Iceland's Birkir Bjarnason is out to beat the man who discovered him: Roy Hodgson

Birkir Bjarnason looks like a Viking, and it is fitting that his first professional club were Viking FK from the Norwegian town of Stavanger. That is where Roy Hodgson worked when he gave the Icelandic youngster his first opportunity at senior level in 2005. The 17-year-old Bjarnason was included in the squad ahead of a UEFA Cup fixture against CSKA Sofia and came on for the last 12 minutes of a 2-0 defeat.

"Birkir is very young, but has great potential," Hodgson told the local press in Stavanger. "He is athletic, good with the ball and has a positive attitude. He has no significant weaknesses, and excels both in attack and in defence. I am certain that his career will develop in the right direction."

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Michael Yokhin

Michael Yokhin is a European football writer. In addition to FourFourTwo, he wrote for Guardian, BBC, ESPN, Blizzard, New York Times, Independent, 11Freunde, Josimar and others. He takes keen interest in leagues, teams and players that might be a bit out of the main focus in the mainstream media, and loves football history as well.