Eidur Gudjohnsen replaced father Arnor for his international debut in 1996 and now the Chelsea and Barcelona legend’s two sons are shining for their country with pair COMBINING for Iceland goal in victory over Lichtenstein


Say the name ‘Gudjohnsen’ on any doorstep in Iceland and the person in the house is likely to respond with a loud ‘thunder clap’.

The legendary surname is certainly iconic when it comes to football in the Nordic country.

The Gudjohnsen name is an Icelandic football dynasty from grandad, to dad and sons all representing the nation

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The Gudjohnsen name is an Icelandic football dynasty from grandad, to dad and sons all representing the nation

In April 1996, Eidur Gudjohnsen, 17, replaced Arnor for his international debut and got a kiss on the cheek from proud dad

In April 1996, Eidur Gudjohnsen, 17, replaced Arnor for his international debut and got a kiss on the cheek from proud dad

Now sons Andri and Sveinn play

Twitter: @iffhs_media

Now sons Andri and Sveinn play

Twenty-five years ago, against Estonia in Tallinn, 17-year-old Eidur made his international debut when he came on as a second-half substitute to replace his father, Arnór, a 34-year-old veteran marksman who had stints with Anderlecht and Bordeaux.

The Gudjohnsens had wanted to play together, but Iceland wanted that moment to take place in their own country. Unfortunately, Eidur suffered a serious injury soon after and, by the time he was fit again, Arnor had retired.

Describing the feeling of playing in the same team as his son, Arnor said in a 2018 interview: “It was of course emotional.

“It was a crazy thing to look across the changing room and see your own son there. I tried to be a good role model growing up and the best father I could be, and seeing Eidur in the same changing room as me gave me great pride as it showed that I had also done a good job in raising him.”

Eidur said having the old man there definitely helped.

“I remember being very nervous. Not just at the possibility of playing with my dad but the whole idea of representing my country at such a young age. Having my dad in the changing room really helped – he was such a good role model and made me feel at ease. He made everything feel normal.”

Arnor, bottom right, played for Anderlecht in the 1980s and reached both the UEFA and Cup Winners Cup finals, while he also scored 14 goals in 73 games for Iceland

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Arnor, bottom right, played for Anderlecht in the 1980s and reached both the UEFA and Cup Winners Cup finals, while he also scored 14 goals in 73 games for Iceland

Arnor enjoyed success as a player, winning three Belgian league titles, top scoring for Anderlecht in the 1986/87 season and finishing as runner-up in both the UEFA and Cup Winners Cups in 1984 and 1990 respectively.

Eidur, though, went on to have legendary career in the game, winning two Premier League titles with Chelsea, two LaLiga crowns and a Champions League title at Barcelona as well as appearing 88 times for his country.

And Gudjohnsen Sr saw all the hallmarks of a great player at a young age and could see that he would follow in his footsteps from the age of 15.

“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, he’s the best player on the pitch’, he recalled of one of Eidur’s training sessions.

“He had such great balance and was technically very good with both feet. I knew the next year or two would be crucial for his development but if he kept progressing he had a chance to play for the country.”

Football has been a part of the Gudjohnsens life and Eidur had his boys, including Andri, pictured, watch him in action during Euro 2016 when Iceland memorably knocked England out

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Football has been a part of the Gudjohnsens life and Eidur had his boys, including Andri, pictured, watch him in action during Euro 2016 when Iceland memorably knocked England out

He now plays for Real Madrid’s U19 side

Sportsfile

He now plays for Real Madrid’s U19 side

Sveinn set up younger brother Andri to score for Iceland in the recent World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein

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Sveinn set up younger brother Andri to score for Iceland in the recent World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein

Now, his three sons are hoping to emulate their decorated grandfather and father, who is the assistant coach of the national team.

Two of them are on their way to doing that already.

In what is another brilliant story involving the family, history was made on Wednesday night when Iceland hosted Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifier at Reykjavik’s Laugardalsvöllur.

Eldest Sveinn and middle child Andri combined for a goal after coming on as substitutes in the 4-0 victory.

The former headed down a chipped ball into the box to his brother, who produced a tidy finish with their dad watching on proudly. 

Gudjohnsen oversaw his two sons combine for an assist in the victory over Lichtenstein

GETTY

Gudjohnsen oversaw his two sons combine for an assist in the victory over Lichtenstein

Gudjohnsen was quite the player in his day, joining Chelsea from Bolton in 2000 and starring under Jose Mourinho before joining Barcelona

Gudjohnsen was quite the player in his day, joining Chelsea from Bolton in 2000 and starring under Jose Mourinho before joining Barcelona

Chelsea paid £4m for Gudjohnsen and he repaid their faith with goals and titles

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Chelsea paid £4m for Gudjohnsen and he repaid their faith with goals and titles

In Spain, between 2006 and 2009, he was part of Pep Guardiola’s magnificent 2009 treble winning side

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In Spain, between 2006 and 2009, he was part of Pep Guardiola’s magnificent 2009 treble winning side

He last played for Iceland against France in Euro 2016 when he was 37 years old

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He last played for Iceland against France in Euro 2016 when he was 37 years old

Sveinn, 23, plays for Swedish side Elfsborg, while the two younger sons Andri, 19 and Daniel, 15 are both on the books of Real Madrid. 

If they get anything close to achieving what their father and grandfather did, they’ll also have legendary status in Iceland.

Let’s hope their future kids get the memo.





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