Wednesday , October 27 2021

Ericsson is out of sight and enjoys a new job in the Philippines


When Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson arrived this weekend to take over the duties of a Filipino coach, there were no TV cameras that could welcome him, no fans who wanted to take pictures and get signatures.

The last work of the Swedish coach in managing the national team is a bright opposite of all his other tasks, transferring him to an obsessive basketball country and little is known about football, despite the intense observation of the game in East Asia.

But after spending five years training England around the media and watching the details of his personal life in the front pages, the 70-year-old coach likes to be unknown.

"Nobody knows me here, it's good, you see, the Philippines is not a football country, if you're in England, Italy or somewhere else, people would know me, but it's very good," Eriksson told Reuters before he led the third training session for the Philippines. "He said.

Eriksson trained the Philippines just a week before the tight schedule with a series of consecutive championships, ranging from the Suzuki Cup, the monthly tournament for the nations of Southeast Asia, and then the Asia Cup in January in the United Arab Emirates.

Erikson hopes to take advantage of the quiet enthusiasm for Philippine football thanks to the first appearance in the Asian Cup and the national goalkeeper Neil Ethridge, who became the first player from Southeast Asia to play in the Premier League with Cardiff City.

Eriksson has recently rejected offers for leading Cameroon and Iraq, a team with "big ambitions" and it is expected that the Asian Cup will win.

After the resignation of former England defender Terry Butcher in August, without leading the match, Ericsson moved to the Philippines, where he said that relative non-proliferation of football was one of the reasons that attracted him to this task.

"It's still new to me, it's a country of over 100 million people, and football is not important and I want it to be an important game. I thought about why I'm not trying to do something good with the Philippines, so let's try to do it."

"I know basketball is the first popular game here, but let's try to change it. If we succeed, the popularity of the game can grow very fast."

Success may be easier than attracting local attention – the first appearance of Erikson appeared before the media only on the inside pages of Philippine newspapers, after the news of the American basketball league in the US, the head of police supervising the shooting competition and gymnast concerned about the lack of a visa.

In the World Cup television network there were advertising breaks announcing the rules of football, and the transfer of some critical matches in the group stage to the coverage of the local volleyball league was canceled.

Life is slowing down for Erikson, and his new task from the Philippines will return to what he says is "the spirit of enthusiasm and excitement" he needs.

From 2017 Eriksson returned to his hometown in Torsby, Sweden, where he ran a local team in games that attracted less than 200 viewers.

"That's what I did, I lead a normal life, but after a while I missed football and I could not participate in the game. I ran a local team and it was a great thing and pressure," said Eriksson, who ran Rome, Lazio, Manchester City, Mexico, England and Côte d'Ivoire. You try to improve this team, but it's different when you train a national team, so I will be happy to come back. "

The Philippines have players born in Europe, some of whom have already played in Chelsea, which he considers very positive.

The Philippines will play in the Suzuki Cup against Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and East Timor before they stand for the first time in the Asian Cup when facing South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan in the group phase, extending Ericsson's contract to the end of the two championships.

The Swedish coach does not seem to be sure what will happen next, but says he will not retire.

"Life is good, I may not have to work at a certain age, but I love working and as long as I want to stay on the pitch, it's good," he said.

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