Tuesday, April 24, 2012

24 April 1996 - I Think There's A Greek Play About This

On 24 April 1996, Iceland striker Arnór Guðjohnsen was replaced at the break by his son, Eiður. It was the closest the two ever got to playing together professionally.

The occasion was a friendly against Estonia in Tallinn. Arnór, then 34 years old, had played for Iceland since 1979 while playing his club ball for a number of teams including Anderlecht and Bordeaux. His 17-year old son, Eiður, who was then playing for PSV, was making his debut for the Iceland senior squad.

The two had hoped to play together, but Eggert Magnússon, the president of the Icelandic Football Federation wanted that historic moment to happen on home soil, so he instructed manager Logi Ólafsson not to field them at the same time against Estonia. Still, when Eiður replaced Arnór at the break, it was the first time in the history of the national team that a son came on as a substitute for his father. Iceland went on to win the match 0-3 with a hat-trick from Bjarki Gunnlaugsson (6', 20', 30').

Unfortunately for the Guðjohnsens, they never did get to play alongside each other. One month after the win over Estonia, Eiður broke his ankle while playing for the U18s and did not recover before the end of his father's international career.

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