If he wasn’t already feeling the pressure and expectation of a nation, then he certainly was following a conversation with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Not long after arriving in England in 2001 as the first non-national to take charge of the Three Lions, Sven-Göran Eriksson was invited for coffee with Blair and Swedish counterpart Göran Persson in the not-so-glamourous surroundings of Luton Airport.

Speaking exclusively to UCFB, the Swede said: “We were sat in a private room and the first thing Tony Blair said to me was: ‘Welcome to England, Sven. Shall we take a bet?’”

Sven goes on: “I said ‘What do you mean?’, and he replied ‘Who’s going to keep their job the longest, you or me? Because we have two impossible jobs and we’ll be sacked one day!’ It made me understand that the England job is a big one.”

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When Sven moved to London from Lazio he was one of the hottest properties in world football. Over four years in Rome he won the Coppa Italia twice, the UEFA Cup and done what everyone thought was nearly impossible – win the Scudetto with a team that wasn’t Juventus, Milan or Inter.

Sven said: “I recognised on the first day that there were people protesting that the national team should only be coached by an English manager, but at the same time England weren’t in the best position to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, so there wasn’t really a lot to lose – but there was a lot to win.”

However, it didn’t take long for the Swede to convince the English public that he was up to task. England won five World Cup qualifiers in a row, including that famous night in Munich – perhaps the national sides second greatest ever performance.

Sven added: “Yes, you can go to Germany and win, but you don’t win 5-1! That should be practically impossible.”