|Full name||Aron Einar Malmquist Gunnarsson|
|Date of birth||22 April 1989|
|Place of birth||Akureyri, Iceland|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:01, 8 December 2018 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 November 2018
Aron Einar Malmquist Gunnarsson (born 22 April 1989) is an Icelandic professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Cardiff City and the Icelandic national team. He can play either as a defensive midfielder or a central midfielder.
He began his career at Þór Akureyri, and played one match for Dutch club AZ before joining England's Coventry City in 2008. After 133 matches and 7 goals in three seasons for them, he transferred to Cardiff City, where he was a runner-up in the 2012 Football League Cup Final and played in the 2013–14 Premier League.
Aron plays for Iceland at international level, having made his senior debut in 2008, and has earned over 80 caps for them. He has been Iceland's captain since mid-2012, captaining the team to the quarter-finals at their first major tournament, UEFA Euro 2016.
Born in Akureyri, Aron began playing football in his native Iceland on gravel pitches. During the winter months, snow and ice left football pitches unplayable and Aron instead played handball, making three appearances in the Icelandic handball League at the age of fifteen. He began his football career with local side Þór Akureyri in 2005 and, after investment in indoor pitches by the Icelandic government, began to train all year round. At the age of seventeen, Aron moved to the Netherlands, joining the youth academy at AZ. After initially struggling with homesickness, he settled in the country and made his debut for the club during the 2007–08 season.
Aron signed for English Championship team Coventry City on 17 June 2008, signing a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut on the opening day of the Championship season against Norwich City, where Coventry won 2–0. He scored his first career goal on 14 February 2009 in an FA Cup match against Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. During his time at Coventry, Aron attracted Premier League interest leading Coventry City to offer him an improved deal on 12 March. His first league goal came against Crystal Palace. At the end of his first season in England, Aron was voted the Coventry City Supporter's Player of the Year as well as the club's Community Award.
The following season, Aron changed his shirt number from 12 to 17, to mirror the squad number of his brother, who is a professional handball player. The following season, he continued as a vital part of the Coventry midfield, throughout the season he made 42 appearances and scored one goal against Middlesbrough.
Coventry City started the 2010–11 season strongly looking like they were pushing for play-off places. Aron opened his season's goal scoring count with a goal against newly promoted, Millwall, despite Coventry losing 3–1. After three years at Coventry, he scored his first goal at Coventry City's home ground, the Ricoh Arena, against Preston North End. Three days later, Aron scored his second goal in two matches against Doncaster Rovers. He was out of contract at the end of the season and on 10 December, Aron stated his desire to stay at Coventry. However the following week, he received his first red card of his career against Norwich City. However a deal for a new contract couldn't be reached between his agent and Coventry, and at the end of the season the club gave him a deadline date to agree to stay.
However, due to Aron and his agent not being able to reach an agreement with Coventry, he was linked with moves away and his agent confirmed that fellow Championship outfit Cardiff City were favourites to sign him.
On 8 July 2011, Aron agreed a three-year deal with fellow Championship team Cardiff City on a free transfer, as the fifth signing for new manager Malky Mackay. Coventry were due compensation via him being under the age of 24.
He made his debut on 7 August in the first match of the new season, playing the full 90 minutes in the 1–0 away win over West Ham United. In his second match, Aron limped off with an ankle injury after only ten minutes against Bristol City, the injury sidelining him for a week. He returned after the September international break, insisting his injury was behind him. On 22 October, Aron scored two goals in a 5–3 victory against Barnsley, receiving the man of the match award.
Following his return from Euro 2016, Aron was linked with a move away from the Welsh capital, with Derby County and Norwich City claimed to be interested. However, Cardiff City manager, Paul Trollope, described him as "a very important player" to the club. His performances under Trollope and his eventual replacement Neil Warnock saw him awarded the club's Player of the Year award at the end of the season.
The following season, Aron failed to nail down a consistent place in the starting eleven, due to a number of injuries throughout the first half of the season. Despite his injury problems, Cardiff offered him a new contract, which was later rejected by the player. Aron returned to the side for the final run-in, where he scored the winning goal against Nottingham Forest and ultimately helped Cardiff gain promotion to the Premier League.
In July 2018, Aron signed a new one-year deal.
Aron made his international debut for Iceland on 2 February 2008. Aron was called up to the 2011 European Under-21 Championship Iceland squad, which took place in Denmark. In the first match, Iceland beat hosts Denmark 3–1. This was followed with a 2–0 loss to Belarus, where Aron was sent off. The two losses saw Iceland go out of the tournament via a tie breaker. Aron has been a regular player in the senior side since debuting despite helping the U-21 side when they qualified for the UEFA Under-21 Championship.
Aron was named as the permanent captain of the national team before a friendly match against the Faroe Islands in August 2012 at the young age of 23, ahead of his 29th cap. Under his captaincy, Iceland qualified for the play-off round of FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, where they lost 2–0 on aggregate to Croatia.
On 10 October 2014, Aron scored his first senior international goal in Iceland's 3–0 away win against Latvia in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying. He scored again in a 2–1 defeat of the Czech Republic on 12 June 2015. On 6 September, he was sent off in the last minute of a goalless draw at Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavík against Kazakhstan, a result which put Iceland into their first major international tournament.
Aron captained Iceland at their first major international tournament, UEFA Euro 2016 in France. After their first match, a shock 1–1 draw with Portugal in Saint-Étienne, opposing skipper Cristiano Ronaldo refused to trade shirts with him. Iceland finished second in their group, after beating Austria and drawing against Hungary, and then knocked out England in the round of 16. They were defeated by France, 5-2, in the quarter-final. Aron played in all five games.
|Club||Division||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Þór Akureyri||1. deild karla||2005||5||0||1||0||5||0||—||11||0|
- As of match played 15 November 2018
- Iceland's score listed first, score column indicates score after each Aron goal.
|1.||10 October 2014||Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia||Latvia||2–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|||
|2.||12 June 2015||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland||Czech Republic||1–1||2–1|||
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