After three wins in his opening three World Cup qualifiers, Mexico's Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is settling in well at his new job. The former England and Manchester City manager is also learning Spanish to help effect a smooth transition to a job that reportedly earns him $5 million a year after taxes, writes Grahame L. Jones.
"I'm cheating a little bit because I know Italian well and I know Portuguese OK," Eriksson told reporters in L.A., where Mexico plays Chile Wednesday in an exhibition game. "So when I speak Spanish there is a lot of Italian and Portuguese in it, but the important thing is that the players understand me, and I will be better in the future."
Eriksson says he's been "extremely happy" in the job. "Three games, three wins, so it's easy to enjoy it. I enjoy living in Mexico City. I'd never been to Mexico before I came in June or July and I don't like it, I love it. It's a nice life. It's a nice city with extremely nice people."
Soccer was now a universal game, the Swede went on, so he didn't employ training methods for Mexican players that were any different to the ones he'd used for English players. "Now Mexico has 14 or 15 players playing in Europe," he said, "and when they play for Barcelona or they play for Stuttgart or for PSV Eindhoven or for whoever it is, do they play Mexican football or do they play worldwide football? I don't think it's that different."