Ari Freyr Skúlason
Skúlason at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
|Full name||Ari Freyr Skúlason|
|Date of birth||14 May 1987|
|Place of birth||Reykjavík, Iceland|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Left-back / Central Midfielder|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 June 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 June 2018
Ari Freyr Skúlason (born 14 May 1987) is an Icelandic international footballer who plays for Lokeren in Belgium. He previously played at senior level in Iceland and Sweden, and was also a youth player in the Netherlands.
Even though his most common position is in central midfield he can also play as a winger and has been playing as a fullback with the Iceland national football team. After transferring from Sweden to Denmark in 2013 he stated in an interview that he'd asked to be bought as a left-back to cement his place as the starting left-back in the national team. He will consequently be playing as a left-back in Denmark.
Ari started his career at Valur. At sixteen, he went to SC Heerenveen in the Netherlands where he spent two seasons. He was released at the end of 2005 when he could not make the first team. He returned to Valur where he played half a season before signing with Allsvenskan club BK Häcken. Although relegated to the Swedish second tier, the club competed in the UEFA Cup qualifiers the following year because of their fair play ranking. Häcken managed to progress into the main competition after Ari scored the winning goal against Scottish club Dunfermline Athletic F.C.. Häcken failed to gain promotion, and he signed with Allsvenskan club GIF Sundsvall at the end of the year. At the start of the 2012 season he became captain of the club.
On 11 July 2013 it was revealed that Ari had signed a contract with Danish Superliga club OB for the start of 2014 when his contract with Sundsvall expired. On 19 July it was announced that the clubs had reached an agreement for his semi-immediate transfer. On 27 July he played his last game for Sundsvall, scoring two free-kick goals in a 3–3 draw against GAIS.
After being capped at various youth levels he got to make his debut for the Icelandic national team in 2009 against Iran. In 2012, he started getting more frequent callups from new national team manager Lars Lagerbäck. Despite Ari having been playing as a midfielder for his club side he was nonetheless picked in the Iceland squad as a left-back and has been the first-choice left-back in the national team during most of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Consequently, Ari felt that he needed to change his position at club level and asked to be bought as a left-back when he was sold in July 2013, so he could play that position at club level to be able to hold his place as the first-choice left-back in the Iceland squad, despite the fact that he has been praised as a central playmaker of high quality.
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Iceland" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2018. p. 13. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Ari Freyr Skulason _ GIF Sundsvall". Football Lineups. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ari Freyr: Verð að spila vinstri bakvörð" (in Icelandic). fotbolti.net. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Winger to leave Heerenveen". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ari Skulason till Häcken" (in Swedish). Kristianstadsbladet. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ari Skulason sköt Häcken vidare" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Giffarnas chock: Sundfors slutar" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Åkebys lagkaptensval: Ari Skúlason" (in Swedish). ST. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ari Freyr samdi við OB" (in Icelandic). visir.is. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Ari Freyr fer til OB í sumar" (in Icelandic). visir.is. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Ari kvaddi með tveimur aukaspyrnumörkum" (in Icelandic). mbl.is. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Ari Freyr Skulason komt Denis Odoi vervangen" (in Dutch). K.S.C. Lokeren. Archived from the original on 19 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Ari A-landslagsspelare igen" (in Swedish). ST. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ny chans i landslaget för Ari" (in Swedish). Forza GIF. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Ari Freyr Skúlason" (in Icelandic). ksi.is. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "A karla – Lokahópur fyrir EM 2016" (in Icelandic). Knattspyrnusamband Íslands. 9 May 2016. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
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