I wish Giggs was English, says England coach Eriksson

CARDIFF: England coach Sven Goran Eriksson has admitted his Euro 2004 qualifying campaign would be a lot smoother if he could call upon the services of Manchester United's Welsh ace Ryan Giggs. 

Cardiff-born Giggs played for England as a schoolboy but chose to represent Wales as a full international and is now an integral part of Welsh coach Mark Hughes's campaign to reach next summer's finals of the European championships in Portugal. 

“There are players who are part of the Welsh team that I would love to be able to write down when I list my own squads,” confessed Eriksson whose England side face Macedonia on Saturday and then Liechtenstein the following Wednesday. 

“The one, above all, is Ryan Giggs.  

“When I think that he might have played for England, it is a big disappointment for me. 

“I was asked not long ago to name a world XI, and Ryan was a player I thought of for that. 

“He is world-class, and I think countries all over the world would wish to call him their own. 

“He plays on the left or as a second striker; he has so much pace and ability - he is a destructive player,” Eriksson told the Wales on Sunday newspaper. 

Wales face Italy in Rome on Saturday where they will be defending a two point lead in Group Nine having lost their one hundred percent record in a 1-0 defeat against Serbia and Montenegro last month. 

“Why can't Wales beat Italy?” said Eriksson. 

“They beat them in the Millennium Stadium.  

I think they would have beaten them in Milan, Rome, anywhere, on that occasion. 

“Anything is possible in football, and Wales have players who can shape their destiny.” – AFP  

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