'Hermannator' returns to Portman Road

HERMANN Hreidarsson arrives at Portman Road today just as he did when he signed for Town - as Iceland's Footballer of the Year.Although there has been a seven year gap, the 33-year-old 'Hermannator' has picked up the accolade as his country's best player for the third time having won it previously in 1997 and 2000.

By Derek Davis

HERMANN Hreidarsson arrives at Portman Road today just as he did when he signed for Town - as Iceland's Footballer of the Year.

Although there has been a seven year gap, the 33-year-old'Hermannator' has picked up the accolade as his country's best player for the third time having won it previously in 1997 and 2000.

He pipped Barcelona's Eidur Gudjonsson for the accolade that shows Hreidarsson is enjoying a renaissance in his career at left back after enduring relegation (again) this time with Charlton and getting through a serious ankle injury.


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Hreidarsson said: “It was surprising, but an honour and it's good to get such recognition - then you know you are doing something right.

“There have been ups and downs this season, but I remember the best parts. We now have a good national team, which is going well and I hope we will have a good start to our next campaign.

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“Personally I feel I have been playing well, both for Portsmouth and my country, so it's nice to get the recognition and be acknowledged in such a way.

“Hopefully this won't be the last time I receive and award - there's plenty of life in me yet.”

The Icelander was a popular figure with Ipswich between 2000 and 2003 after signing from Wimbledon in what remains a joint record fee of £3m.

He played for Town in the UEFA Cup too, something he would like to repeat with Portsmouth and getting to Wembley represents a good chance for them to qualify.

Hreidarsson said: “I had a great time there for three years. I really enjoyed it. So I'm really looking forward to playing them.

“They're on fire at home and we're doing well away, so hopefully it will be a good game. Their home record shows what we'll be up against.

“But it's our chance to get a trophy and go to Wembley. I think everyone wants to play there.

“If we get to the final then there's a chance it will mean a place in Europe.

“We know what we can do. We've given every team in the Premier League a game. On our day we can beat anyone.

“Hopefully it will be a good game for the fans. We're a league above them but that goes out of the window for a cup game.

“Our away record is good but you always want to be drawn at home. We haven't played that badly at home. We've only conceded two goals in the last six home league games.

Hreidarsson's success for Pompey has meant manager Harry Redknapp is on the verge of selling left-sided player Matt Taylor with Rangers and Bolton battling it out for his signature but he could get a final run out for them today.

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