Sven-Göran Eriksson: Lazio's scudetto, 20 years on
I travelled to Sven-Göran Eriksson’s home beside a glittering Swedish lake to hear about a glittering career. Sven managed numerous clubs, including both of Rome’s sides, and enjoyed more glory than Julius Caesar – notably four Coppa Italias, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and, twenty years ago, a rare Serie A for Lazio.
Sven’s success was partly due to his willingness to listen to his players. Even a teenager – albeit the genius Clarence Seedorf – was allowed to give him advice. Much of our conversation was about Lazio’s extraordinary title win, but Sven’s passage to that club was only gained by jilting Blackburn, and he was eternally grateful to Rovers owner Jack Walker for being so understanding. By the time he had assembled his holy trinity – Roberto Mancini, Siniša Mihajlović and Juan Sebastián Verón – he knew Lazio would win the Scudetto.
That Serie A was won after a ding-dong battle with Carlo Ancelotti’s mighty Juventus – a club Sven snubbed. He also waxes lyrical about another managerial legend – Marcello Lippi.
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