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Eiður Guðjohnsen
Eidur Gudjohnsen.jpg
Personal information
Full name Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen
Date of birth September 15, 1978 (1978-09-15) (age 31)
Place of birth Reykjavík, Iceland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Forward
Club information
Current club Tottenham Hotspur
(on loan from Monaco)
Number 17 [1]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994 Valur Reykjavík 17 (7)
1994–1997 PSV 13 (3)
1998 KR Reykjavík 6 (0)
1998–2000 Bolton Wanderers 55 (18)
2000–2006 Chelsea 182 (54)
2006–2009 Barcelona 72 (10)
2009– Monaco 9 (0)
2010– Tottenham Hotspur (loan) 3 (0)
National team
1996– Iceland 61 (24)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:28, 16 March 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 January 2010

Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen (born 15 September 1978 in Reykjavík), anglicised to Eidur Gudjohnsen, is an Icelandic footballer who currently plays as a forward or an attacking midfielder for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on loan from AS Monaco. He previously played with the English Premiership club Chelsea and FC Barcelona of Spain, having made his name with Bolton Wanderers. He was the captain of the Iceland national team until manager Ólafur Jóhannesson took over the team. So far in his professional football career, Guðjohnsen has scored 157 goals in all competitions with his clubs and the national team. He is the son of Arnór Guðjohnsen, a former professional footballer. He is often considered to be one of the greatest Icelandic footballers having won titles in Holland, Spain and England as well as the Champions League.

Contents

Club career

Early career

On 24 April 1996, Guðjohnsen and his father Arnór entered football history when playing in an international friendly for Iceland against Estonia in Tallinn. Arnór started the match, and Guðjohnsen came on in the second half as a substitute for his father.

Both father and son have later expressed bitterness at the fact that they were not allowed to play together in the match. The president of the Icelandic FA, Eggert Magnússon (later of West Ham United) gave the coach, Logi Ólafsson, an express order to not play them together because he wanted it to happen on home turf, when Iceland played FYR Macedonia two months later in the first qualification round for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[2]

As it happened they never got another chance because a month after the game in Estonia the younger Guðjohnsen broke his ankle, playing for the Icelandic U18 team against Ireland. He had difficulty coming back because of undiagnosed tendinitis in that ankle.

Guðjohnsen had then been with PSV in the Netherlands for two years and much had been expected of him, as well as another young hopeful, the Brazilian Ronaldo. During Guðjohnsen's injury struggles, PSV finally released him. At the same time, Ronaldo went on to Barcelona, the club where Guðjohnsen would end up ten years later.

After a spell in Iceland with KR Reykjavík, Guðjohnsen signed with Bolton Wanderers in 1998.

He has later said that the help he got from former Iceland international, Bolton's defensive stalwart Guðni Bergsson, was incredible.

Bolton Wanderers

Guðjohnsen was unveiled to the Bolton supporters prior to their pre-season friendly with the Scottish club Celtic in a game which was arranged as a testimonial for long serving defender Jimmy Phillips, now a first team coach at Bolton. Guðjohnsen had impressed on the clubs summer tour of Ireland and was given a contract by the then Bolton manager Colin Todd.

Overweight and unfit, it was going to take time for Guðjohnsen to return to the level he needed to be and a brief substitute appearance against Birmingham in September 1998 meant that the Icelander had taken a step further on the road to recovery.

By early 1999, Todd decided to put Guðjohnsen into the senior team full time to help freshen up a Bolton forward line which was decimated by the sale of Arnar Gunnlaugsson to Leicester City and Nathan Blake to Blackburn Rovers.

Guðjohnsen's return to the team saw him score in a 3-3 draw against struggling Swindon Town at the County Ground and again in the next game against Barnsley at the Reebok Stadium. By the end of the season he had scored five goals in all competitions.

He helped Bolton to the play off finals against Watford in 1999 but they lost the game 2-0 with the goals coming from Nick Wright and Allan Smart.

Starting in all but seven of Bolton's games in the 1999-2000 season, Guðjohnsen partnered a number of players in the Trotters forward line including Dean Holdsworth, Bo Hansen and Bob Taylor.

He scored 21 goals in the English First Division 1999–2000 season for the Trotters and helped them to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup, including scoring the only goal in a tense FA Cup quarter-final game against Charlton Athletic.

New chairman Phil Gartside announced that it would take at least £10 million to prize Guðjohnsen away from Bolton.[citation needed] After helping the Wanderers to the League Cup and FA Cup Semi Finals, it was now his main aim to get the club into the Premiership.[citation needed] He was injured against Ipswich Town in the first leg of the Play Off Semi Finals and missed the controversial second leg which saw twelve Bolton players booked and Mike Whitlow and Robbie Elliott sent off by match official Barry Knight. Speculation increased about his future despite his willingness to stay with Bolton.

Chelsea

In the 2000 close season, during a period of financial troubles at Bolton, he was signed by Chelsea for a fee of £4 million by Gianluca Vialli (who was sacked in September of that year to be succeeded by Claudio Ranieri). He formed a deadly partnership with Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during the 2001–02 season, scoring 23 goals himself and helping Hasselbaink to a tally of 27.

Early in 2003, he admitted to a gambling problem, confessing to having lost £400,000 in casinos over a five-month period.[3]

His dribbling and close-control, combined with his deadly finishing, saw him score some remarkable goals during his time at Chelsea. His overhead kick against Leeds in the 2002–03 season for Chelsea is perhaps his finest strike to date. Other notable goals came against Fulham at Stamford Bridge in 2003–04, ranked ten in the 2004–05 Premier League Goals of the Season against Southampton in 2005, and his first professional hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers in October 2004, he also made around 60 assists during his time with Chelsea. His touch and vision saw Chelsea manager José Mourinho deploy Guðjohnsen into a deeper midfield role, to which he took readily. He ended up as a utility player: he performed as a central-midfielder; as a right or left winger; as a holding-defensive midfielder or as a striker.

After the arrival of Roman Abramovich as the owner of Chelsea in 2003, and the subsequent influx of expensive and high-profile players including Adrian Mutu, Didier Drogba and Hernán Crespo, his first team place seemed under threat. Despite this, he played regularly throughout the 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons, playing a significant role in the Premier League title triumph in 2005, scoring a total of 12 league goals. Eiður also scored in Chelsea 4-2 win over Barcelona in the 2004-05 Champions League quarter-final.

With Chelsea making several big-name signings in the 2006 close season, notably strikers Andriy Shevchenko and Salomon Kalou and midfielder Michael Ballack, there was growing speculation concerning Guðjohnsen's opportunities for playing time in the 2006-07 Premier League season and his future at Chelsea. Despite being linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid, amongst others, on 14 June 2006, it was announced that he had joined Barcelona on a three year contract, with the option of an additional year.

FC Barcelona

Guðjohnsen in 2007 against Real Madrid.

Guðjohnsen was signed by FC Barcelona to replace Henrik Larsson, who had decided to finish his career at his home town club of Helsingborg in Sweden.[4][5] The fee was claimed to be €12 million with an additional €3 million depending on appearances and performances. Gudjohnnsen was also the first ever player from Iceland to play for the club.

On 28 August 2006, Guðjohnsen made his La Liga debut in a match against Celta Vigo. With three minutes remaining in the match, he scored the game-winning goal, leading Barcelona to a 3-2 win. When a Celta defender tried to block Guðjohnsen's first attempt at a shot, he flicked the ball in the air and volleyed it past the keeper. Guðjohnsen scored against Chelsea in the Champions League in October 2006, and recorded a brace against RCD Mallorca in mid-November. He scored one of the goals against Werder Bremen, 2-0, to take Barcelona to the final sixteen of the Champions League. Guðjohnsen also gained fame in the United States when he scored an impressive goal against Mexican champions Club Deportivo Guadalajara in front of nearly 100,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. On 6 December 2006, Guðjohnsen scored in a 4-0 win against Club América in the FIFA Club World Cup semi finals.

On 6 March 2007, Guðjohnsen scored for Barcelona as they fought to overturn their disadvantage in a UEFA Champions League match against Liverpool at Anfield. Despite winning the match, Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals. He ended the 2006-07 season with 12 goals in all competitions. Only three of the biggest Barcelona stars, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, scored more goals. Guðjohnsen was, in fact, the club's top scorer in the Champions League, albeit with only 3 goals.

Although Guðjohnsen played reasonably well in his first season with Barcelona, he did not seem to have fulfilled the expectations of either Frank Rijkaard or the Barcelona fans. During the summer of 2007 he was widely expected to be moving on and was linked with moves back to the Premier League with Newcastle United, Manchester United and Sunderland showing interest in him. Barcelona did, however, not take any concrete steps to off-load him. Because of injury, nothing happened and, in autumn, Guðjohnsen took his place on the Barcelona bench. He claimed he was determined to fight his way back into the team but as Barcelona had by now acquired the services of Thierry Henry and given first-team places to young strikers Giovani dos Santos and Bojan Krkić, he faced a formidable task.

Guðjohnsen made his first appearance of the season on 23 October against Rangers in the Champions League, playing as a centre midfielder and he scored his first goal of the 2007-08 season from the penalty spot in the 89th minute in Barcelona's 3-0 Copa del Rey victory over Alcoyano on 13 November. Guðjohnsen scored his first La Liga goal, of the season in Barça's highest win (3-0) at Mestalla against Valencia CF since the 1997-98 season and on 20 February 2007, he made his 50th appearance in a UEFA Champions League match. During Barcelona's troubled season, Guðjohnsen did manage to become a regular member of Rijkaard's team, playing in altogether 34 games, but only starting 18 times and often being replaced. Only on four occasions did he play the full 90 minutes. Guðjohnsen saved his best performance for the last La Liga match, against relegated Real Murcia, when his fluid midfield play drew rave reviews, although he did not score.

As FC Barcelona's new coach, Josep Guardiola, was widely thought to plan to off-load Guðjohnsen, together with a host of other players, most people thought this would have been his last game for Barça. Interest from several Premier League clubs duly materialized in the next few weeks, notably from West Ham United and Portsmouth.

At the end of July, Guardiola seemed to have changed his opinion and Guðjohnsen played a considerable role in FC Barcelona's pre-season matches, even scoring two goals against Hibernian. Guðjohnsen declared that Guardiola had expressed more faith in him and he was likely to stay in Spain next season.[6] On 21 September, Guðjohnsen played his first game of the new season, coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute in Barcelona's thrashing of Sporting Gijón, 6-1. He did not score but played well and was involved in the last two goals, both scored by Lionel Messi. Three days later, on September 24, he again came off the bench in the 70th minute, this time against Real Betis, when he replaced Seydou Keita and managed to score the winning goal in a 3-2 win, 9 minutes later after coming on. Shortly after, on the 27th of September, Guðjohnsen got his first start of the season, against RCD Espanyol. After this he has had his best season in Barcelona although not scoring as much as in the first. Guðjohnsen has competed with Seydou Keita for playing time and has made frequent appearances with a fair amount of starts. He made his 100th appearance in a Barca shirt that season. Guðjohnsen became the first Icelander to win the Champions League trophy as Barcelona won the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final against defending champions, Manchester United, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Monaco

During the summer of 2009, Guardiola stated that Gudjohnsen was not part of his plans for next season and Gudjohnsen was linked with moves to clubs such as Beşiktaş, Marseille, Lyon, West Ham United and Panathinaikos, eventually joining Ligue 1 club AS Monaco FC on a two year deal. He was loaned out to Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur in the winter of 2010, after an unimpressive first half of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur

On 28 January 2010, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp confirmed that Guðjohnsen had joined the club on loan for the remainder of 2009–10 season, despite undergoing a medical at West Ham United. The striker was offered an identical deal by both clubs; however, Guðjohnsen opted to join Spurs.[7] West Ham's new co-owner David Sullivan was outraged at hearing of Redknapp's interest in Guðjohnsen, and was quoted as saying "We thought we had a deal and the player had even had a medical. We then heard that Tottenham were trying to speak to the player. I can't say I am happy about it." He got his Spurs career off to a solid start with two goals in a friendly match against Dagenham and Redbridge on 3 February.[8]. On the 10th February 2010, Guðjohnsen made his full Spurs debut alongside Jermain Defoe as a striker in a 1-0 away defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Playing Style

Eidur is considered to be a very skillful player with tight ball control, an excellent touch and creativity. In addition, his exceptional vision and passing range allows him to play in a deeper midfield role where he can act as a playmaker. This is perfectly exemplified by his time at FC Barcelona, and previously at Chelsea where his versatility let him play in the midfield when he did not have the option of playing up front due to an already strong striking force. Although not perhaps the fastest, Eidur makes up for it with quick footwork and great strength, as well as good aerial ability. He is also considered to be a player with a good work rate.

International career

Guðjohnsen joined the Iceland national team in 1996 and since then he has been capped 60 times and scored 24 times he is the highest goalscorer for Iceland. He surpassed Ríkharður Jónsson's Icelandic record of 17 international goals on 13 October 2007 by scoring twice in a 2-4 home loss to Latvia. He is the only player to come on as a substitute for his own father.

Personal life

He has three children, Sveinn Aron, Andri Lucas and Daniel Tristan with his wife, Ragnhildur. Two of his children, Andri and Sveinn, currently play for the Barcelona academy.

Statistics

All-time club performance

As of March 13, 2010[9][10]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Iceland League VISA-bikar Europe Total
1995 Valur Úrvalsdeild 17 7 17 7
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Europe Total
1995–96 PSV Eredivisie 13 3 13 3
1996–97 0 0 0 0
Iceland League VISA-bikar Europe Total
1998 KR Reykjavík Úrvalsdeild 6 0 6 0
England League FA Cup Europe Total
1998–99 Bolton Wanderers First Division 14 5 4 0 18 5
1999–2000 41 13 11 8 52 21
2000–01 Chelsea Premier League 30 10 5 3 2 0 37 13
2001–02 29 14 11 6 3 3 43 23
2002–03 35 10 7 0 2 0 44 10
2003–04 25 6 5 4 10 3 43 13
2004–05 37 12 9 2 11 2 59 16
2005–06 26 2 5 1 6 0 37 3
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
2006–07 FC Barcelona La Liga 25 5 9 3 9 4 43 12
2007–08 23 2 6 1 8 0 37 3
2008–09 24 3 5 1 4 0 33 4
2009-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France League Coupe de France Europe Total
2009–10 A.S. Monaco Ligue 1 9 0 2 0 11 0
England League FA Cup Europe Total
2009-10 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total Iceland 23 7 23 7
Netherlands 13 3 13 3
England 241 72 57 24 34 8 337 104
Spain 72 10 20 5 21 4 113 19
France 9 0 0 0 11 0
Career Total 358 92 77 29 56 12 504 133

Honours

PSV Eindhoven
KR Reykjavík
Chelsea
FC Barcelona
Iceland
Individual
  • FA Premiership Goal of the Month: January 2003

References

External links


Simple English

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