The 5 best Iceland internationals to play in the Premier League


Aside from Lee Sharpe’s all-too-brief stint with Grindavik at the tail end of his career, English football has had little to no impact on the Icelandic Premier League.

However, plenty of Icelandic stars who have gone on to big things in the English Premier League with no fewer than 16 players plying their trade in the EPL over the years.

Bolton and Tottenham lead the way when it comes to employing Icelandic footballers but who rank among the best ever seen in the English top-flight? Here are five of the best.


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5. Gudni Bergsson

The first Icelandic player to ever play in the English top-flight, Terry Venables brought Bergsson to Tottenham from Valur in December 1988 for £100,000 – a record fee for the Iceland club.

Part of a team that included Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle, Bergsson was fine squad player for Spurs, though he did miss out on their 1991 FA Cup triumph.

Sold on to Bolton by Ossie Ardiles, he went on to play 270 league games for the Trotters, during a yo-yo period in which the club were promoted three times - and relegated twice.

Famously scored a 35-yard screamer against Barnsley back in 1997, he retired a club legend in the summer of 2003 after helping Bolton avoid Premier League relegation for the first time.

4. Heidar Helguson

Signed for Watford by Graham Taylor, Helguson marked his Premier League debut with a goal against Liverpool though the Hornets would ultimately suffered relegation that season.

Helguson returned to the top-flight with Fulham in 2005, scoring important goals against Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham to help the Cottagers steer clear of relegation.

An injury-plagued spell at Bolton followed before Helguson moved on to QPR, earning promotion to the Premier League with the Hoops and going on to be named top scoring during their first season back in the top-flight.

His last contract was with Cardiff in 2013, where his eight league goals helped the Bluebirds gain promotion to the Premier League.

3. Hermann Hreidarsson

Portsmouth v West Ham United - Premier League

Brought to England by Crystal Palace in 1997, Hreidarsson suffered the first of a record five Premier League relegations that season - only Nathan Blake has managed as many.

Having impressed with Wimbledon, the defender and full back was part of the Ipswich side that upset the odds to finish fifth in the Premier League back in 2001, moving on to Charlton and later Portsmouth, where he won the FA Cup in 2009.

A solid defender, Hreidarsson finished his time in England with Coventry, moving into management in Iceland in 2013.

2. Gylfi Sigurdsson

Signed by Reading as a teenager, Sigurdsson came through the Royals’ academy, eventually sealing a club-record move to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.

Player of the season during his first campaign in Germany, with 10 goals and two assists, Sigurdsson fell down the pecking order in his second campaign eventually moving to Swansea City on loan in early 2012.

A revelation for the Swans that season, the Icelandic midfielder was named Premier League Player of the Month for March and was expected to sign permanently for the Welsh club.

Tottenham pipped them to a deal with two solid seasons of football following at White Hart Lane before Sigurdsson decided to return to Swansea.

He finished last season with 11 league goals – his highest return in a top-flight campaign.

1. Eidur Gudjohnsen

Aston Villa v Chelsea

The only Icelandic footballer to win the Premier League, Gudjohnsen is arguably the country’s greatest ever player full-stop and it all started with Bolton.

Signed by Colin Todd, the attacker was part of the team that reached the play-offs and semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions in 2000.

That was enough to convince Chelsea to shell out £4.5 million for a player who proved to be one of the club’s best ever signings.

Gudjohnsen played 186 Premier League games for the Blues, scoring 54 goals – including a bicycle kick against Leeds - and winning two league titles and a league cup before moving on to Barcelona.

Short spells with Tottenham, Stoke and Fulham followed later, with the Icelandic forward last in England with Bolton in the Championship. Now in the twilight of his career in China.

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