The man they only call “Andrei” on home soil in Iceland scored his first national team goal in classic thrower style: a flat pass from the left into the six-yard area, the ball stopped and protected with his back to the goal, turn around, put it in! Starting such an international career is not the worst prerequisite, Andrei Lukas Gudjohnsen was allowed to read it in the newspapers – after the 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw against North Macedonia.
“Like Gerd Muller” was the message on Tuesday Article title in MorgunbladidWho are proud to compare the magazine kicker Between the recently deceased Bayern legend and Gudjohnsen. Icelandic footballers were not in good shape before meeting with the German Football Association on Wednesday night, football on the island has been plagued by an abuse case involving the federation and the national players, and the team is no longer as good sportingly as it is. It was in his ‘huh’ days the fan euphoria at EM 2016. But at least: There’s a new allure in the Iceland national team: the 19-year-old striker is a big topic after his second international game – and not just at home.
Gudjohnsen looks a bit like Erling Haaland, just less muscle. Blond hair, full cheeks, a boy with liveliness and instinct. Even his title promises something historic, and the expectations raised by Edur Gudjohnsen’s son, 42, are correspondingly huge. Scoring is a family affair for the Gudjohnsens. Edur’s father was already a celebrity for RSC Anderlecht in the 1980s, and his son became the most famous footballer Iceland produced in the 1990s as a parker.
In his first appearance, Andri Gudjohnsen receives a kiss before he comes
Eidur Gudjohnsen was successful at Eindhoven, Chelsea in London, Barcelona (as the Champions League winner there) and Bolton, and remains Iceland’s top scorer today. He was considered a drifter on the grass, a brave hooligan who scored goals even with little time to play. Today he is assistant national coach Arnar Vidarsson. So he sees his son Andrey every few months – and then he becomes like his boss. In Andrei Gudjohnsen’s debut last Thursday against Romania (0-2), he kissed him on the field. “He was nothing special for us, of course he’s my dad, but he’s also an assistant coach,” Filius later said on Icelandic TV RUV.
Families are especially closely related in Iceland, and everyone knows each other. However, the young striker and his father are trying to “keep the relationship as professional as possible,” Andrey explained: “I think he (Edor) was proud to see his son playing in his international debut.” He didn’t even notice anything about Schmonzette, he just focused on the game out of sheer excitement: “I didn’t see the scene on the video until later.”
His colleague Kari Arnason, 38, who played Edur himself, explained at a press conference with laughter what distinguishes father and son Gudjohnsen from each other: “He did very well in training, and unlike his father, he is a modest and handsome boy.” This Andrey is a wonderful man. On the football front, the youngster born in London in 2002 appears to have inherited some of his father’s talent. The filigree moves, is a good vertical player and has a sense of space.
Andri Gudjohnsen has the best memories of Germany
And anyway: if a young Icelandic player plays for Real Madrid’s youth team and stands out there scoring goals, he must have the advantages. Gudjohnsen started in 2010 at the famous Barcelona school La Masia, before moving to youth CF Gava and then to Espanyol Barcelona. In 2018, his father’s connections (and his 15-year-old brother Tristan) enabled him to join Real Madrid’s youth academy. At the age of 16, he immediately scored 31 goals in 29 U17 matches. In Los Blancos’ second team, Real Castilla, he is currently learning from one of the best teams: his coach there is club legend Raul.
Perhaps on his recommendation, Real Gudjohnsen has now scored as one of the 40 players in the Champions League. Whether he makes his debut in the first division depends above all on the coach, on the great Sir Carlo Ancelotti – and is not generally considered pro-youth, as the example of the angry Norwegian Martin Odegaard has shown.
Andri Gudjohnsen is likely to get his next chance in the A-team national team, as there is now room in the absence of forwards Alfred Finnbogason and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. And he already has the best memories of Germany: in qualifying for the European Under-17 Championship two years ago at Worms, he scored a hat-trick in 3:3 against the juniors. One of his opponents at the time was Karim Adeyemi. He also made his debut this week against Armenia with a goal as a new national player.