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Veteran Gudjohnsen earns Iceland place for Euro 2016

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 May 2016

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Iceland have included veteran forward Eidur Gudjohnsen in their 23-man squad for Euro 2016.

The 37-year-old former Chelsea and Barcelona star is currently playing for Norwegian club Molde, who he joined in February after a spell with Chinese Super League club Shijiazhuang Ever Bright ended last November.

Gudjohnsen has been capped 84 times by his country and co-head coach Lars Lagerback said he would have not been picked without securing a return to club football in the new year.

Largerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson did not include Gudjohnsen in their squad for the March friendlies against Denmark and Greece, but he will now bolster their goal threat alongside Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nantes striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

Meanwhile, veteran former Sweden boss Lagerback has confirmed he will retire from football at the end of Euro 2016.

The 67-year-old took up his post with Iceland in 2011, leading them to the play-offs for a place at the 2014 World Cup.

They were beaten by Croatia in their bid to reach a maiden World Cup – after which Gudjohnsen retired from international football before earning a March 2015 recall.

“It was a difficult decision, I had four fantastic years,” Lagerback told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

“The problem is that I was born too early. I must realise that I am not getting any younger, there is a lot of travelling.

“The job has not too much social life. The major reason [to retire] is that I should do something else, focusing more on family and friends.”

Hallgrimsson, who stepped up from his role of assistant coach for the Euro 2016 campaign, is set to take sole charge after Lagerback steps down.

 

Iceland’s squad in full:

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

Defenders: Kari Arnason (Malmo), Haukur Heidar Hauksson (AIK), Hjortur Hermannsson (IFK Gothenburg), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Lokeren), Hordur Magnusson (Cesena), Birkir Mar Saevarsson (Hammarby), Ragnar Sigurdsson (FK Krasnodar), Ari Freyr Skulason (OB).

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

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

On standby: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson (UBK), Hallgrimur Jonasson (OB), Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson (Rosenborg), Rurik Gislason (Nurnberg), Vidar Orn Kjartansson (Malmo), Olafur Ingi Skulason (Genclerbirligi).

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