Albert Guðmundsson

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For a different Icelandic footballer, see Albert Guðmundsson (footballer born 1958).
This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic, not a family name; this person is properly referred to by the given name Albert .

Albert Sigurður Guðmundsson (5 October 1923 – 7 April 1994) was the first Icelandic professional football player and played for, amongst others, Rangers, Arsenal, FC Nancy and AC Milan. After retiring from his sporting career he became a politician and was a member of Alþingi for 15 years, serving as Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry. He ran for president in 1980 but lost to Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.

Sporting career[edit]

Albert played football from a young age with local club Valur. In 1944 he made his way to Scotland to study business at Skerry's College, Glasgow. He began his abroad footballing career with Rangers. After a short stint there he went to England where he played for Arsenal as an amateur; he played several friendly matches and two First Division matches in October 1946. He was Arsenal's second player from outside the British Isles, after Gerard Keyser.

In a match against Racing Club de Paris in 1946 he caught the eye of the French side, who wanted to sign him. Albert was unable to gain a work permit in England, and thus could not turn professional, so he started to look to play elsewhere. In the end he did sign for a French club, but it was Nancy who captured him instead. Albert finished his first season with Nancy as the top scorer and scored two goals in each cup game, which were all won 2–1.

In 1948 Albert signed for AC Milan. He broke his knee in a match against Lazio and appeared to be beyond repair. However the team doctor for Milan's rivals Internazionale wanted to perform a surgery on the knee, a risk that Milan was not willing to agree to. Albert then bought out his contract and had the operation, which was a success.

After recovering he returned to France where he played for several clubs before retiring in 1954.

In 1967 he was awarded the Silver badge of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) for his work in football.

In 1968 he was elected the chairman of KSÍ, a post he held until 1973, he was awarded the Gold badge for his work that same year as he stepped down.

Political career[edit]

After returning from France, Albert started a business career in 1956 as a wholesaler, selling French women's clothing. His business soon expanded and imported several other types of goods, mostly from France.

He joined the Independence Party and in 1970 was elected councilman for Reykjavík, holding this office until 1986.

In 1974 he was elected to the Alþingi (the Icelandic parliament), representing Reykjavík. In 1983 he became Minister of Finance. In 1985 he was appointed Minister of Industry, a position he held until 1987, when a tax scandal forced his resignation.[1]

Feeling that the Independence Party's leadership had failed to support him, he left the party soon after his resignation and only a few weeks before a general election.[2] He immediately formed his own political party, the Citizen's Party (Borgaraflokkurinn) and served as its chairman until 1989. The party was right of centre with a populist streak and received 10.9 percent of the general vote in the 1987 elections, thus gaining seven members of parliament, including Alberts son, Ingi Björn Albertsson, who also played as a striker for Iceland National Team in the seventies. The Independence Party on the other hand suffered its worst result in history, only receiving 27.2 percent of the vote.

He was appointed resident ambassador to France in 1989 and held that position until 1993. Previously he had been France's consul in Iceland between 1962 and 1989.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morgunblaðið, 25 March 1987, p.64 (Retrieved 1 May 2007)
  2. ^ Morgunblaðið, 27 March 1987, p.64 (Retrieved 1 May 2007)