Sven-Goran Eriksson, a name known to every football enthusiast, has confirmed that he has been diagnosed with cancer with a life expectancy of not more than a year. Although the Swedish coach suffered a rather disappointing campaign with Roma in 1985-86, his career was not entirely devoid of success. The season concluded with Roma squandering the lead on the penultimate day with an astounding home defeat against a team already relegated, Lecce. Nevertheless, Eriksson’s contribution to Italian football was significant, illustrated by his varied fortunes and successes.
Eriksson’s notable moments in Italian football include the following:
1) Leading Roma to secure the Coppa Italia in the 1985-86 season was a poignant moment. After a defeat in Genoa, Roma overturned the result to win 2-0 at the Olimpico.
2) In the 1993-94 season, Eriksson led Sampdoria to a remarkable victory in the most uneven Copa Italia final ever. The initial 0-0 draw turned into an overwhelming 6-1 win at Marassi.
3) In the 1997-98 season, Eriksson’s Lazio team added the Coppa Italia to their list of accomplishments following a dramatic turnaround in the capital. After losing 1-0 at San Siro, Lazio made a comeback with three goals in ten minutes at the Olimpico.
4) Lazio claimed the Italian Supercup in 1998 under Eriksson’s leadership with a Sergio Conceiçao’s 94th-minute goal proving decisive. This marked the beginning of an intense rivalry with Juventus that would positively influence the Lazio team under Eriksson.
In addition, after the 1998-99 Lazio season, the victorious team returned to Rome with the Cup Winners’ Cup, triumphing against Mallorca 2-1 in the final. This victory prompted Eriksson’s statement, quoted in Calcionews24.com: “Today is a beautiful day. In these two years, Lazio has shown that it is a strong team and a strong company”, reminiscent of the UEFA Cup won with Gothenburg in 1981-82.
Moreover, in 1999, Eriksson’s Lazio won the UEFA Super Cup, triumphing against Alex Ferguson’s UEFA Champions League winners, Manchester United.
The 1999-2000 season saw Lazio’s triumph in Serie A, securing victory on the final day while Juventus faltered at Perugia. Reflecting on the historic season, Giulio Cardone of La Repubblica noted a significant change in the coach: “From title day, his tender smile has turned into a vaguely diabolical grin: a question of finally torn labels”. The so-called ‘successful loser’ had turned into a triumphant victor.
Finally, in 2000, Lazio won the Italian Super Cup, marking another chapter of victories against Marcello Lippi. The match finished 4-3 in what was considered an exhibition of excellent football.