The passing of 39 years does not prevent Sven Goran Eriksson from easily reconnecting with the elation of his first league title.
He can still understand all the things Steven Gerrard has surely been feeling. The euphoria, the relief, the vindication and determination to achieve to more.
Eriksson was a little over three years into his work at IFK Gothenburg when he claimed the Allsvenskan crown as part of a remarkable 1982 Treble that included the Swedish Cup and UEFA Cup.
Sven Goran Eriksson handed the England captaincy to Steven Gerrard in 2004
Gerrard has gained league success just a few months quicker than his former England manager. Appointed in May 2018, the 40-year-old clinched Rangers’ first title in a decade at the weekend to secure the lasting adoration of Ibrox supporters.
Eriksson doesn’t expect him to stop there, though. Not by a long shot. He anticipates Gerrard using his breakthrough campaign as a launchpad for further glories to build a legacy of success.
‘For Steven as a manager, I am sure this is just the start of a lot of titles for him,’ Eriksson told Sportsmail.
‘It has been ten years since Rangers last won it so it’s a fantastic achievement. I send my congratulations to him.
Gerrard has gained league success a few months quicker than his former England manager
‘It’s a kick for any coach when you win the first title of your career. Of course it is.
‘It’s a relatively new job for you as young man. You are very keen to test your own abilities against other people with more experience. You are so focused on the job and you work extremely hard.
‘When that first title comes, when you get the reward you have been aiming for, it’s just great. A fantastic feeling.
‘I can still remember my first Swedish title, my first Swedish Cup and my first European trophy. You don’t forget these moments.
‘The feeling is incredible so, as I said, I can only congratulate Steven for the job he has done.’
Eriksson’s achievements at Gothenburg saw him poached by Benfica. Further success in Lisbon set up a career that included spells at AS Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Lazio before he became the first foreign manager to take charge of England in 2001.
Gerrard has insisted that Rangers’ title triumph is only the beginning of their journey
It was the Swede who made Gerrard captain of his country for the first time. Throughout Eriksson’s five-year tenure, the Liverpool midfielder was a mainstay
Like many, Eriksson expects Gerrard to return to Anfield at some point down the line. He is clear, however, that there is no need for him to exit Ibrox any time soon.
‘I can see him at Liverpool in the future,’ added Eriksson. ‘Not tomorrow, but in the future. It would be logical to see him as Liverpool manager one day.
‘There is no hurry, though. Not at all. Liverpool will always be there for him and Steven Gerrard has so many years to go in his career as a manager.
‘Don’t hurry. Learn as much as possible before you go to the maximum point of football. Right now, he is at a very big club.’
Eriksson spoke to Sportsmail last May to mark Gerrard’s 40th birthday. Back then, the Ibrox boss was two months into lockdown and plotting a way to put right the issues that had caused a post-winter break collapse for the second successive season.
There was no guarantee things would come good for him in Glasgow. Eriksson, though, was adamant Gerrard would deliver for Rangers against the immense pressure of Celtic’s bid for ten-in-row.
Gerrard led Rangers to their first title in a decade and taking it off Celtic was even sweeter
The 73-year-old insists that stance was not based on platitudes, but on his knowledge of the man from their time working together.
‘It is Steven Gerrard,’ said Eriksson, as if that was explanation enough. ‘First of all, he is a very serious person. His knowledge of football is second-to-none, for sure.
‘Even as a player, tactically he was fantastic. I always thought he was a very inquisitive man as well in his playing days. He always wanted to learn and gain knowledge.
‘What has happened this season is clearly great for Rangers.
‘I always recall Scottish football as being a battle between Celtic and Rangers, swapping positions. For Rangers to be away from that for a long time must have been so difficult.
‘To now return as champions is great for the club, the fans and the players. Also, of course, for Steven Gerrard.
‘There is always pressure at big clubs but he has been used to that throughout his career in football.’