By 90Min
June 14, 2019

Sven-Goran Eriksson is number 46 in 90min's Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next 10 weeks. You can find Andy Headspeath's career overview of Sven here.


In a management career that has spanned five decades and four continents, Sven-Goran Eriksson has worked with some of the finest talent ever seen on a football field.

From England's 'Golden Generation' to Lazio's big spenders, peak Ivory Coast to European Cup finalists Benfica, it's hard to think of many (if any) coaches who have had the pleasure of working with such a varied array of talent across as many generations.

Ruud Gullit, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Didier Drogba are just a few stars who don't make the cut, as we continue 90min's Top 50 Greatest Managers of All Time series, with an XI of Sven's greatest ever players.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Gianluca Pagliuca - The famous Italian stopper played under Eriksson at Sampdoria winning the Coppa Italia in 1994. The same year, Pagliuca was Italy's starting keeper as they reached the World Cup final in the USA. No goalkeeper has saved more penalties in Serie A history (24).

Gary Neville - Described by Sven himself as 'Mr. Reliable' for England, Neville was one of precious few who didn't suffer a drop off in form at international level. An eight-time Premier League winner, Neville also lifted the 1999 and 2008 Champions Leagues with Manchester United.

Alessandro Nesta - One of the best defenders of all time, Nesta rose through the ranks at Lazio where he became captain under Sven and later won the Champions League twice at AC Milan. An immensely elegant yet tough defender, Nesta has a World Cup winners medal from 2006 but missed most of the tournament through injury.

Sinisa Mihajlovic - Uncompromising in defence or midfield, Mihajlovic also had a wicked left foot and is still the joint holder of the most goals from free kicks in Serie A history. The Serbian, who played under Eriksson at Sampdoria and Lazio, once said he may not have played football if there were no free kicks.


Ashley Cole - The best left back in the world in his peak, Cole won the three Premier League titles (and was an 'Invincible' at Arsenal in 2004), seven FA Cups (the most of any player in history) and the 2013 Champions League, as well as 107 England caps - many coming under Eriksson.


Midfielders

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David Beckham - Beckham still had some work to do to get the public (or at least the tabloid press) back on his side when Sven took charge of England in 2001. Bestowed with the captaincy, he became the Three Lions most dedicated performer and the man the country looked to for the big occasions. His status and legacy in football is pretty much unparalleled.

Falcao - The Brazilian midfield general was nicknamed the eighth king of Rome during his time in the Italian capital with Roma and described by Sven as a 'truly fantastic footballer'. In his career, he won multiple trophies in Italy and Brazil.


Juan Sebastian Veron - La Brujita (the Little Witch) like Falcao was a commanding engine room star from South America. He was signed twice by Eriksson for Sampdoria and later Lazio. A driving force from midfield, the Argentine was a key player in the 2000 Scudetto win.

Pavel Nedved - A key player in Sven's Scudetto-winning Lazio side, Nedved went on to win two more titles with Juventus, before famously sticking with the Turin side during Calciopoli and demotion to Serie B. Now vice chairman Juve, the Czech winger won the Ballon d'Or in 2003.


Forwards

Grazia Neri/GettyImages

Roberto Mancini - Described as an 'artist' by Sven, Mancini was a fiery but supremely skilled forward, a generational talent, who lit up Serie A at its pomp. Often playing off the striker or in attacking midfield, Mancini finished playing with 156 top flight goals in Italy - and is 20th on the all-time top scorers' list.


Wayne Rooney - England's golden boy. Eriksson made a plea in his final press conference as Three Lions boss calling on the press not to 'kill' the young striker. The advice was not entirely heeded but Rooney still won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, the Champions League and is both Manchester United and England's all-time leading goalscorer.


Number 50: Marcelo Bielsa: The Argentina Manager's All Time Best XI

Number 49: Vic Buckingham: The English Manager's All Time Best XI

Number 48: Claudio Ranieri: The Tinkerman's All Time Best XI

Number 47: Bill Nicholson: The Tottenham Legend's All Time Best XI 

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