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Hodgson back in World Cup dugout after 20 years

AP - Sports
Hodgson back in World Cup dugout after 20 years
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LONDON (AP) -- From being jeered out of Liverpool to managing England at the World Cup, Roy Hodgson has enjoyed the most gratifying of career turnarounds.

England had only just been eliminated from the 2010 World Cup when Hodgson's Liverpool reign began. It was as stormy as it was short, and a coaching reputation honed across four decades was under threat.

''Even now, I'm still sad about the situation at Anfield,'' Hodgson recalled about being fired six months into his Liverpool contract.

Had Hodgson fulfilled his long-term Liverpool ambitions, the 66-year-old Englishman might have gone down as another managerial great never to take charge of his country. Instead, the firing appears to be been mutually beneficial.

As Hodgson was picked up by West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool gradually embarked on its own rebuilding process that sees last season's Premier League runners-up provide the bedrock of their former manager's World Cup squad, including captain Steven Gerrard.

''It's strange how things work,'' Hodgson said. ''It's now led to me being England manager, so maybe I don't have quite the same regrets. That said, nothing can dismiss the memory of what happened at Liverpool. It's important to remember the bad times, as well as the good times.''

Of which there have been many, however unnoticed at times in his homeland.

One of the most-traveled coaches England has produced, Hodgson spent the bulk of his life in obscurity accumulating the technical expertise that saw him suddenly fill England's managerial void weeks before the 2012 European Championship, where the team reached the quarterfinals.

Hodgson had stints in the dugouts at clubs in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan. On the international stage, the multilingual Londoner's nomadic career provided him with more experience than any England predecessor, coaching Finland, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.

It was with Switzerland that Hodgson embarked on his last coaching trip to a World Cup, 20 years ago in the United States. After guiding the Swiss to the tournament for the first time in 28 years, they reached the round of 16.

Little more is expected of Hodgson's team this time.

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