Former manager Sven Goran Eriksson has recalled the time he decided to leave Italian club Lazio and take up the role with the England national team.
Eriksson became a cult figure during his four-year stint at Lazio as he guided them to Serie A title in 1999-2000 season and also helped them win two Coppa Italia trophies and a UEFA Super Cup medal.
“I have remained a Lazio fan and that was the strongest team I ever coached,” Eriksson told Italian station Radio Radio as per the Daily Mail.
“It was perhaps one of the best teams in the world at that moment. We won so much in three-and-a-half years, we could probably have won even more, but it was, without doubt, my happiest professional experience.”
He was subsequently named England’s manager in 2001 and guided the Three Lions to quarter-finals of 2002 World Cup, 2004 Euro and 2006 World Cup but never further.
Despite having England’s golden generation at his disposal, he couldn’t land a trophy and was criticised for his handling of world-class midfielders Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.
Using the rigid four-four-two formation didn’t help his cause either as England failed to utilise the full potential of their star players.
“A few times I thought to myself it might’ve been better to stay at Lazio and in Italy. But when an offer from the England team comes along, that’s once in a lifetime,” Eriksson said.
“I thought that I couldn’t say no and would’ve regretted it for the rest of my life if I had turned it down. Maybe I made a mistake, maybe not, who knows…it is what it is and we can’t change it now,” he added.