Eriksson fulfils his dream of coaching Liverpool as Fernando Torres scores

Eriksson fulfils his dream of coaching Liverpool as Fernando Torres scores

There might have been an absence of Premier League football on Saturday, but Anfield was still full of excitement as they watched Sven-Goran Eriksson guide Liverpool’s legends to victory.

Reds icons from the past took on Ajax’s veterans and, on the Reds’ bench – as promised by Jurgen Klopp – the former England coach Eriksson took his seat in the dugout.

The 76-year-old, who spent five years in charge of the England national team from 2001 to 2006, announced a few months ago that he was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer.

As a kind gesture, the Swede was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of coaching Liverpool at least once in his career.

“When they asked me if I was interested I thought it was a joke,” Eriksson told reporters in a press conference.

“Obviously I said yes, and the fact that it was a charity match makes it even better. I’m very grateful to Liverpool for this opportunity.”

A fatherly love for Liverpool

Erikson’s father, who is still alive, is a self-confessed Liverpool fan. The former Lazio and Benfica coach’s passion for the Reds is more understandable, and he declared himself a “supporter of the Anfield team.”

Klopp, who met Eriksson on the pitch with a warm embrace, invited him to take his place on the bench almost immediately after hearing of Eriksson’s condition.

The Swede sat on the bench alongside Liverpool legends Ian Rush, John Barnes and John Aldridge, and had players such as Jerzy Dudek, Sander Westerveld, Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio, Djibril Cissé and Ryan Babel in his stead, as well as top-flight legends Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

After going 2-0 down at halftime, the Reds pulled off a masterful second-half fightback – inspired by Eriksson’s spirit on the touchline.

Derk Boerrigter and Kiki Musampa gave the Dutch side the lead before goals from Gregory Vignal, Djibril Cisse and Nabil El Zhar put Liverpool in front, and Torres returned to score in front of the Kop to round off a special day for Eriksson.

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