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Atli Eðvaldsson (3 March 1957 – 2 September 2019) was an Icelandic footballer who played as a midfielder, widely regarded as one of the most influential players to come from Iceland. During his career, he won the Icelandic championship three times and the Icelandic Cup four times.[1] After retiring from playing, he became a well-known manager. In 1999, he guided Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur to its first championship in 31 years.[1] Atli played 70 games for the Icelandic national team from 1976 to 1991. He later coached the national team from 1999 to 2003.[1]

Atli Eðvaldsson
Personal information
Full name Atli Eðvaldsson
Date of birth (1957-03-03)3 March 1957
Place of birth Reykjavík, Iceland
Date of death 2 September 2019(2019-09-02) (aged 62)
Place of death Reykjavík, Iceland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1980 Valur 93 (31)
1980–1981 Borussia Dortmund 30 (11)
1981–1985 Fortuna Düsseldorf 122 (38)
1985–1988 Bayer 05 Uerdingen 72 (10)
1988–1989 TuRU Düsseldorf 23 (6)
1989–1990 Gençlerbirliği 23 (4)
1990–1993 KR Reykjavík 48 (16)
1994 HK Kópavogur 11 (1)
Total 422 (117)
National team
1974 Iceland U19 2 (0)
1978 Iceland U21 1 (0)
1976–1991 Iceland 70 (8)
Teams managed
1995–1996 ÍBV
1997 Fylkir
1998–1999 KR Reykjavík
1999–2003 Iceland
2005–2006 Þróttur Reykjavík
2009 Valur
2013 Reynir Sandgerði
2014 Afturelding
2017–2018 Kristianstad FC
2018 Hamar
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

Atli started at Valur and later became very successful in the German Bundesliga with Fortuna Düsseldorf and Bayer Uerdingen. On 6 June 1983, he became the first foreign player to score a five goals in one game in the Bundesliga, when he scored five goals for Fortuna Düsseldorf in a 5-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt. After the game, he took a flight to Iceland where he scored the winning goal in Iceland's 1-0 victory against Malta the following day. For the season, he scored 21 goals in 34 matches for Düsseldorf, finishing second in the league.[2]

After a year in Turkey, he finished his playing career back in Iceland, where he became player-manager.[3]

International careerEdit

He made his debut for Iceland in 1976 and went on to win 70 caps, scoring eight goals[4] and captaining the team 31 times. He played his last international match in a September 1991 friendly game against Denmark. After Ásgeir Elíasson became Iceland's manager in 1991, he announced that Atli was not in the future plans of the team. At the time he was Iceland's record cap.[5]

Manager yearsEdit

After his playing days ended, Atli went on to manage three Icelandic club teams before taking the helm at the national team in 1999 where he stayed for four years. On 4 July 2009, Atli was appointed manager of Úrvalsdeild karla club Valur until the end of the season.

He last coached Hamar in the 4. deild karla in 2018.[6]

Roger Hollis caseEdit

Chapman Pincher alleged that Atli is the owner of certain documents that might add further weight to the case against Roger Hollis, that Hollis was a Russian spy at the head of MI-5 in the UK.[7] As Pincher, who died in 2014, stated "I have been unable to extract a copy of the interrogation report from Atli", p. 603. The interrogation report is alleged by Pincher to have been written by his deceased father, Evald Mikson.

Personal lifeEdit

Atli was the younger brother of former international player Jóhannes Eðvaldsson. His father, Evald Mikson (Icelandic: Eðvald Hinriksson), was a goalkeeper in the Estonian national football team between 1934 and 1938. Mikson was the Tallinn chief of police during the German occupation of Estonia during World War II.

Atli's daughter Sif Atladóttir is a member of the women's national football team.[8]

Illness and deathEdit

In December 2018, he revealed in an interview with RÚV that he had been battling a serious illness for two years and that initially the doctors only gave him two weeks to live.[9][10] On 2 September 2019, Atli died from cancer.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Andlát: Atli Eðvaldsson". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  2. ^ Óskar Ófeigur Jónsson (3 September 2019). "Helgin hans Atla Eðvaldssonar árið 1983 verður seint toppuð". Ví (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  3. ^ Anton Ingi Leifsson (2 September 2019). "Íslendingar minnast Atla: „Hafðu þökk fyrir"". Ví (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Iceland - Record International Players". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  5. ^ Tómas Þór Þórðarson (7 December 2018). "Atli mætti alltaf á meðan sumir völdu sér leiki en var svo sparkað úr landsliðinu". Ví (in Icelandic). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  6. ^ Guðmundur Aðalsteinn Ásgeirsson (2 September 2019). "Atli Eðvaldsson er látinn". Fó (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  7. ^ Pincher, Chapman (2009). Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups: Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain.
  8. ^ Óskar Ófeigur Jónsson (24 January 2018). "Sif fyrirliði í sjötugasta landsleiknum sínum alveg eins og pabbi sinn". Ví Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  9. ^ Valur Páll Eiríksson (6 December 2018). "Stærstu mistökin að taka við landsliðinu". RÚV (in Icelandic). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  10. ^ Brynjar Ingi Erluson (6 December 2018). "Atli Eðvalds: Get ekki tekið við þessum liðum því ég veit ekki hver staða mín verður". Fó (in Icelandic). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  11. ^ Anton Ingi Leifsson (2 September 2019). "Atli Eðvaldsson látinn". Ví (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2 September 2019.

External linksEdit