Birkir Már Sævarsson

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Birkir Már Sævarsson
Birkir Már Sævarsson (2015).jpg
Personal information
Full name Birkir Már Sævarsson[1]
Date of birth (1984-11-11) 11 November 1984 (age 33)
Place of birth Reykjavík, Iceland
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Valur
Number 2
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2008 Valur 66 (2)
2008–2014 Brann 168 (15)
2015–2017 Hammarby 84 (3)
2018– Valur 8 (0)
National team
2006 Iceland U-21 3 (0)
2007– Iceland 82 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 July 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 June 2018
Sævarsson playing in the national team against Austria in 2014

Birkir Már Sævarsson (born 11 November 1984) is an Icelandic footballer who plays as a defender for Valur.[2]

Club career[edit]

Valur[edit]

Birkir started his professional career with local team Valur in the Úrvalsdeild, where he made his senior debut in 2003. He went on to play 66 competitive leagues games for the club, scoring twice, across five seasons. He won the 2007 Úrvalsdeild with Valur.[3]

Brann[edit]

In 2008, at age 23, he joined the Norwegian side SK Brann in Tippeligaen. Before signing for Brann, Sævarsson had a trial with Bryne FK.[4] Being known as a versatile defender, he was originally planned as a right back at Brann, but played almost all the 2009 season on the left back. He was often praised for his stamina, pace, and ability to contribute to the attacking play from his wing-back position.[5] Birkir soon also became known for his scoring ability.[6]

In 2011, his side reached the final in the Norwegian Cup, where Birkir played the whole game as Brann lost 1–2 to Aalesunds FK.[7] Birkir played all minutes in every competitive game during the 2012 and 2013 seasons as right back.[8]

Birkir signed a four-year contract extension with Brann in May 2013.[8] During the reign of Swedish manager Rikard Norling, Birkir however lost his place as a regular starter at Brann. In 2014, Norling opted to play the homegrown youngster Andreas Vindheim instead of the Icelandic international.[7] The season ultimately went horrible for Brann, who got relegated to the second tier after losing against Mjøndalen in qualification play.[9]

The relegation also put an end to Birkir's 6.5-year spell at Brann, who transferred to the Swedish top tier club Hammarby IF in December 2014.[10] He reportedly left Brann on a free transfer.[11]

Hammarby[edit]

At Hammarby he began the 2015 season as a centre-back, but eventually moved back to his natural position on the right flank after the arrival of Richard Magyar.[12] After putting on impressive performances on both positions, he was voted as the "newcomer of the year" by the supporters.[13] Birkir played 28 league games for his side, scoring twice, as Hammarby finished 11th in Allsvenskan.[12] In 2016, Sævarsson played 27 competitive games, scoring once.[14]

Birkir kept his place as a key player at Hammarby in 2017, as the club placed 9th in Allsvenskan, while providing five assists in 29 appearances.[14] At the end of the year, Birkir sought to leave Hammarby at the expiration of his contract, seeking a new club ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[15][16]

Second stint at Valur[edit]

Before the 2018 season, Birkir returned to his native country and first professional club Valur. He signed a three-year deal with the reigning champions of Iceland.[2] Birkir teamed up with his younger brother Aron Elí Sævarsson, born in 1997, in the squad.[17]

International career[edit]

Birkir made his debut for the Icelandic national senior team on 2 August 2007, in a 1–1 draw against Liechtenstein.[18] Nine years later, on 6 June 2016, he scored his first national goal against the same opposition. Birkir slotted home a volley strike from far distance as Iceland won 4–0 in a friendly.[19]

He played his first tournament at age 31, being selected for the Euro 2016 in France.[20] In the second group stage game against Hungary, he scored an own goal resulting in a 1–1 draw.[21] Birkir was praised for keeping the Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in a group stage draw,[22] as well as neutralizing Raheem Sterling in Iceland's sensational 2–1 win against England in the round of 16.[18] Birkir played all minutes for Iceland during the tournament, where his side ultimately got knocked out in the quarter final following a 2–5 loss against France.[23]

In May 2018 he was named in Iceland’s 23 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[24]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 18 July 2018[25][26]
Season Club Division League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2002 Valur U23 Icelandic Cup 0 0 2 0 2 0
2003 Valur Úrvalsdeild 8 0 0 0 8 0
2004 1. deild 11 0 2 0 13 0
2005 Úrvalsdeild 1 0 2 0 3 0
2006 18 0 2 0 20 0
2007 17 1 2 0 19 1
2008 11 1 3 0 14 1
2008 SK Brann Tippeligaen 8 1 0 0 8 1
2009 26 2 3 1 29 3
2010 27 2 1 0 28 2
2011 27 4 6 0 33 4
2012 30 2 5 2 35 4
2013 30 3 2 0 30 3
2014 20 1 3 0 23 1
2015 Hammarby Allsvenskan 28 2 5 0 33 2
2016 27 1 5 0 32 1
2017 29 0 4 1 33 1
2018 Valur Úrvalsdeild 8 0 2 0 10 0
Career Total 326 20 49 4 373 24

International[edit]

Statistics accurate as of match played 26 June 2018.[27]
Iceland
Year Apps Goals
2007 2 0
2008 11 0
2009 5 0
2010 3 0
2011 6 0
2012 5 0
2013 8 0
2014 5 0
2015 9 0
2016 13 1
2017 9 0
2018 6 0
Total 82 1

International goal[edit]

As of 6 June 2016
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 6 June 2016 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Liechtenstein 2–0 4–0 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Valur

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Iceland" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2018. p. 13. Retrieved 10 June 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Birkir Már Sævarsson semur við Val til þriggja ára" (in Icelandic). Valur. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Meet 'the weakest right-back' tasked with taming Dimitri Payet". The Irish Times. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "Bryne-vrakgods skal utfordre i Brann" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Skarsfjord: - Birkir, du kunne vært toppscorer!" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Sævarsson sendte Brann for alvor opp i medaljestriden" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Sævarsson: - Nedrykket hadde ingenting å si" (in Norwegian). Bergens Tidende. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Sævarsson på vei bort fra Brann" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Praktfiasko för Norlings Brann" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "Birkir Saevarsson klar för Hammarby" (in Swedish). Hammarby Fotboll. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Islänning kan värvas till Hammarby – till priset av en vänskapsmatch" (in Swedish). Fotbolldirekt. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "2. Birkir Már Sævarsson" (in Swedish). Hammarby Fotboll. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  13. ^ "Birkir Årets nykomling 2015!" (in Swedish). Hammarby Fotboll. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Birkir Már Sævarsson" (in Swedish). Svenskfotboll. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  15. ^ "Saevarsson lämnar Hammarby för att hitta formen inför VM" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  16. ^ "Birkir lämnar Hammarby" (in Swedish). Hammarby Fotboll. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  17. ^ "Meistaraflokkur karla" (in Icelandic). Valur. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  18. ^ a b "Sævarsson räds inte utmaningen" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Seger i EM-genrepet – drömmål av Bajen-back" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Hungary exult and Iceland only draw after Birkir Saevarsson own goal". The Guardian. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Sævarsson ler av sure Ronaldo". Aftenposten. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "EM-hjälten: "Så ska Bajen lära av Island"". Aftonbladet. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  24. ^ https://www.goal.com/en/amp/news/world-cup-squad-injured-gylfi-sigurdsson/17guw991qjit61qqhhfn9lyhon
  25. ^ "altomfotball.no: Birkir Sævarsson" (in Norwegian). Altom Fotball. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Birkir Már Sævarsson" (in Icelandic). KSÍ. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Birkir Már Sævarsson". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 June 2018. 

External links[edit]