Sigurdsson reflects on youth watching English football and getting his big break

Gylfi Sigurdsson was a Blue from the day he was photographed standing by the Dixie Dean statue at Goodison Park aged 11.

The young Sigurdsson trained with Everton for a week nearly two decades ago and even got to be a ball boy.

The picture of the him, wearing an Everton sweatshirt, was taken by his older brother Olafur Mar, who sent CDs of him playing to clubs in England to land him his big break.

Olafur Mar trained Sigurdsson as a kid and got his sibling a trial with Preston before Reading signed him to their academy at 16.

“I think my interest in football in England started very young,” said the Everton star. “The Premier League was on TV and my dad and my brother used to watch it.

“So naturally, I sat there on a Sunday watching football with them. Then my brother took me over to England a few times to train with various clubs.

“My brother ended up sending a CD to a few clubs and I ended up getting a trial at a few places and then signed for Reading.”

Sigurdsson believed he could make it in England because he had seen a number of other Icelandic players succeed here.

“Quite a few players had come over,” he said. “At one time at Reading we had two players, Ivar Ingimarsson and Brynjar Gunnarsson.

“We had Eidur Gudjohnsen, Heidar Helgusson, Hermann Hreidarsson, so we had a few players to look up to and see it is possible to get into the Premier League.

“Of course, back then it was a bit more difficult to make the step. But thankfully we had CDs and my brother was able to make one and send it to Reading and I signed for them.”

Sigurdsson comes from a sporting family and Olafur Mar is a talented golfer, who played in the qualifying for the European Tour, while his dad, Sigurdur Adalsteinsson, has been Iceland’s champion darts player.

Sigurdsson has had time to reflect on his remarkable journey during the lockdown and the Blues’ record £45million signing feels it is safe to return.

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