Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has announced that he has been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, he also said that the best case scenario is that he has a year left to live.
The Swedish manager is just 75 years old, and is a well-loved figure in England after becoming the first foreigner to be appointed to the managerial role for the men's national team. He led the Three Lions to the quarter-finals of both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. The team also reached the last eight of Euro 2024.
Eriksson shared that he found out about his cancer about a year ago after suffering a small stroke. He fell and his children brought him to the hospital, where he discovered that he had suffered a series of five small strokes.
Doctors informed him that he can fully recover from the strokes, but they had found something more sinister. During the course of the examinations, they discovered that he had pancreatic cancer and that it was inoperable. Prior to that diagnosis, he thought that he was completely healthy.
During an interview with Radio P1 in Sweden, Eriksson said: "I have an illness that's serious. Best case a year, I have worst case a lot less. It's impossible to say exactly, so it's better to not think about it."
While the prognosis is grim, he assured that he is fully determined to fight the disease. He said: "I'm going to resist for as long as I can."
After finding out about his cancer last year, Eriksson was forced to stand down from being the sporting director of Swedish club Karlstad. He had a managerial career that spanned 42 years, but all that will now take a back seat as he focuses on his health.
Despite suffering from a terminal illness, Eriksson revealed that he lives a relatively normal life surrounded by friends and family.
He told the BBC: "I'm not in hospital, I go now and then for a visit but I live at home and I have friends here. Christmas and New Year, the whole family were here - a lot of people.
"I'm going out to try and exercise as much as possible, which is less than it was one year ago, but I have a normal life.
Speaking more about his illness, Eriksson said that while his cancer is inoperable, he is still receiving treatment and medicine. His doctors are doing their best to prolong his life, and at the moment he is simply focusing on appreciating each day. "You are happy when you wake up in the morning and you feel OK, so that's what I'm doing," he added.
Eriksson's long list of managerial roles
The Swede first broke into the scene in 1977 when he became manager of Degerfors in his native Sweden. He later joined a more high profile club, Gothenburg, and won his first Swedish league title, two Swedish cups. The rest of Europe began to take notice after he won the 1981 UEFA Cup with Gothenburg.
Eriksson later took charge of Benfica in Portugal before moving on to a long series of jobs in the Italian Serie A. He won a total of seven trophies on Italian soil while managing the likes of Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Lazio. HIs trophies include the Serie A, two Italian Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
The first foreigner to take charge of England
Eriksson was appointed as England manager in January 2001 after leaving his role at Lazio. He was at the helm during the memorable 5-1 thrashing of Germany during the qualifiers for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he led the team to the quarter-finals.
The England campaign also ended in the quarter-finals in the European Championship in 2004 and in the World Cup in 2006, losing both times to Portugal.
He left the England role after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and went on to take charge of Manchester City and Leicester City. He them moved away form the UK, taking on jobs in Mexico, Ivory coast and the Philippines before returning to Sweden.