sport news Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson insists his golden generation should ...

Having been told we would like to discuss England's 2006 World Cup and that quarter-final defeat by Portugal, Sven-Goran Eriksson exhales and shuffles to the edge of his seat.

Eriksson is someone who hides his emotions well but as he stares back, the eyes give away the game. We are about to open an old wound.

It is 12 years today since Eriksson's England were beaten by the Portuguese on penalties, with Wayne Rooney sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho after 62 minutes.

Sven-Goran Eriksson (right) is insistent his England side should have won the 2006 World Cup

Sven-Goran Eriksson (right) is insistent his England side should have won the 2006 World Cup

Rooney was shown red after Cristiano Ronaldo, his team-mate at the time, protested and appeared to influence Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo.

Ronaldo topped it all off with a wink, caught on camera, and it brought Eriksson's reign as England manager to a regretful end.

Following the final whistle, and officially out of the job, the Swede stood in front of his 'Golden Generation', including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, unsure what to say.

It is 12 years since Eriksson's 'Golden Generation' were dumped out in the quarter-finals

It is 12 years since Eriksson's 'Golden Generation' were dumped out in the quarter-finals

ENGLAND IN 2006

Group stages

June 10 2006 vs Paraguay (W) 1-0

June 15 2006 vs Trinidad and Tobago (W) 2-0

June 20 2006 vs Sweden (D) 2-2

Last-16

June 25 2006 vs Ecuador (W) 1-0

Quarter-finals

July 1 2006 vs Portugal (L) 0-0 (3-1 pens)

More than a decade on, the 70-year-old still wonders where it all went wrong. According to Eriksson, that World Cup was England's to lose.

'We should have made the final,' he says. 'I don't think any team, at that time, were better than us. And I still don't think there was any team better. No one.

'I thought it before the tournament, I thought it during the tournament, I thought it after the tournament, I think it today. That was the mood of the players as well.

'That's history now. So...' He tuts and holds his arms out, now smiling slightly. 'It was a pity. That's gone. Let's look forward to this year's World Cup.'

The former national team boss believes there was no team better than his at the tournament

The former national team boss believes there was no team better than his at the tournament

ERIKSSON'S GOLDEN GENERATION

World Cup squad 2006

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson, David James,

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