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"It WAS not so much the world cup finals and whhat England can achieve at them that ignited Sven-Goran Eriksson the passion to manage on the international stage. Instead, it was the prospect of what England can aspire to in the 2004 european champoinships that inflamed the swedes imagination.

Eriksson it is beign said, will never return to Italy or Lazio, the club he left for soho square after leading them so gloriously to the scudetto. Lazio president Sergio cragnotti arrives in London today, but it is unlikely Eriksson will fall into his every welcoming arms.

"Sven is happy in England"-Said his agent Atholl still. "he loves the job he is doing and he wants to make t success of it. The rumours from the Eternal city suggest cragnotti is slow to come up with the cash and that he owes money to several high-powered individuals very much involved in Eriksson's career.

He is a football entrepreneur moving through the heart of the game, but reluctant to instill financial backing to add necessary weight to his ambitions. His hopes of enticing Eriksson back to Italy may have to wait beyond Japan & South.Korea

The swede accepts how difficult this group will be and also accepts that England will, maybe; have to wait for 2004 for success.

When Eriksson first canvassed the England job, he wanted to know the depth of the quality of young players in the premiership. "ive heard there are many, is it true" he said. He was assured there was a rich vein of talent, players David platt is currently bringing through with the under-21 squad who have
qualified for the european championships this summer.

So it will be in two years that Eriksson will ask to be judged, and he wants to remain in the FA's employment to watch English football grow and then blossom. He will not walk out on England over his much-publicised affair with Ulrika jonsson. Instead Eriksson intends to dedicate himself to making English football a force to be feared and accepts of course that if he is succesful he will inevitably be the target of the leading clubs in europe.

But for the time being Eriksson is focusing his attentions on his world cup squad-he has not even discussed the media frenzy over /ms.Jonsson with his right-hand man tord grip.

He has become a cult figure since he has taken the England job, he has showed he can be calm and collective in any situation, Not to mention his real love for a job he feels honoured to have been given.
 
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