They have a lot of new young players who are doing great in the Premier League but they need luck with injuries.
“That’s always a big problem for England, that and tiredness. I’ll say it again, they will never win the World Cup if there isn’t a winter break.”
While Eriksson thinks England can compete for the biggest prize in world football, now he’s predicting they will face fierce competition from China in years to come.
Having managed in the Chinese Super League for four years the Swede believes China will be a football force to be reckoned with in the future.
“I don’t regret my time over there at all because football in China is growing. You might laugh at me now but in 15 years I believe China will compete in winning the World Cup. I’m not saying they will win it but they will compete,” he said.
“Think about 1.3billion people how many talented people there will be in there? There’s going to be a big boom.”
Since leaving China last summer, where he has denied he was sacked by a poem, Eriksson has been considering his next move.
His love for football could see him branch out into club ownership, but he’s ruled out a big money move for a English club.
“I will probably go into football in another way. Maybe on TV,” he explained.
“Then I think about buying a football club somewhere, not in England, it’s so expensive.
“It won’t be in Sweden either because of the rules about club ownership. But, I am planning something which is going to be on a very low level in another country.”
But, whatever happens Eriksson isn’t showing any signs of slowing down:
“I’m not quite ready to slow down. Football has been my life and I miss it. I miss the Saturday or Sunday afternoons when the adrenaline in the body goes up, it’s just not the same watching it on the TV.”
Whatever the former England Manager decides to do, we are sure to be keeping a close eye on his latest ventures and whether he is in fact correct about China becoming a major competitor for the World Cup in future tournaments.
Follow Charlotte on Twitter @CharDuncker
Launched in 2017, The Offside Rule Exclusives is our Webby-nominated monthly podcast hosted by Lynsey Hooper, Kait Borsay, and Hayley McQueen. It features in-depth interviews with some of the biggest names in football like Phil Neville, Jermaine Defoe, and Casey Stoney.