Eriksson reveals Fergie row

Sven-Goran Eriksson has lifted the lid on his World Cup row with Sir Alex Ferguson after missing out on the chance to take over as Manchester United's manager.

Last Updated: 03/11/13 at 08:41 Post Comment

Sven-Goran Eriksson: Argued with Sir Alex Ferguson over Wayne Rooney

Sven-Goran Eriksson: Argued with Sir Alex Ferguson over Wayne Rooney

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Eriksson confirms in his new autobiography he was approached to take over from Ferguson as far back as 2002, four years before a bitter row ensued over Wayne Rooney's inclusion in England's World Cup squad.

Rooney was eventually passed fit for the tournament after recovering from a broken metatarsal, but he failed to score a goal and was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final clash with Portugal which England lost on penalties.

Eriksson wrote: "Leif (Sward, England doctor) and I met Ferguson and United's doctor at the United training ground. 'He cannot play in the World Cup', Ferguson said flatly. The doctor brought out some X-rays that he said showed Rooney's broken bone would not heal in time.

"When the doctor finished, Leif looked him in the eye. 'Why do you sit here and lie to me?' Leif asked.

"He was one of Europe's foremost specialists on this kind of injury. I just wish I could have filmed Ferguson's face when Leif explained that Wayne's break would heal in time for the World Cup.

"When Leif had finished, I turned to Ferguson. 'Sorry, Alex,' I said. 'I will pick Rooney'."

Ferguson, who eventually retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, previously announced his intention to stand down in 2002, only 12 months after Eriksson took over the England job.

"I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract," Eriksson wrote.

"But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United, probably the biggest club in the world. A contract was signed - I was United's new manager.

"I would be able to stay with England through the World Cup. My appointment would not be made official until after the tournament.

"A couple of weeks passed and Pini (Zahavi, Eriksson's agent) called again. He wanted another meeting. When I got there, I knew something was wrong. (Peter) Kenyon explained Ferguson had changed his mind.

"He did not want to leave the club after all but had agreed to stay in the job for another three years."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Nutboy
Wenger: Diaby deserves respect

L

iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

paulay8
Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent

M

y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

gittoplo
Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: Liverpool edge out Middlesbrough on penalties in round three

Liverpool held their nerve to see off Middlesbrough 14-13 on penalties in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

Capital One Cup: Arsenal beaten 2-1 by Southampton in third round

Arsenal were sent crashing out of the Capital One Cup in the third round after 2-1 home defeat to Southampton.

La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo scores second straight hat-trick in Real Madrid rout

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 25th hat-trick for Real Madrid as he grabbed four goals in a huge 5-1 home win over Elche.

Mail Box

Is Moyes The Big Winner This Season?

Man United and Everton are making David Moyes look good enough for Newcastle. We have lots of mails on Steven Gerrard but mostly Man United and Van Gaal...

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property