Thursday, May 11, 2006

Albert Gudmundsson - the first Icelandic professional footballer - short review

Albert Gudmundsson was the first Icelandic footballer to play in a Arsenal jersey and also the first to become a professional footballer abroad. Gudmundsson was infact the only second foreigner to play for Arsenal but the first was a Dutch goalkeeper by the name of Gerry Keiser who played for the Gunners in the 1930/31 season.

The 22-year-old Gudmundsson caught the eyes of the Arsenal manager Tom Whittaker while the Icelander was playing for Glasgow Rangers during the Second World War. He played for Rangers because he was studying Business at Skerry’s-College in Glasgow.

He arrived at Highbury in the summer of 1946. Whittaker wanted to offer him a professional contract but Gudmundsson didnt have a work permit due to him having lived in Britain for under two years.

Italian giants AC Milan, recognized the Gudmundsson´s talents and offered him a professional contract. The charismatic Icelander played for the Milan club in 1948 but suffered a bad injury when he broke his knee in match against Lazio and the doctors gave him little chance of recovering. AC Milana thought the risk of a opperation was too high and refused to pay for it. Gudmundsson bought up his contract and had the opperation that turned out to be succesful.

Gudmundsson also enjoyed a illustrious career in France. He returned to Iceland to become a highly succesful politician.

Source: Wikipedia.

I would also like to thank dino baggio is god! for his information.


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