Another World Cup, another appearance as a manager by Sven-Goran Eriksson. However, whereas he was England manager in 2002 and 2006, at the South African festival of football that is World Cup 2010, he finds himself coaching Ivory Coast.
And, the fickle finger of fate contrived to put him against some of his old adversaries. Drawn in the Group of Death, Ivory Coast have had to play both Portugal and Brazil and, despite being Africa’s top-ranked country at this World Cup, they only managed 1 goal and a solitary point.
Now, admittedly, Portugal and Brazil represent two of the toughest sides in the competition, but Sven does have some history here.
Cast your mind back to 2002. Remember who put England out of that tournament at the quarter final stage? Yup, none other than Brazil, with David Seaman famously getting caught out by Ronaldinho’s outrageous 40-yarder.
And who, pray, put England out of the 2006 World Cup? Could it have been Portugal? So it was. In fact, Portugal also dumped England out of Euro 2004, too, so Sven knows a bit about the Iberian country and style of playing.
OK, so Sven’s in charge of a different country, but you can’t help thinking he must have learned something from his previous encounters, can’t you?
Seems not. Ivory Coast now face North Korea in their last match with the likelihood that they’re playing purely for the wooden spoon.
– Image via Flickr from: La1003 logs