Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sven-Goran Eriksson is presented with an Al Nasr shirt by Ahmed Hashin Khoory during his introduction as the Pro League side's new technical director.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is presented with an Al Nasr shirt by Ahmed Hashin Khoory during his introduction as the Pro League side's new technical director.

Sven-Goran Eriksson signs 18-month deal as technical adviser to Al Nasr

The former England and Manchester City manager's appointment reignites talk of David Beckham moving to the Pro League as Eriksson links up with coach Walter Zenga.

DUBAI // Whether motivated by money, a love of football or a deep-rooted wanderlust, Sven-Goran Eriksson says he has joined Al Nasr to bring long-term success to the club.

The experienced Swede, who includes on his CV a succession of Europe’s preeminent sides as well as the English national team, was last night introduced as the new technical adviser at Al Maktoum Stadium.

Eriksson has signed an 18-month contract – a deal Nasr conceded involved “marathon negotiations” – after first being approached earlier this month. His remit includes overseeing the technical development of all aspects of the football set-up, from the youth programmes through to the first team.

The 64 year old will also form, together with manager Walter Zenga and the club’s board, part of a “technical committee” to determine player recruitment.

Given the extensive contacts book Eriksson no doubt possesses, and the current availability of one of his more high-profile former players, rumours are already taking root at Nasr of a most unlikely reunion.

“If he wants to come I’m sure they would open the gates for him,” Eriksson said when quizzed on the chances of enlisting the services of a certain David Beckham. “I still speak with him, although I don’t know where he will finish up.”

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder is a free agent following the conclusion last month of his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy, and has been linked with a move to the Pro League, chiefly with Al Jazira.

However, Beckham represents one of world football’s most coveted players – he is said to be considering offers from 11 clubs – and would therefore presumably prove unattainable for Nasr.

And, anyway, Eriksson revealed he does not plan to augment the squad until the summer, given that he has not yet had the opportunity to examine properly the resources at his disposal.

“That’s not for now, that’s for after the league is finished in June or July,” he said. “Now it’s late in the season and I don’t really know what I need, so I can’t help the club at this moment.

“Now it’s more important to try and finish the league as high as possible in the table.”

Nasr sit fifth in the Pro League, 12 points behind the leaders Al Ain, following a frustrating first half of the season. They have not been crowned UAE champions since 1986.

While the arrival of Eriksson should have little impact initially, the former Benfica, Lazio, Sampdoria and Manchester City manager confirmed he has taken the position to help guide the club towards a more prosperous future.

“It’s a long-term job. If you want to change things in football it’s not done overnight,” Eriksson said. “You need time in football and I’ve just started this job these past two days, watched training with the youth teams, the senior team and the reserve team. But everything seems good. The conditions – the nice stadium, the nice training ground, good dressing rooms – everything is in place here.”

Eriksson has led something of a nomadic existence of late, in 2010 briefly managing Ivory Coast then Leicester City in England, before in September accepting a director of football role at BEC Tero Sasana, the two-time Thai champions.

“Maybe it looks like it, but I can promise you the jobs with Ivory Coast, in Thailand and here are not for the money,” he said. “Absolutely not. It’s for a love of football, seeing new parts of the world and new football league.”

Ahmed Khouri, the vice-president of Al Nasr Sports Club and Football Company, said: “We aim to get back our deserved place on the podium [of UAE football]. Eriksson is one of the veteran trainers and has worldwide experience. He has trained national teams and great clubs to gain that experience, starting in 1977. I hope we bring all the success to Al Nasr.”



twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and John McAuley @weejinmac

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National