Belfast Telegraph

Gudmundsson aims to prosper with Burnley, Iceland and computer games

Burnley's Johann Berg Gudmundsson is fresh from the biggest summer of his career but the winger is already aiming for new highs with club, country and computer games.

The 25-year-old was a key part of the Iceland side that ousted England from Euro 2016 in an unlikely charge to the quarter-finals and was rewarded with a move from League One Charlton to the Premier League newcomers.

But he is not content to celebrate his recent achievements and is hungry for more.

With Iceland that means a first ever World Cup appearance in 2018 and with Burnley top-flight survival takes precedence.

More tangentially he also expects to see his national side appear in future editions of the popular FIFA video game franchise, after a dispute over financial terms saw them left out of the new 'FIFA 17'.

"People in Iceland are not happy about that," he said with a smile ahead of Monday's Turf Moor clash against Watford.

"They wanted us to be on the computer game but there was some money issue. The president of our federation thought it was not correct to be on this game at this moment.

"It's a pity but we will be on the game one day."

Making it to the World Cup in Russia would increase the likelihood considerably, but a group containing Turkey, Croatia, Finland, Ukraine and Kosovo is no simple challenge.

"Definitely we want to go to Russia. We have a tough group, the only one with four teams that were at the Euros," he said.

"But our aim is to go to the World Cup, that's where you want to play.

"Getting to every tournament will be tough for Iceland but that is our goal.

"Obviously when you play in England and you beat England, everybody wants to ask about that but my concentration is now on Burnley and then on the World Cup.

"We have to have these goals to reach for. If you're happy with that then we won't go anywhere. You've got to set new goals, that's tough but we like a challenge.

"At Burnley our first goal is to stay in the league, we were not far from that last time and now we have more experience."

Gudmundsson is hoping for a second league start of the season against the Hornets, with Burnley's attacking threat compromised by the absence of the banned Andre Gray.

Having toiled at the wrong end of the Championship with the Addicks last season, Premier League football has proved a challenge thus far - with the lower margin for error particularly evident.

"We have so many talented players in this can't switch off for one minute or you get punished," he said.

"One mistake and they will find you out, score a goal or make an assist. That's what happened against Hull and have to concentrate for 95 minutes."


From Belfast Telegraph