Birkir Bjarnason

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This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic, not a family name; this person is referred to by the given name Birkir.
Birkir Bjarnason
2014-05-30 Austria - Iceland football match, Birkir Bjarnason 0610.jpg
Birkir playing for Iceland in 2014
Personal information
Full name Birkir Bjarnason
Date of birth (1988-05-27) 27 May 1988 (age 28)
Place of birth Akureyri, Iceland
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)[1]
Playing position Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa
Number 20
Youth career
KA Akureyri
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2011 Viking 102 (16)
2008 Bodø/Glimt (loan) 22 (5)
2012–2013 Standard Liège 16 (0)
2012–2013 Pescara (loan) 24 (2)
2013 Pescara 1 (0)
2013–2014 Sampdoria 14 (0)
2014–2015 Pescara 35 (10)
2015–2017 FC Basel 42 (14)
2017– Aston Villa 0 (0)
National team
2004 Iceland U17 7 (2)
2005–2007 Iceland U19 14 (3)
2006–2011 Iceland U21 25 (3)
2010– Iceland 57 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 December 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2016

Birkir Bjarnason (born 27 May 1988) is an Icelandic professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for English Championship side Aston Villa[2] and the Iceland national football team.[3] In his homeland he is nicknamed Thor.[4]

Club career[edit]

Viking FK[edit]

Birkir started playing football with local clubs in his hometown of Akureyri. His family moved to Norway in 1999 and he joined the youth teams of Figgjo. In the summer of 2005 Birkir joined Viking. In the 2006 season he scored his first goal for Viking against Hamarkameratene. Following that he played consistently as a starter for Viking and was a key aspect in helping the club avoid relegation that year and helping them obtain a third-place finish in 2007 under trainer Uwe Rösler.

In 2008 Birkir had a successful loan spell at newly promoted Tippeligaen side Bodø/Glimt,[5] playing a big part in them finishing fourth in the league. His impressive performances brought the attention of bigger clubs such as Serie A club Reggina during January 2008, but he stayed at Viking until 2012. During this time he made 100 appearances for Viking in the Tippeligaen, scoring 16 league goals.

Standard Liège[edit]

On 12 January 2012 it was announced that Birkir would sign for Belgian side Standard Liège on a five-year deal.[6][7] He played 16 league games in the Belgium Pro League for Standard.


After the end of the 2011–12 season, in July 2012, Birkir joined the newly promoted Serie A side Pescara on a season-long loan deal. He scored his first goal for Pescara in a 5–1 away defeat at Napoli. After the 2012–13 season he stated that he was not interested in going down to Serie B with Pescara and, with two years remaining of his Standard Liège contract, he was unsure where he would be playing in the 2013–14 season.[8]

Pescara bought Birkir from Standard Liège in mid-June 2013 on a permanent transfer for a previously agreed fee,[9] with the aim of selling him for a higher amount that summer with interest being reported from clubs in the top leagues in England including, Italy and Germany.[10]


On 2 September 2013, it was confirmed that Serie A side Sampdoria had signed Birkir on a co-ownership deal.[11] In total he made 14 Serie A appearances during the 2013–14 season for Sampdoria.

Return to Pescara[edit]

On 20 June 2014 it was announced that Birkir would sign again for Pescara on 1 July 2014, after the club won the co-ownership bidding for the player from Sampdoria.[12] Upon signing, he was appointed the captain for the 2014–15 season.

He scored 12 goals in 38 Serie B games to help guide Pescara to a seventh-place finish and qualifying for the Serie B playoffs. Pescara beat Perugia 2–1 to qualify for the playoff semifinal. They beat Vicenza Calcio 3–2 over two legs in the semi finals, with Birkir scoring the crucial match winning aggregate goal for Pescara on 2 June 2015 to help them qualify for the Serie B playoff final against Bologna.[13] However, with a 1–1 aggregate score after two legs Bologna, being the highest-placed team, were promoted.[14][14]

On 27 June 2015, Pescara announced they had accepted an offer of €1 million for Birkir from Serie A side Torino.[15] It was later revealed in July, that the move had seemingly stalled as Birkir had been unable to agree personal terms with the club.[16] A move to English side Leeds United also fell through.[17][18]


On 7 July 2015 it was announced that Birkir had signed a three-year contract with Swiss Super League club FC Basel.[19] He made his first team league debut on 25 July 2015 in the 3–2 away win against Grasshoppers.[20] In the Champions League third qualifying round on 5 August he scored his first goal for his new club during the 1–0 home win against Lech Poznań.

He scored his first league goal for Basel on 26 September during the 3–1 home win against Lugano.[21] Under manager Urs Fischer Birkir won the Swiss Super League championship at the end of the 2015–16 Super League season. For the club it was the seventh title in a row and their 19th championship title in total.[22]

Aston Villa[edit]

On 25 January 2017, Birkir signed a three-and-a-half year contract with English Championship side Aston Villa.[23]

International career[edit]

Birkir made his debut for the senior Iceland national side in 2010. He has also represented them at Iceland U-21, Under 19 and Under 17 levels.

He scored his first goal for Iceland against France on 27 May 2012 in a 3–2 defeat. He also followed this up with goals for Iceland in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification with goals against Albania on 12 October 2012, Slovenia on 7 June 2013 and then against Albania again on 10 September 2013 in a 2–1 victory. Birkir's goals and performances played a crucial role in the qualifiers helping guide Iceland to the World Cup playoff's, however in November 2013 they lost 2–0 on aggregate over two legs to Croatia.[24]

He was called up to the national team again for UEFA Euro 2016 and achieved the honor of getting his country's first ever goal in a major tournament when he scored the equalizer against Portugal in their first group match.[25][26]

On 27 June 2016, Bjarnason played against England in the UEFA Euro 2016 round of 16 at the Stade de Nice, as Iceland upset England with a 2–1 victory to advance to the quarter-finals.[27]

International goals[edit]

Current as of 3 July 2016. Iceland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Bjarnason goal:[28]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
27 May 2012 Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France  France
12 October 2012 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Albania
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 June 2013 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Slovenia
10 September 2013 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Albania
28 March 2015 Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan  Kazakhstan
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
14 June 2016 Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne, France  Portugal
UEFA Euro 2016
3 July 2016 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  France


FC Basel


  1. ^ "UEFA EURO 2016 - Birkir Bjarnason -". 
  2. ^ "Aston Villa sign Iceland midfielder Birkir Bjarnason from Basel". Sky Sports. 
  3. ^ "Birkir Bjarnason". KSI. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Five things to know about Birkir Bjarnason - the Thor of football". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Birkir Bjarnason leigður frá Viking til Bodö/Glimt (Staðfest)". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Birkir BJARNASON". Sudpresse. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Birkir samdi við Standard Liege". MBL. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ég er opinn fyrir öllu". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Pescara keypti Birki af Standard". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Félög í Englandi, Ítalíu og Þýskalandi vilja Birki". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sampdoria complete signing of Pescara midfielder". forzaitalianfootball. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Buste, Bjarnason torna al Pescara". Gianluca Di Marzio. Archived from the original on 23 August 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "The transcripts of Pescara - Bjarnason the best, well Sansovini". Tutto Mercatto. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Bologna promoted to Serie A under bizarre rule that sees them triumph over Pescara in play-off despite 1-1 draw over two legs". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Official: Bjarnason to Torino". Football Italia. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Torino hit Bjarnason breaks". Football Italia. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Leeds United's transfer plans hit by hammer blow as top target 'Thor' turns down move". Talksport. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Five things to know about Birkir Bjarnason - the Thor of football". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  19. ^ FC Basel 1893 (2015). "Birkir Bjarnason wechselt zum FC Basel 1893". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  20. ^ Marti, Caspar (2015). "Birkir Bjarnason wechselt zum FC Basel 1893 mit 3:2". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2015-07-25. 
  21. ^ Marti, Caspar (2015). "Nie gefährdeter 3:1-Heimsieg gegen Lugano". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  22. ^ Marti, Casper (2016). "Es ist vollbracht ! Der FCB ist zum 19. Mal Meister". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  23. ^ "Aston Villa sign Iceland midfielder Birkir Bjarnason from Basel". Sky Sports. 
  24. ^ "Croatia end Iceland's World Cup dream". UEFA. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "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. 
  26. ^ "Portugal 1 Iceland 1". Guardian. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "England 1 Iceland 2: Fairytale continues as Hodgson's men crash out". FourFourTwo. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "KSI profile". KSI. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 

External links[edit]