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Report: Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson interested in coaching Indian football team

EXPERT COLUMNIST
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910   //    25 Feb 2019, 13:32 IST

Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has reportedly expressed interest in coaching the Indian national football team.

India is without a senior team coach after Stephen Constantine announced his resignation when the Blue Tigers crashed out of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the group stages.

Eriksson, who has held top job around the globe, was the coach of the Philippines during the 2019 Asian Cup.

He has coached top Premier League teams like Manchester City and Leicester City. He has also had coaching stints in the Serie A (Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, and Lazio), Primeira Liga side Benfica.

Of late, Eriksson shifted his focus to Asia. He coached Guangzhou R&F and Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League and Shenzhen in the Chinese First Division before moving to the Philippines.

The 71-year-old Swede let the All India Football Federation know his interests through his agent.

"While Eriksson has not contacted the AIFF directly, he has let the AIFF know through his agents that he's quite interested in the job especially as India is an emerging footballing nation," the Times of India quoted an AIFF source as saying.

Eriksson may have held top profile jobs but he hasn't seen much success in the past few years.

Eriksson was England's coach during the 2002 and 2006 World Cup but the team lost out to eventual champions Brazil in the quarterfinals in Korea/Japan and crashed out in the last-eight stage after losing to Portugal in Germany 2006.

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Expressing interest in a national team job is not new for Eriksson. Even while managing England in 2006, Eriksson was recorded saying in a sting operation that he would leave England if a wealthy Arab took over Aston Villa. 

When Eriksson was part of the Leicester management, he oversaw the development of Kasper Schmeichel, the current goalkeeper of Leicester who won the 2015-16 Premier League.

Under Eriksson, Philippines reached the semifinals of the AFF Cup, losing to eventual champions Vietnam. In the AFC Asian Cup, Philippines crashed out of the group stages, failing to win any of their matches in the tough group involving Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and China.

India's win over Thailand appears to have impressed Eriksson. He called it the "biggest surprise" of the tournament and told ESPN: "It would be very good (to have India and China advance in Asian Cup). Especially when the country's No 1 sport is not football. I hope the whole of India talked about India beating Thailand."

"It's not that India, China, and the United States need football, but football needs these three countries. Because it will be even bigger," Eriksson added.

Apart from Eriksson, the other coaches who are interested in the job include FC Goa's Sergio Lobera and NorthEast United's Eelco Schattorie.

The AIFF has not invited applications yet but these names are expected to do the rounds in the coming months.

ALSO READ: 5 managers interested in Indian national football team job left vacant by Stephen Constantine

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