Eidur Gudjohnsen performed alongside each Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and performed below each Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola for Chelsea and Barcelona. He’s the closest factor soccer has to Forrest Gump.
Gudjohnsen won’t have been probably the most prolific of scorers in huge European video games – the Icelander scored simply three knockout targets within the competitors – however he delivered in an enormous means domestically.
He scored 75 targets in his first 5 years at Chelsea alone, however certainly one of them stands out above all others.
It got here in January 2003 towards Leeds United and is an ideal demonstration of why, as big-money signings tried and did not make their mark at Stamford Bridge, Gudjohnsen outlasted these with far larger names and value tags than himself.
The purpose is a murals, for a mix of guile and rest which feels in direct contract to Frank Lampard’s instinctive run and cross.
Whereas different bicycle kicks contain seen agility, Gudjohnsen’s effort sees him undertake the look of a person who has lived his total life horizontally.
Whereas others speed up into their bicycle kicks, he does the alternative, as if hitting the brake and coming to a managed cease.
It’s the unlikely calm of a person who each is aware of what’s anticipated of him inside any particular person set-up and is comfy along with his total standing within the sport.
Put merely, it reveals you don’t should be the perfect participant on the earth to have unerring religion in your personal expertise.
To anybody not acquainted with soccer, Gudjohnsen certainly seemed like a number one man. He had (and has) the look of a person who appears like he belongs not solely on spotlight reels but additionally on postcards and stamps, but as a footballer he was solely too comfortable to encompass himself with extra headline-grabbing colleagues.
Few have performed with each Ronaldo and Messi in full-flight, however Gudjohnsen can declare that accolade – the Brazilian Ronaldo, that’s, a team-mate of a younger Eidur at PSV.
Few have played under both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola besides, however Gudjohnsen went one additional than that: he scored the profitable purpose in each managers’ maiden dwelling league victories throughout their most celebrated managerial spells.
Mourinho’s record-breaking debut season at Chelsea won’t have begun with 4 straight wins have been it not for Gudjohnsen’s bravery, the ahead forcing the ball over the road for the one purpose of the sport towards Manchester United.
After which, 4 years on, with Guardiola liable to taking simply 5 factors from his first 4 La Liga video games, Gudjohnsen was readily available to show in a Dani Alves cross on the stretch.
Barcelona would go on to win 17 of their subsequent 18 video games within the league and finish the season with each trophy going.
Within the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, the titular character is current throughout a wide range of historic occasions, from the expansion of the Black Panthers to the Watergate Scandal.
If you happen to’re on the lookout for a sporting equal, it’s both (a) far-fetched or (b) Eidur Gudjohnsen’s profession.
Footballers don’t discover themselves in profitable sides accidentally, and so they definitely don’t accomplish that again and again with out having one thing about them.
If Forrest’s younger Elvis was Eidur’s younger Ronaldo, the footballer nearly has extra names and extra moments to tick off later in his profession.
Greater than 20 years handed between his first PSV purpose and his final for Iceland in a Euro 2016 warm-up, however he managed to suit a lot in throughout these 20 years.
An inventory of attacking skills to play alongside Gudjohnsen is as robust a roll name as you’ll ever see: Ronaldo, Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Hernan Crespo, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and extra. If we hadn’t witnessed it with our personal eyes then we wouldn’t consider it.
You would by no means accuse him of simply making up the numbers, both – he scored essential targets in a number of international locations, not least this opener, which set the tone for a breathless Champions League sport for Chelsea towards his future employers Barcelona.
Ronaldinho’s goal later in the identical sport may need caught with us longer, however Gudjohnsen’s strike was what arrange the one-two-three punch to assist Mourinho’s staff previous their opponents.
And once more, as with that bicycle kick towards Leeds, it was an instance of calm and level-headedness whereas every little thing and everybody round him was shifting a mile a minute.
It’s this track-record which makes his one high-profile lapse all of the extra heartbreaking.
Throughout Chelsea and Liverpool’s notorious ‘Ghost Objective’ sport, with the seconds ticking down, Gudjohnsen would certainly have been Mourinho’s first-choice to ship calm below strain.
His rash swing on the ball, a show of energy over precision or a untimely celebration getting in the best way of a measured end, was nearly emphatic in its uncharacteristic nature.
When he appears again on his profession, Gudjohnsen would possibly nonetheless play that second over in his head, however he has loads of positives to distract from that one miss.
Certainly, aside from a really choose few, it’s robust to think about anybody who can fall again on extra.
By Tom Victor
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