Sven Goran Eriksson: “My Lazio? It was a pleasure to coach them”


In an extensive interview with La Repubblica, Sven-Goran Eriksson shared behind-the-scenes stories about his championship-winning stint with Lazio. The Swedish coach will be honored at the Lazio-Sassuolo match on May 26th, having guided them to their last title win in 2000. Speaking with the newspaper, the Swedish coach reflected on his time in the Italian capital and the success he enjoyed with the Biancocelesti:

Expressing Gratitude

“I am the one who should thank you. These days give me honor, energy, and life,” said Sven-Goran Eriksson in the extensive interview, discussing the upcoming tribute.

On Fans’ Chants

Eriksson began the interview by commenting on the warm welcome and the chant dedicated to him by Lazio fans (“Sven-Goran Eriksson la la la la”): “Actually, my name is pronounced ‘Ioran.’ But that’s okay: even I sometimes mix up terms in Spanish and Portuguese when speaking Italian. I know five languages, but Chinese was a bit difficult; I only learned a few words.”

Previous Invitation and Tribute

Eriksson was previously invited by Lazio a year ago for the Rome derby. However, following his health announcement, the club felt it necessary to invite him again for another tribute. “The club had already invited me a year ago for the Rome derby. They called me again because, as they explained, the previous farewell was impromptu,” Eriksson explained.

On Claudio Ranieri’s Retirement

Eriksson also commented on Claudio Ranieri’s recent retirement from football: “A prepared professional, but above all, a great man. We competed, but not always on equal terms: often I had the stronger players.”

Reflecting on His Star-Studded Lazio

The former Lazio coach fondly recalled the numerous champions he managed and the recent admission by then-president Sergio Cragnotti about not heeding his post-championship advice. “A team full of stars. But they always behaved well: everyone worked, ran for each other. It was a pleasure to coach them. Cragnotti and I talked, yes. We won seven trophies in three years; something needed to change because success only comes with motivation and hunger. Winning teams shouldn’t be overhauled, but they should always be refined.”

Admiration for Jurgen Klopp

Eriksson concluded the interview by naming a current coach who reminds him of himself: “There are many good coaches. I spoke with Jurgen Klopp when I visited Liverpool. I have always admired how he conducts himself on the field and what he says to the media. He has a very strong image, and behind that, you can clearly see a special person.”


Serie A obsessive.