EIDUR Gudjohnsen made history when he followed in his father’s footsteps in international football – now he is hell bent on guiding a third generation of family stars.
Ex-Chelsea and Barcelona striker Gudjohnsen made his Iceland debut when he came on as substitute to replace his dad Arnor, one of the biggest heroes in the country at the time.
Throughout his development the brilliant forward has his dad, who spent seven years at Anderlecht during an impressive career, to lean on for advice and guidance.
But now the 39-year-old is having to follow in his dad’s footsteps again – this time by nurturing his own sons as they make their progress in the game.
Oldest boy Sveinn Aron, 20, is already a professional with Icelandic top division side Breidablik having represented his country at under-19 level.
Then comes Andri Lucas, who at 16 has just moved into the youth team with Espanyol and is regarded highly as forward with real potential.
And finally is youngest son Daniel Tristan, 12, who is making a big impact in the academy programme at Barcelona and who many believe is the best of the lot.
Former Barca star Gudjohnsen said: “I remember when I was playing, the first phone call was always to my Dad, going through the game, how he saw it.
“We’d talk about general stuff, individual performance then team performance – and sometimes it was very positive, sometimes very negative.
“There was never any pressure, probably because he always made me feel I was better than him, which might not be the truth.
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“It’s a natural thing as a father, I have hit now with my boys, I’d wish them to be miles better than me and top everything I achieved in my career – as long as they are happy and respectful.
“One is in the highest league in Iceland, a 16-year-old at Espanyol, and then a 12-year-old at Barcelona academy.
“It can be tough, because watching your children play, you want them to do so well and it’s tough to take as a parent.
“When you see them flying into a tackle, that’s when the parent instinct comes in ‘oh, don’t get yourself injured’. You don’t want anything to happen to them, you just want them to be happy and successful.
“It can be really tough, but on the positive side, when they do manage to score a goal, do something nice, have a great game or win some trophies or whatever, that feeling escalates even more within a father.”
With Sveinn Aron now about to live alone in Iceland for the first time, Gudjohnsen’s dad Arnor is again having to play the guide for a family member making a name in the game.
This time it is for his grandson, but Arnor will approach it exactly the same way he did when he raised Eidur all those years ago.
Arnor said: “I was a football player when Eidur was starting, I knew all the pressure on himself as a player, and as a parent you don’t want to add to that pressure.
“I was always careful I would give him the best advice I could, but I would never push him so he would feel insecure.
“I was not going to live his life, as I see from many parents watching their kids – the hopes, everything. It’s never going to make a player being like that.
“To be supportive, to help, give advice about situations that happens on and off the pitch. That is the most important.
“I follow grandchildren a lot of course, I give them advice. I have spoken with his oldest son as he is now in Iceland so I see him a lot.
“He comes to me also and asks me questions, I give comments on his game. That’s very good because he wants to learn, he wants to be better.”
Eidur, speaking as a Gillette ambassador who have over 100 years’ experience of working with men and a heritage steeped in sport, added: “It’s not an easy situation when you have children in different countries but that is part of growing up.
“They have high hopes themselves, they are very much into their football, they enjoy it, they play at a very good level.
“The footballing education in Spain is excellent, whether you are one of the bigger clubs or smaller clubs it doesn’t really matter – the coaching is really good.
“My second boy has played under-17 and under-18 for Iceland as well now, and that’s where he sees a completely different type of football.
“Where it’s just pure graft and fight, and if he can mix those two and have the quality to add that part into his game as well, he can become very complete.
“It’s nice. In all honesty, of course it is lovey that your boys want to play football and can reach a certain level and keep your family name going.
“But I couldn’t care a less whether they were footballers or not, I just want them to be happy.”
- To celebrate Father’s Day and the launch of the brand new Chrome Edition Fusion Pro-Glide razor, Gillette appointed Eidur and Arnor Gudjohnsen to talk about what being a father means to them and the importance of role models. A new study commissioned by Gillette reveals Dad's to be the UK's favourite role models. Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Chrome Edition razor is available exclusively to buy at www.Boots.com