Euro 2016 squads Group F : Iseland


The former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback has brought all his experience to Iceland and his 4-4-2 is an optimal mix of attack and defence.


The midfield area is key, with Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson complementing each other exceptionally well, the latter allowed a fairly free role going forward.


The team’s main striker, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who averages nearly a goal every other game in international football, has had an injury-interrupted season with Nantes.

Goalkeepers: Hannes Halldorsson (Bodo/Glimt), Ogmundur Kristinsson (Hammarby), Ingvar Jonsson (Sandefjord).

Defenders: Ari Skulason (OB), Hordur Magnusson (Cesena), Hjortur Hermannsson (PSV Eindhoven), Ragnar Sigurdsson (Krasnodar), Kari Arnason (Malmo), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Lokeren), Birkir Sævarsson (Hammarby), Haukur Heidar Hauksson (AIK).

Midfielders: Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff), Theodor Elmar Bjarnason (AGF), Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Norrkoping), Birkir Bjarnason (Basel), Johann Gudmundsson (Charlton), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Molde), Runar Mar Sigurjonsson (Sundsvall).

Forwards : Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Nantes), Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Kaiserslautern).

Iceland midfieldersJóhann Berg Guðmundsson

  • Club Charlton Athletic
  • Age 25
  • Caps 45
  • Goals 5
Scored a remarkable hat-trick away to Switzerland in a 4-4 draw in Bern in 2013 and has been nicknamed “Joey Bern” since then, but is more known for assists than goals. Trained with Chelsea and Fulham as a teenager when his family moved to London, and joined Charlton from AZ in 2014. Used to be a keen player of the online first-person shooter Counter-Strike but gave it up because of bad internet connection between London and his friends in Iceland. Has now turned his full attention to football again.
Birkir Bjarnason
  • Club Basel
  • Age 28
  • Caps 46
  • Goals 6
Lived in Norway since the age of 11 but opted to play for Iceland from Under-17 level. His father, Bjarni Sveinbjörnsson, played for Iceland’s Thór and won one cap. Coincidentally, Birkir is nicknamed after the Norse god Thór, because of his looks. Became a Swiss champion with Basel this spring after a good first season there, having signed from Pescara.

Gylfi Sigurdsson Star man

  • Club Swansea City
  • Age 26
  • Caps 37
  • Goals 12
The seventh-highest scorer in the history of the national team and the second Icelander, after Eidur Gudjohnsen, to score ten goals or more in a season in England’s Premier League. Has been linked with a big money move to Leicester this summer. Sigurdsson is a board member of his father’s fishing company and owns an Icelandic real estate company. Moved to England with his family at 15 to try to make a career in football. His brother is a professional golf instructor.
Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson
  • Club GIF Sundsvall
  • Age 25
  • Caps 9
  • Goals 1
Played his first senior league match aged just 14 for Tindastóll in the Icelandic third tier, and scored on his debut for Iceland, in a friendly against Andorra. He started the 2016 season in Sweden extremely well with Sundsvall where he scored four goals in the first eight matches, and hopes to play against Hungary on his 26th birthday.
Aron Gunnarsson Captain
  • Club Cardiff City
  • Age 27
  • Caps 57
  • Goals 2
Only 22 when he was made captain by Lagerbäck, and has become a key defensive midfielder and captain for the national team. Almost lost the armband in 2012 when he insulted the Albanian nation in an interview before a match in Tirana. He apologised for his “own goal”. Was also a very promising handball player who had to choose between sports – his brother Arnór plays for the Iceland national handball team and German club Bergischer.
Theódór Elmar Bjarnason
  • Club AGF
  • Age 29
  • Caps 25
  • Goals 0
Signed for Celtic aged 17, but made only one appearance there before leaving in 2008. He later confessed to having spent most of his Celtic salary on gambling. Well known for his ability to imitate of Goofy, the Disney cartoon character. A versatile player who can be used as a winger, midfielder or full-back.
Emil Hallfredsson
  • Club Udinese
  • Age 31
  • Caps 52
  • Goals 1
Won a first Icelandic title with Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar in 2004 before signing his first professional contract at Tottenham. He later had a loan spell at Barnsley before joining Verona in 2010, winning player of the year in his first season. He signed for Udinese in January. Has 52 national caps, but his only goal for Iceland came in a surprise 1-1 draw against Spain in 2007. He used to play on the left wing but has morphed into a central midfielder, and has been shaving his head for so long that most people have forgotten about his shining red hair.
Arnór Ingvi Traustason Young talent
  • Club IFK Norrköping
  • Age 23
  • Caps 6
  • Goals 3
Made his debut for Iceland in November, after the qualification campaign had concluded and has scored three goals already for the national side. Had the mosts assists in the Swedish top flight when Norrköping won the league and Super Cup double in 2015. Voted most promising player in the Icelandic league in 2013, while playing for Keflavík.

Iceland defenders

Birkir Már Sævarsson

  • Club Hammarby
  • Age 31
  • Caps 56
  • Goals 0
Father of four, nicknamed “The Wind” in Iceland for his speed up and down the right flank. Has the emblem of his Icelandic club, Valur, tattooed on his shoulder. He almost quit football to become a pilot before he broke into Valur’s squad, and says he’s considering finishing his pilot training or becoming an air traffic controller when his playing career is over. Nephew of the veteran reserve goalkeeper Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson.
Iceland forwardsKolbeinn Sigthórsson Main goalscorer
  • Club Nantes
  • Age 26
  • Caps 37
  • Goals 19
Iceland’s second-highest all-time scorer and vice-captain, but has been unlucky with injuries. He scored four goals in a match against Russia in 2007 to take Iceland’s Under-17s to the last eight of their European Championship for the first time. He joined Ajax for €4.5m in 2011, and moved on to Nantes for €3.5m last summer. His older brother, Andri, now his agent, played for the youth and reserve team of Bayern Munich, and later won seven Iceland caps. His father’s company, a chain of bakeries, is one of the FA’s main sponsors.
Alfred Finnbogason
  • Club Real Sociedad
  • Age 27
  • Caps 32
  • Goals 7
Has now played and scored in the top leagues of seven countries after joining Augsburg in the Bundesliga on loan in the winter window. He was top scorer in Holland in 2013-14 with 29 goals in all competitions for Heerenveen. Renowned for his football knowledge and passion for pub quizs, he is fluent in multiple languages. He found his scoring touch again in Germany last season after difficult spells at Real Sociedad and Olympiakos.
Jón Dadi Bödvarsson
  • Club Kaiserslautern
  • Age 24
  • Caps 20
  • Goals 1
Surprisingly in the starting line-up in Iceland’s first match of qualification and scored the first goal, in a 3-0 defeat of Turkey, followed by a wild sprinting celebration. The best young player in Iceland in 2012, despite playing for a team which was relegated. Supports kids in his hometown, Selfoss, who can’t afford to buy football shoes or kits.

Eidur Gudjohnsen Legend

  • Club Molde
  • Age 37
  • Caps 84
  • Goals 25
Iceland’s top scorer of all time, he played his first match for his country 20 years ago, coming on as a sub for his father, Arnór Gudjohnsen. He suffered an injury a few weeks later which prevented them from representing Iceland together on the field. A championship winner in England with Chelsea and in Spain with Barcelona, he has now scored goals for teams in eight countries having joining Norway’s Molde in February from Chinese Super League club Shijiazhuang Ever Bright. He remains the only Icelander to have won a Champions League medal – though he was an unused substitute in the 2009 final. Currently promoting an Icelandic cultured dairy product online. “Not many of you know that I have eaten skyr through all of my career. True story.”
Iceland goalkeepersHannes Thór Halldórsson No1 goalkeeper
  • Club NEC Nijmegen
  • Age 32
  • Caps 32
  • Goals 0
Film director who played part-time for Icelandic clubs until 2014, when he gave it up to sign his first professional deal in Norway. Directed the video for Iceland’s entry in the Eurovision song contest in 2012 – Greta Salóme & Jónsi finished 20th with “Never Forget”. He first represented Iceland in 2011 aged 27, and consolidated his position in the 2016 qualifiers. Spent part of last season on loan at Bodø/Glimt.

Ögmundur Kristinsson

  • Club Hammarby
  • Age 26
  • Caps 10
  • Goals 0
Finished his studies as a lawyer before turning professional in Denmark in 2014. He had to rush his wedding forward – his wife is also a lawyer – when Iceland qualified for Euro 2016, as they had planned to get married in June. Said to be the best-dressed player in the squad. Was part of the same squad as fellow Iceland keeper Halldorsson for Fram in the top flight from 2008-2010, and won his first full cap in 2014.

Profiles written by Vidir Sigurdsson