Belfast Telegraph

Sven now has England in his sights

Sven-Goran Eriksson has spoken of his excitement at being appointed as coach of the Ivory Coast for the World Cup and of his dream of meeting England in the final.

The 62-year-old former England and Manchester City manager is confident that the class of players in the Ivory Coast squad can see them qualify from the ‘group of death’ and make a real impact in the finals in South Africa this summer.

Brazil, Portugal and North Korea are the Ivory Coast's rivals in Group G, and if they do qualify the Elephants may also have to face Spain.

Eriksson said: “I am extremely happy and very excited. The Ivory Coast is a good football nation with a lot of good players — it couldn't be better.

“I know it is called the group of death but that just means the challenge is bigger. It will not be easy but I think the Ivory Coast with all their talents can get through it. England were also in a ‘group of death’ in Japan in 2002 but they qualified and Argentina did not. This time Brazil are one of the favourites and Portugal are one of the best teams in Europe. It would be a great match if we could meet England — hopefully in the final!”

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