Former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen insists he's no passenger after the 37-year-old was named in Iceland's Euro 2016 squad

  • Eidur Gudjohnsen, 37, scored 78 goals in 263 appearances for Chelsea
  • The Icelandic international's decorated career started way back in 1994
  • Iceland's Euro 2016 campaign will be their first major tournament outing
  • Molde star returned to international football in 2015 to help Iceland qualify

When Iceland coach Lars Lagerback named Eidur Gudjohnsen in his 23-man squad for the Euro 2016 finals in France, it was the latest twist in the 37-year-old striker's long and colourful career.

It is a tale that covers more than a dozen clubs and includes two Premier League titles with Chelsea, a La Liga crown and a Champions League winner's medal with Barcelona, and two decades of toil in a national team since his international debut at 17 coming on as a substitute for his father Arnor.

Gudjohnsen's career began in 1994 but the Euros in France will be the major international tournament of his career, and he's eager to make an impact on the big stage.

Gudjohnsen's career has spanned 22 years and but Euro 2016 will be his first major international tournament

Gudjohnsen's career has spanned 22 years and but Euro 2016 will be his first major international tournament

The Icelandic international spent six years with Chelsea and won the Premier League twice at Stamford Bridge

The Icelandic international spent six years with Chelsea and won the Premier League twice at Stamford Bridge

Gudjohnsen enjoyed a trophy-laden three years with Barcelona, winning La Liga and the Champions League

Gudjohnsen enjoyed a trophy-laden three years with Barcelona, winning La Liga and the Champions League

'I'm delighted, I played my first game for the national team 20 years ago, so it's a bit of an icing on the cake - but it's not just that.

'I'm not going there just to travel there. Hopefully I can play an influential part in the team.'

The journeyman attacker has played in Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Belgium, England and China.

'It was a bit of a strange situation where my contract in China finished in January and I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay,

'I had to try to find a club where I would be certain of a lot of playing time and closer to home, where the national team coaches would have a closer eye on me as well.'

In February, he signed a two-year deal at Molde, where a former Premier League rival was running the show. 

'After speaking with (Molde manager) Ole Gunner Solskjaer, it seemed like the perfect option.

'It's a good club, good facilities, there is everything to concentrate purely on football, coming up to the Euros. It's been a perfect fit,

'Being here reminds me of Iceland, it reminds me of a small town there. It's just nice and relaxed. A quiet place with lovely views, a town that its really interested in football. They live for the football club here.'

The former Monaco star will experience international tournament action for the first time in France next month

The former Monaco star will experience international tournament action for the first time in France next month

GUDJOHNSEN'S 22-YEAR CAREER

1994: Valur

1995-97: PSV Eindhoven

1998: KR Reykjavík 

1998-2000: Bolton Wanderers

2000-2006: Chelsea

2006-2009: Barcelona

2009-2010: Monaco

2010: Tottenham (loan)

2010-2011: Stoke City

2011: Fulham (loan)

2011-2012: AEK Athens

2012-2013: Cercle Brugge

2013-2014: Club Brugge

2014-2015: Bolton Wanderers

2015: Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

2016-Present: Molde

Having all but hung up his international boots following Iceland's defeat to Croatia in a World Cup playoff in 2013, the journey back has been a long one.

With Gudjohnsen absent as the Euro qualifiers began, Iceland hammered Turkey and Latvia 3-0 and then beat the Dutch 2-0 at home to set the pace in their group.

'At that moment I thought, 'These boys might be going to the Euros and I might miss out,' but then I just put my mind on it - "right, let's do this - let's see how far you can get, see how fit you can be, see how well you can play still".'

By that stage he was in his second spell at Bolton Wanderers, signing a short-term contract and eventually winning back his place in the national team. 

He scored on his return to the Iceland team in March 2015 as they beat Kazakhstan 3-0 away to edger closer to qualification before joining Shijiahuang Everbright in China.

Gudjohnsen is eager to round off his international career with some fireworks in France but knows Portugal, Hungary and Austria will provide stiff opposition in Group F.

'I think it's a natural thing for us to be underdogs. If you're a country of 320,000 people you're always going to be the underdog, against the majority of teams anyway,'

Gudjohnsen will be 39 by the time his contract at Molde runs out at the end of next season, but he does not fear the day he has to hang up his boots for good.

'I'm not afraid, no,' he explains. 'My main concern is to find something, in football or in life, that would give me 10 percent of the feeling or adrenaline or satisfaction of playing the game.

'Then I'd be a happy man.' 

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