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Aron Gunnarsson: Iceland’s midfield leader and long-throw star

The Iceland captain scored Cardiff’s first ever Premier League goal and is a key anchor in his country’s midfield alongside Gylfi Sigurdsson

This article is part of the Guardian’s Euro 2016 Experts’ Network, a cooperation between some of the best media organisations from the countries who have qualified for France. theguardian.com is running previews from three countries each day in the run-up to the tournament kicking off on 10 June.

That Aron Gunnarsson is still the captain of Iceland demonstrates the esteem in which he is held by the managers Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrímsson. Not long after he had been handed the armband Gunnarsson remarked the Iceland squad had been advised against venturing out of their hotel before their World Cup qualifier in Tirana in October 2012 because Albanians are “most criminals”. The Cardiff City midfielder could easily have been demoted as a result but something – perhaps Gunnarsson’s swift apology or perhaps a feeling that something was lost in translation – convinced Lagerback and Hallgrímsson to stand by him.

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