Kári Árnason

Kári Árnason (born 13 October 1982) is an Icelandic footballer who plays for Icelandic club Víkingur and the Iceland national team. He has previously played for Djurgården, AGF Aarhus, Esbjerg fB, Plymouth Argyle, Aberdeen (two spells), Rotherham United, Malmö FF, Omonia and Gençlerbirliği.[5] Capable of playing in midfield or defence, Kári has represented Iceland at senior level since 2005, making 83 appearances and scoring 6 goals in the process.

Kári Árnason
1 Kári Árnason (cropped).jpg
Kári playing for Iceland against Hungary in UEFA Euro 2016
Personal information
Full name Kári Árnason[1]
Date of birth (1982-10-13) 13 October 1982 (age 37)[2]
Place of birth Gothenburg, Sweden
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[3]
Playing position(s) Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Number 14
Youth career
1999–2001 Víkingur
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Gonzaga Bulldogs 25 (8)
2004 Adelphi Panthers 5[4] (0)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Víkingur 41 (3)
2004–2006 Djurgården 35 (0)
2006–2009 AGF Aarhus 51 (3)
2009Esbjerg fB (loan) 8 (0)
2009–2011 Plymouth Argyle 72 (3)
2011–2012 Aberdeen 33 (3)
2012–2015 Rotherham United 116 (5)
2015–2017 Malmö FF 37 (2)
2017 Omonia 8 (2)
2017–2018 Aberdeen 21 (3)
2018–2019 Gençlerbirliği 13 (0)
2019– Víkingur 17 (2)
National team
2005– Iceland 83 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 July 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 January 2020

Club careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Born in Gothenburg,[6] Kári began his career as a youngster in 1999 with Víkingur at his home town of Reykjavik, where he spent the first five years in his career. Arnason also played for the Gonzaga University Bulldogs in Spokane, Washington from 2002 to 2003. He brought a different style of football to Spokane, the likes of which Bulldog legends Steve Owens and Trevor Conrad had never seen.[7] During a candid interview with Gonzaga Bulletin reporter Ryan McAteer he did admit "Americans though, are in much better shape and can run forever."[7] He also played one season for Adelphi University in 2004.[8][9] After putting together a string of impressive performances in midfield with Víkingur at an early age in the 2004 season, Kári was signed by Swedish Allsvenskan club Djurgårdens IF in 2004, where he won the Swedish league and cup double in 2005. He was signed by Danish club AGF Aarhus in 2007 and spent two years with the club, along with a spell on loan at fellow Superliga club Esbjerg fB.

Plymouth ArgyleEdit

Kári had a trial at English Football League Championship side Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2009, and after impressing in a couple of friendly matches he signed a one-year contract with the club. He made his debut in August 2009 against Derby County and established himself as a first-team regular at the heart of the club's defence. He scored his first goal for the club against Reading on 28 December 2009 at Home Park,[10] to become the 500th player to score a league goal since the club became professional in 1903. Kári signed a two-year contract extension in January 2010, after a string of consistent performances, to keep him at the club until the summer of 2012.[11]


Kári joined Heart of Midlothian on trial during their pre-season trip to Italy in June 2011,[12] having been released by Plymouth's administrator after refusing to defer his wages for June.[13] He was not offered a contract by Hearts and then began a trial with fellow Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen.[14] He signed for Aberdeen on 18 July and received international clearance four days later.[15] He made his debut in a 0–0 draw against St Johnstone on 23 July and scored his first goal for Aberdeen on 15 October, the opener in a 3–1 win against Dundee United.[16] In the return New Firm fixture on 2 January 2012, Árnason scored the winning goal from 35-yards at Tannadice.[17] He was offered a new contract in December to extend his stay with the club beyond the 2011–12 season.[18]

His goal against Rangers in a 1–1 draw at Ibrox Stadium took his tally for the campaign to three.[19] Kári rejected Aberdeen's offer of a new contract towards the end of January and manager Craig Brown said that he expected him to leave in the summer.[20] "We made Kári an exceptionally good offer. However, the player believes he can earn a better deal elsewhere," said an Aberdeen spokesperson.[21][22]

Rotherham UnitedEdit

Kári Árnason joined Rotherham United in June 2012.[23] He played over 100 games for the club, where he earned back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship. He played the majority of the games in defense, the others in midfield.

Kári playing for Malmö FF.

Malmö FFEdit

On 29 June 2015, Kári returned to his country of birth, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with Malmö FF.[24] Malmö FF sold their two starting centre-backs in the same transfer window, and he formed a new centre-back pairing with Rasmus Bengtsson. The team continued to struggle in their league campaign, but qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League group stage. In a team with many newly signed players, Kári had quickly become a leader and was appointed vice-captain by Åge Hareide. The team was able to get back to its winning ways during the 2016 season. With captain Markus Rosenberg injured, Kári wore the armband during the final title run and led the team to secure the Allsvenskan title with two games to play.

AC OmoniaEdit

On 30 January 2017, Kári joined AC Omonia. He had 8 appearances with the club. He was given a transfer to Aberdeen after expressing his wish for the transfer and an agreement based on the demands of Omonia Nicosia.[25]

Return to AberdeenEdit

On 14 July 2017, Kári rejoined Aberdeen, for whom he had played in the 2011–12 season.[26] He was released by Aberdeen in May 2018, at the end of his contract.[27]


On 24 July 2018 Kári agreed terms with Turkish First League side Gençlerbirliği, signing a one-year deal.[28]

Return to VikingurEdit

At the end of his contract at Gençlerbirliği, Kári rejoined the club he played for as a youth, Víkingur, signing a two-year deal until the end of the 2020 season.[29]

International careerEdit

Kári playing for Iceland

Kári Árnason was called up to the senior Iceland squad in March 2005 for the game against Croatia and he made his debut four days later against Italy.[30] He scored his first goal for his country seven months later in October 2005 against Sweden at Råsunda.[31]

He was selected by Lars Lagerbäck for UEFA Euro 2016 where Iceland made their first ever appearance in a major tournament. In the first game he marked Cristiano Ronaldo out of the game in their draw with Portugal, the team that eventually won the entire tournament.[32] In their last group stage game Iceland were able to beat Austria to advance to the knock-out stages, and he notched an assist and was selected as man of the match.[33] He once again assisted a goal in Iceland's upset victory over England in the round of 16.[34]

In May 2018 he was named in Iceland’s 23 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[35]

Career statisticsEdit


As of 23 January 2020[36]
National team Year Apps Goals
2005 8 1
2006 4 0
2007 4 0
2010 1 0
2012 7 1
2013 8 0
2014 6 0
2015 7 0
2016 11 1
2017 8 1
2018 9 2
2019 8 0
2020 2 0
Total 83 6

International goalsEdit

As of match played 8 June 2019. Iceland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Kári goal.[36]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 October 2005 Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden 8   Sweden 1–0 1–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 7 September 2012 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland 22   Norway 1–0 2–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 6 October 2016 54   Finland 1–1 3–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 6 October 2017 New Eskişehir Stadium, Eskişehir, Turkey 62   Turkey 3–0 3–0
5 7 June 2018 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland 67   Ghana 1–0 2–2 Friendly
6 11 October 2018 Stade de Roudourou, Guingamp, France 70   France 2–0 2–2 Friendly


Víkingur FC

Malmö FF

Rotherham United



  1. ^ "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 70. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  2. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Iceland" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2018. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Kári Árnason". svenskfotboll.se (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. ^ Adelphi Panthers (July 2005). "Adelphi University 2005 Men's Soccer Media Guide". Adelphi University Men's Soccer Media Guide (2005).
  5. ^ "Kári Árnason". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  6. ^ Atla Sævarsson (12 August 2004). "'Ætlaði aldrei að æfa fótbolta'" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 19 July 2011. Ég fæddist í Gautaborg í Svíþjóð og átti heima þar þangað til ég var fimm ára en þá fluttist ég ásamt fjölskyldu minni til Íslands. (I was born in Gothenburg in Sweden and lived there until I was five years old, and then I moved with my family to Iceland.)
  7. ^ a b McAteer, Ryan. "Almost 3,500 miles from home, Icelanders spark Zags". The Gonzaga Bulletin. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Adelphi Men's Soccer Roster". AU Panthers. Adelphi University. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Player Profile". Adelphi Men's Soccer. Adelphi University. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  10. ^ Plymouth 4–1 Reading BBC. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  11. ^ New Deal For Arnie Archived 26 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Plymouth Argyle FC. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Kari on for JJ". Hearts FC. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Arnason starts trial with Hearts after being 'dismissed' by Argyle". Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  14. ^ "Deveronvale 0 v 2 Aberdeen". Aberdeen F.C. 12 July 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Kari Arnason completes move to Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Aberdeen 3–1 Dundee Utd". BBC Sport. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Dundee Utd 1–2 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Aberdeen await contract response from Kari Arnason". BBC Sport. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  19. ^ Briggs, Nial (21 January 2012). "SPL round-up: Kari Arnason scores as Aberdeen hold Rangers at Ibrox". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  20. ^ Orr, Ian (26 January 2012). "Kari Arnason set to quit Aberdeen after Dons reject his £5k-a-week demands". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  21. ^ "Arnason set to leave". Aberdeen F.C. 25 January 2012. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  22. ^ "Kari Arnason rejects Aberdeen's offer of new contract". BBC Sport. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  23. ^ "Rotherham sign Iceland international Kari Arnason". BBC Sport. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Välkommen till MFF, Kári Árnason (Swedish)". Malmö FF. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Στην Αμπερντίν συνεχίζει ο Κάρι Άρνασον". AC Omonia Nicosia. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Aberdeen confirm Kari Arnason return as Iceland international signs one-year deal at Pittodrie". Daily Record. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  27. ^ "PLAYER UPDATE". Aberdeen FC. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Kári Árna til Gençlerbirliği (Staðfest)" (in Icelandic). Fotbolti.net. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Kári Árnason kominn aftur í Víking" (in Icelandic). Visir.is. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  30. ^ Appearances KSI. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  31. ^ Match Report Archived 4 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine FIFA. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  32. ^ "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.
  33. ^ Wirth, Jim (22 June 2016). "Austria win extends Iceland's mission impossible". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  34. ^ "Euro 2016: Iceland beat England and 'shock the world'". bbc.com. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  35. ^ https://www.goal.com/en/amp/news/world-cup-squad-injured-gylfi-sigurdsson/17guw991qjit61qqhhfn9lyhon
  36. ^ a b "Kári Árnason". Football Association of Iceland (in Icelandic). Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  37. ^ http://www.difarkivet.se/dif_sm_guld_seniorer.pdf

External linksEdit