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GOLD CUP

Did Jamaica coach Heimir Hallgrimsson used to be a dentist?

The Icelandic manager led his home nation to a draw against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the 2018 World Cup but that’s not his only career accomplishment.

Ciudad de MéxicoUpdate:
The fascinating career of Jamaica coach Heimir Hallgrimsson
Fernando de DiosGetty Images

It is 16 June, 2018. The morning is cool and bright in the Russian capital, and Spartak Moscow’s Otkrytie Arena will be the venue as the Argentina national team begin their journey in the 2018 World Cup.

Argentina opened Group D against Iceland, the tournament debutants from the country with the smallest population to appear at a World Cup.

Supporters of Argentina were hoping that victory would restore the confidence of Lionel Messi, coach Jorge Sampaoli and the rest of players. Instead, Iceland frustrated their more storied opponents and secured a 1-1 draw.

Moment in which the Iceland goalkeeper saved Messi's penalty.
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Moment in which the Iceland goalkeeper saved Messi's penalty.FELIPE TRUEBAEFE

The Icelandic team had already put their country on the map two years earlier at Euro 2016. Appearing in a major tournament for the first time, Iceland eased through the group stage and knocked out England in the round of 16. The mastermind for both triumphs? Homegrown head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who is leading the Jamaican team at the Gold Cup.

Hallgrimsson’s side face Mexico in the semi-final of the Gold Cup. In this tournament Jamaica has been one of the most solid teams and they remain unbeaten in four games.

Heimir Hallgrimsson began as a dentist

As mentioned in an interview for the media outlet Infobae, those from Iceland are known from their multitasking capacity.

Hallgrimsson said that it is normal to “have two or three trades simultaneously or that alternate during their lives”. Before joining the world of international football management, Hallgrimsson lived a different life as a dentist. At times he has even combined the dentistry work with his sporting commitments.

In August 2016 he assisted a player who lost a tooth in a match. By chance, the coach was watching from the stands and jumped onto the field to help the unconscious soccer player and take him to his practice for further assistance.