I saved a Messi penalty at the World Cup and played in England’s embarrassing Euros exit but now I’m a film director

Former World Cup goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson has swapped the clearances for the clapperboard… by becoming a FILM DIRECTOR.

The Icelandic star saved Lionel Messi’s penalty as his country held Argentina to a 1-1 draw at the 2018 finals.

Hannes Halldorsson saves a penalty from Lionel Messi


Hannes Halldorsson saves a penalty from Lionel MessiPhoto credit: Getty
The Icelandic star is now working on film sets


The Icelandic star is now working on film setsPhoto credit: Instagram @hanneshalldorsson

And Halldorsson played as minnows Iceland and infamously beat England 2-1 at Euro 2016 en route to the quarter-finals.

The 39-year-old has now spent his career at clubs in Norway, Holland, Denmark and Azerbaijan as well as Iceland.

But the Reykjavik-born goalkeeper has combined his two passions, football and filmmaking.

He recently directed the police drama “Cop Secret” and previously directed the video for Iceland’s entry in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

Other film work included a Coca-Cola commercial and a UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 commercial.

Halldorsson said: “I returned to filmmaking during the Covid pandemic. This year was now or never for me as I had the chance to get a scholarship.”

“We shot Cop Secret in just 19 days on a budget of $800,000 [£660,000].

“I had a very busy schedule as I also played football.


“Sometimes we would start filming at 4am so we could finish by 4pm.

“Then I changed in the car and drove to training. Sometimes I even filmed on match days.”

Halldorsson said he kept his second career a secret from his teammates until he decided to invite them to a VIP preview screening.

He also told So Film magazine that he received a surprise invitation to the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

“I felt out of place when they invited me to the festival,” remembers the goalkeeper.

“I can’t keep up with all these movie fans who have seen everything.”

Halldorsson, 39, juggles football with filmmaking


Halldorsson, 39, juggles football with filmmakingPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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