July 2024
July 18, 2024

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Heimir Hallgrímsson: The Icelandic Football Coach Who Made History

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Heimir Hallgrímsson is a name that has become synonymous with Icelandic football. His remarkable journey from a practicing dentist to the national football team coach is an inspiration to many. Hallgrímsson’s tenure with the Icelandic team was a period of unprecedented success, leading them to their first-ever World Cup appearance in 2018. In this article, we will take a closer look at Heimir Hallgrímsson’s journey to becoming one of the most respected football coaches in the world.

Early Life and Education

Heimir Hallgrímsson was born on June 10, 1967, in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. His family was deeply involved in sports, with his father being a handball coach and his mother being a gymnastics instructor. Hallgrímsson grew up playing football, but he was also interested in other sports like handball, basketball, and athletics.

After completing his high school education, Hallgrímsson went on to study dentistry at the University of Iceland. He graduated in 1997 and started his own dental practice, where he worked for over a decade. During this time, he continued to play and coach football on a semi-professional level.

Coaching Career

Hallgrímsson began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant coach for ÍBV, a football club based in Vestmannaeyjar. He then went on to coach various clubs in Iceland, including Selfoss, ÍA, and Fylkir. In 2011, he was appointed as the assistant coach for the Icelandic national team under Lars Lagerbäck.

After Lagerbäck resigned in 2016, Hallgrímsson was named the head coach of the Icelandic national team. His first major tournament as head coach was the 2016 UEFA European Championship, where Iceland made history by reaching the quarter-finals in their debut appearance.

Hallgrímsson’s biggest achievement as a coach came in 2018, when he led Iceland to their first-ever World Cup appearance. Although they failed to make it out of the group stages, the team’s impressive performance earned them global recognition.

Hallgrímsson stepped down as the head coach of the Icelandic national team in 2018 to pursue other opportunities. He has since worked as a consultant for various clubs and organizations, including FIFA and UEFA.

Personal Life

Heimir Hallgrímsson is married and has two children. He is known for his down-to-earth personality and his commitment to his players. In an interview, he once said, “I always tell my players to be themselves, to enjoy the game, and to be proud of themselves.”


Heimir Hallgrímsson’s journey from a practicing dentist to a world-renowned football coach is nothing short of inspirational. His dedication to the sport, his commitment to his players, and his down-to-earth personality have made him a beloved figure in the football world. Although he may no longer be coaching the Icelandic national team, his legacy will live on.

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