Sven Goran Eriksson autobiography: Five things we learnt from the former England manager's book


Click to follow
The Independent Football

1. Dell'Olio was demanding

Nancy Dell'Olio, then a married woman, arrived for lunch at Eriksson's Rome apartment. "I don't know if we ate much," he said. "But Nancy had not come over for the food." It wasn't long before she was his live-in partner, but he was finding her "too demanding" and was having meetings with her ex-husband, asking him to take her back.

2. Sven is no Heathcliff

One might imagine it would require a fervent ardour to remove a woman from her husband. Sven, though, recalls that "I was probably in love with her". And there, the vaguest Heathcliff comparison must end. "Before long I began wondering if I had done the right thing in taking her away from Giancarlo," he writes. Nancy was soon wondering the same herself.

3. Cause for Alam

In the Eriksson mating ritual, lunch is evidently of key importance. When he asked Faria Alam, an assistant at the Football Association, to lunch in 2004, he was "pretty sure she was going to say yes". So confident, in fact, he booked a room at the Leonard Hotel by Marble Arch. And – what do you know? – the sheets didn't go unruffled.

4. Economical with the truth

Sven is a scholar of the Clinton school of obfuscation. Were the soon to be published allegations of his affair with Alam true, the FA's David Davies called to ask.

"It's nonsense," he told him. 'But by that, I didn't mean it wasn't true, but that the question was nonsense." He was, at the time, in the Leonard, with Faria next to him.

5. Money did not matter

"I never cared about money," Sven confides, which is a convenient philosophy for a chap who alleges that his financial adviser lost him £10m, with much of it spent on renovating his own home and expensive art for his office.