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Aguirre replaces Eriksson at Mexico helm

3 April 2009 22:35

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - The Mexican football federation said Friday it had appointed former coach Javier Aguirre as their new handler a day after sacking ex-England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Aguirre, 50, coached the Mexicans at the 2002 World Cup before moving to Spanish side Osasuna and thereafter to Atletico Madrid, who dispensed with his services in February.

Eriksson, 61, was fired after barely ten months in the job following Wednesday's disappointing 3-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier, which came after a previous defeat regional rivals the United States.

In between, the Mexicans enjoyed a home success over Costa Rica but the two away reverses left them struggling to make a berth in South Africa at next year's finals a place below the third guaranteed slot.

The fourth-placed team must come through against the fifth best from South America in a playoff.

Media reports said Thursday that Eriksson is in line to receive a handsome payoff.

"His sacking will cost the Mexican Federation 3.5 million dollars," reported El Universal daily.

Eriksson, who was sacked after just 13 matches at the helm having only taken the post last June, was earning a reported seven million dollars a year.

When he stepped down as England boss after the last World Cup he received a six-million pound (8.5 million dollar) golden parachute.

A year later he took the reins at Manchester City but he was relieved of his post after a single midtable season and then to general surprise crossed the Atlantic to replace the sacked Hugo Sanchez.

El Universal suggested that not qualifying could cost in the region of 500 million dollars in potential commercial receipts.

Eriksson's personal manager Athole Still meanwhile told Sky Sports News he thought taking the Mexican job was a mistake.

"We discussed it and I think the big decision for Sven was getting back into the World Cup and going to South Africa. Also because his son works in soccer schools over there and Sven is connected so there were family issues there.

"But I felt that he should have stayed in Europe," said Still, who denied any contact between the Swede and English Premiership strugglers Portsmouth.

Still suggested Eriksson's next port of call would be with a big-name club but added that "if the right job came up he might go for another international team again."

Eriksson won a swathe of honours with IFK Gothenburg in his homeland before further successes with Portugal's Benfica and then in Italy with AS Roma, Sampdoria and Lazio, with whom he won Serie A.

He then took the England job, guiding the 1966 world champions to two World Cup quarter-finals and the same stage of Euro 2004.

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