Published November 9, 2017
Gylfi Sigurðsson is the cherry on top of the kleina of Icelandic football. The footballing poetry produced by this Viking Virtuoso is enough to make Jónas Hallgrímsson proud and often serves as inspiration for his gritty teammates. As one of strákarnir okkar’s (“our boys”) greatest players of all time, his wizardry helped spin Iceland towards the heady heights of Euro 2016 and the upcoming 2018 World Cup.
At youth level, Gylfi played for FH and Breiðablik in Iceland before establishing himself in England at Reading. A short stint in the Germany saw him garner many plaudits, scoring nine times in 29 Bundesliga appearances in his debut season. After moving to the Premier League at Swansea City in 2011, Gylfi has since pillaged English defences for Tottenham and once again for The Swans, becoming one of the most statistically creative midfield maestros in Europe. However, at new club Everton—which paid a whopping £45 million for his services—Gylfi was forced to summon Gungnir, Odin’s spear, and smite manager Ronald Koeman after a listless start to the season.
In the World Cup, Gylfi will be hoping to channel the beauty of Iceland’s glaciers and lava fields to crush Messi and Ronaldo’s hopes of career-crowning glory. After all, tears—whether euphoric and melancholic—are the result of good poetry. He tasted those of the Portuguese in 2016, and is now thirsty for the delectable Argentinian variety.
Position: Attacking Midfield
Special skills: 30-yard-scorchers, pillaging defences, costing around 1,200,000 copies of Independent People.
Nicknames: The Viking Virtuoso, The Smiting Sorcerer, The Poet, The Wing’d Booted Warlord