Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen is the first player to play for Barça from Iceland, a country perhaps better known in sporting circles for handball or cross country skiing than football.
Born in Reykjavik (Iceland) on 15th September 1978, Gudjohnsen was familiar with the world of
football from an early age as his father Arnor was a professional footballer and an Icelandic
international. Father and son made history on 24th April 1996 in a friendly between Estonia and
Iceland, when the son replaced the father in the second half. They never played together because
the president of the Iceland FA had ordered that this unique and historic event should take place
in a home match against Macedonia during the qualifying phase of the 1998 World Cup, but an
inopportune knee injury stopped Eidur from playing.
Guddy made his First Division debut with Valur at the age of just 16 and scored 7 goals in 17 matches, showing great promise despite his youth. As a consequence he moved to PSV Eindhoven in the more competitive Dutch league in 1995.
However, Guddy didn’t get many games in Holland, although he did win a league, a Cup and a Super Cup in his two seasons there. Gudjohnsen returned to his native Iceland to play for KR Reykjavik, regained his form and helped them win the Cup. He came to the attention of Bolton Wanderers, then in the English Second Division. In the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons he scored 26 goals in 70 matches for Bolton and earned a move to Chelsea, one of the top clubs in the English game.
In London, Guddy made his mark thanks to his goals and performances. He spent six seasons at Chelsea, playing his best football at the orders of team manager José Mourinho. The Portuguese coach knew how to exploit Gudjohnsen’s pace and good reading of the game, making him lethal on the counterattack.
Gudjohnsen left Chelsea in the summer of 2006 after playing 263 matches and scoring 78 goals. He joined FC Barcelona, managed by Franck Rijkaard. During his first season, 2006/07, he played 25 league matches at centre forward, scoring 5 goals.
In the following season, he dropped back into a more midfield role and played 23 matches, scoring twice in the league. In the 2008/09 season, he was once again used mainly by Guardiola as a midfielder and took an active part in winning an historic treble, playing 33 matches and scoring 4 goals.
Gudjohnsen has a Northern European style of play and has spent much of his footballing career in England. He’s a powerful forward, strong in the air and good with both feet in the penalty area.
But Gudjohnsen also brings an excellent technique and a versatility which allowed him to show his abilities both up front and in midfield for Chelsea in his final years with the club. In midfield he combined work rate with an ability to break through and shoot. His skills in midfield helped convert him into an excellent assist provider.
2009/10 European Super Cup
2009/10 Spanish Super Cup
2008/09 Champions League
2008/09 Copa del Rey
2006/07 Spanish Super Cup
2005/06 Charity Shield
2004/05 Carling Cup
2000/01 Charity Shield
1996/97 Super Cup