Sven-Goran Eriksson reveals he was to become manager of Man Utd
Releasing autobiographies appears to be in fashion among football icons. The autobiography of former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has hit the stands and has instantly grabbed a great deal of attention. Eriksson has revealed jaw-dropping details about his relationship with Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson in the book.
Eriksson claims to have signed a contract to success Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United after the Scotsman nearly made his exit in 2002. Eriksson also talked about the clash he had with Ferguson over including Rooney in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup.
Ferguson, who led Manchester United for 26 years before handing over the reins of the club to David Moyes, has stated that Moyes was always his no. 1 choice for replacement, but Eriksson’s statements reveal a very different story.
In his autobiography Eriksson suggests he was approached by Manchester United to replace Ferguson. Eriksson further stated that he knew any deals with Manchester United meant risking his career with England.
“I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticized if I broke that contract,” Eriksson wrote. “But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United. A contract was signed -- I was United's new manager.”
Eriksson battled with Ferguson on numerous occasions, the battle before the 2006 World Cup being one of the most intense ones. Back then Rooney was suffering from a broken metatarsal and Ferguson and his medical staff were convinced he wouldn’t able to heal in time to play for England in the World Cup.
Eriksson went ahead and confirmed Rooney in his squad, ignoring medical reports from Manchester United. Armed with England doctor Leif Sward the notorious Three Lions’ boss marched towards Ferguson to resolve the Rooney saga.
“Leif and I met Ferguson and United's doctor at the United training ground. 'He cannot play in the World Cup', Ferguson said flatly. The doctor brought out some X-rays that he said showed Rooney's broken bone would not heal in time,” Eriksson wrote.
“When the doctor finished, Leif looked him in the eye. 'Why do you sit here and lie to me?' Leif asked.
“He was one of Europe's foremost specialists on this kind of injury. I just wish I could have filmed Ferguson's face when Leif explained that Wayne's break would heal in time for the World Cup.
“When Leif had finished, I turned to Ferguson. 'Sorry, Alex,' I said. 'I will pick Rooney'.”
Rooney did end up going to the World Cup, but Eriksson probably wished he had left him out. The forward didn’t score a single goal and instead received a red card for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final against Portugal. England lost the match on penalty kicks.