Ahead of the Super Eagles’ must-win Group D clash against Iceland, completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI reveals odds jobs the coach and players of the tiny European country are into…
HEIMIR HALLGRIMSSON (Head Coach/ Dentist)
Currently the head coach of Iceland, Heimir Hallgrimsson was a former assistant to Swedish coach Lars Lagerback when he was appointed back in 2011.
Apart from being head coach of Iceland, Hallgrimsson is a practicing dentist.
In an interview with The Sun that ran the day before Iceland’s first match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he talked about his dental practice:
“I still have my clinic and I like to keep my fingers working. So I try to go there as much as I can in my spare time and do some dentistry. Some coaches go and play golf, I do dentistry. The reality of a football coach, you never know when you are out of a job so it’s good to have another profession to jump into.”
In the same interview, Heimir also revealed that in the summer of 2017, he cared for a player who had a tooth knocked out at a local women’s game he was attending, going on the pitch while the player was knocked unconscious and putting the tooth back in place, and then personally making the necessary tooth repair at a nearby dental office.
BIRKIR MAR SAEVARSSON (Defender/Factory worker)
The 33-year-old defender featured against Argentina in the memorable 1-1 draw in Iceland’s first ever World Cup game.
But before flying with the squad to Russia for the World Cup, Birkir Mar Saevarsson worked a normal job in a salt-packing factory in Reykjavik (Iceland capital) alongside playing for semi-professional club Valur back home.
Asked by Associated Press why he does such a job, he said: “I can’t sit down all day and do nothing. It’s boring and you just get lazy. I didn’t want to get lazy before the World Cup.”
HANNES THOR HALLDORSSON (Goalkeeper/ Film Director)
After helping his country qualify for their first-ever World Cup appearance, Hannes Thor Halldorsson became famous for saving Lionel Messi’s penalty.
But on the side, Halldorsson has a job as a film director.
He directed amongst other things Iceland’s video for their entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.
His employer before leaving Norway to become a fully professional footballer, Sagafilm, has promised him his job back when he returns to Iceland after his footballing career.
EMIL HALLFREDSSON (MIDFIELDER/ WINE DISTRIBUTOR)
A member of the Iceland squad to their first ever World Cup appearance in Russia, Emil Hallfreðsson currently plays for Serie A club Udinese.
Before joining Udinese in 2016, Hallfreðsson played for Hellas Verona where he used to import red wine to Iceland from the Allegrini-family in the Valpolicella-valley not far from Verona.
RURIK GISLASON (MIDFIELDER/ POLITICIAN)
One of the players who made Iceland’s 23-man squad for the World Cup is Rurik Gislason.
Gislason plays for Germany’s Bundesliga 2 side Sandhausen.
Before ever thinking of featuring at a World Cup, Gislason was a candidate for the centre-right Independence Party in the Icelandic parliamentary election, 2016 and Icelandic parliamentary election, 2017.