Liverpool has confirmed that Sven-Goran Eriksson will be part of the team’s coaching staff for their annual charity match. The Merseyside club, through their LFC Foundation, organizes a game featuring past legends to benefit its charity partners. The upcoming match will be against a fellow Ajax legends squad on March 23rd.
Eriksson, a lifelong Liverpool fan, recently revealed that he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. In the interview with BBC, the former coach proclaimed that he has “best case a year” to live. Eriksson previously became the first-ever foreign manager of the England national team in 2001. The Swede also coached several top teams including Benfica, Lazio, Fiorentina, and Manchester City.
Liverpool fans previously asked the club to invite the legend to the game
Following the announcement, many Liverpool supporters begged their club to allow Eriksson to return to the dugout one last time. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was also asked about the idea at a press conference in January. The German was open to the move but could not control the final decision.
“I heard for the first time about his admiration or love for Liverpool and that he was a fan for his whole life,” stated Klopp. “I heard now about the legends [game] and stuff like that. I’m not in charge of that.”
“The only thing I can say is absolutely he’s very welcome to come here and he can sit in my seat in my office and do my job for a day if he wants. That’s no problem.”
“Being on the sideline might be a little bit more difficult. To have him here and show him everything and how this wonderful club developed over the years, I think that’s definitely something we will tell him. He can come over and have a few wonderful hours here, I’m sure.”
Liverpool legends squad starting to take shape under Sven-Goran Eriksson
Nevertheless, Liverpool decided to welcome Eriksson with open arms for the exhibition game. The 76-year-old former coach will be on the bench alongside John Aldridge, John Barnes, and Ian Rush. The trio all previously played for the Reds in the 1980s and 90s before transitioning into coaching.
The final list of players in the charity exhibition match is not complete. However, goalkeeping duo Jerzy Dudek and Sander Westerveld are both set to play in the fixture. Defenders Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio, and Gregory Vignal will also feature.
Djibril Cisse and Ryan Babel are among the attacking options in the game as well. The latter striker played for both Liverpool and Ajax in his playing career and could make appearances for each team in the upcoming match.
The 2024 LFC Foundation’s charity match will be the third installment of the game. Manchester United and Celtic were the Merseyside club’s previous opponents for the friendlies. The foundation gained a combined $1.8 million between these two prior games. 100% of all funds raised for the charity match goes directly to the foundation.
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