After leading Middlesbrough to the lofty heights of the UEFA Cup Final, Steve McLaren has been named the new manager of the England national team, effective whenever Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad is eliminated from this June’s World Cup.

(that’s a pretty big smile for someone whose future sex life just became public property)

From the Guardian’s Paul Doyle.

McClaren was not the FA’s first choice, but after Portugal head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari turned down the job, the Middlesbrough manager was seen as a solid solution. His appointment certainly offers a degree of continuity from the Eriksson regime, since McClaren has served as the Swede’s No2 for the last five years and is admired by most of the established England players.

“This is the biggest honour that any coach can have, and is obviously the highlight of my career,” said McClaren. “It’s a massive challenge and one that I welcome. I have hugely enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough and am very grateful to the club. However, this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I’ve had many great moments in football but this has to be the proudest moment in my career. To manage your country is the greatest honour which can be bestowed on anyone.

“My immediate priority is next week’s Uefa Cup final with Boro, and then working with Sven and his coaching team to achieve success in Germany this summer, before I turn my thoughts to the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.”