Sven-Goran Eriksson says 'it's like a dream' to manage Liverpool for charity football match

The former England and Manchester City manager confirmed the charity football match will be his last game due to a terminal cancer diagnoses Credit: AP

The former England and Manchester City boss says he "thought it was a joke" when he was offered the chance to join Liverpool's management team, after he revealed a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Sven-Goran Eriksson will be managing his favourite team for the first time during their Liverpool Legends match against Ajax on Saturday 23 March.

Ahead of the match, he said: "It’s like a dream. When I was a manager I always dreamt about Liverpool, but that never happened.

"It was close once, it was some discussion once, many years ago…it never happened. But now it happens!

"When they asked I thought it was like a joke, but I said of course I would come to that - it's for charity.

“’You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is magic. I’m looking forward to it. I’m very honoured and thankful to Liverpool that they gave me this opportunity.

“I think it must be maybe the best atmosphere in the world, in all big football stadiums I have been to, and part of that is the song when the players come out. The atmosphere is incredible.”

As a lifelong Liverpool fan he has said he always wanted to managed the club, but never had the chance.

He said: "My father was a Liverpool fan, is still a Liverpool fan, so it came from there. I played them twice, we lost here so we said we’d come back and take them! But we lost five-one."

He also said that around 1979, when he was young manager in his homeland, he wrote to the club asking if he could come to watch some training, and in reply received an invitation.

“I saw a game and some training, I was honoured to go into the Boot Room. That was great, fantastic,” he said.

“All the training sessions, they were playing one touch, two touches. The quality of the play was incredible, and ‘make it simple’ the coaches told me. I learned a lot of course.”

Sven-Goran Eriksson at the press conference ahead of the charity match. Credit: LFC

Eriksson, who is now 76, went public in January with the news that he has only got around year left to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

His poor-health forced him to quit his most recent role as sporting director at Swedish club Karlstad.

In 2018, he resigned as the Manager of the Philippines' national team, making the charity match his first time back on the pitch in five years.

He said: "Of course I miss it, but I realised I have reached a certain age, and it’s okay. I have done what I have done."

While he is excited to be back in the Manager role, he also confirmed this will be his game.

He said: "It’s over, almost. This will be the last game."

Eriksson will be joined by other LFC greats, including Ian Rush, John Barnes and John Aldridge, for the annual legends charity clash.

Eriksson managed England for five years, and in that time took the squad to the quarter finals of the World Cup twice. He left in 2006, and spent a short time as Manchester City's manager.

Despite never managing Liverpool, Eriksson got his start at Anfield where he first trained to be a coach.

He said: "At that time, the quality of the play was incredible. They did just one touch, two touch- just played football. The coaches told me, just make it simple. I learned a lot."

Speaking shortly after Eriksson went public with his diagnosis, Klopp said: “I heard for the first time about his admiration or love for Liverpool and that he was a fan for his whole life.

“Absolutely he’s very welcome to come here and he can sit in my seat in my office and do my job for a day if he wants. That’s no problem.

“Being on the sideline might be a little bit more difficult. To have him here and show him everything and how this wonderful club developed over the years, I think that’s definitely something we will tell him.

“He can come over and have a few wonderful hours here, I’m sure.”

With close to 60,000 tickets sold, there is set to be a record crowd in attendance for what is the eighth annual LFC Foundation match. Previous games have raised over £6.4million.