The Ticket to Russia 2018 is secured
The Icelandic men’s national football team played the most important game last night when the team met Kosovo in Reykjavik.
The Icelandic team beat Turkey 3: 0 in the first round of the World Cup last week and the victory against Kosovo 2-0 last night, means that Iceland has qualified for next World Cup, for the first time in history. There were more than 10.000 viewers at the football stadium last night cheering the team on.
Iceland qualified for a major tournament in 2015, for the first time. Under the leadership of coaches Lägerbeck and Hallgrimsson the national team reached its first major tournament - UEFA Euro 2016 - where the team defeated England in the round of 16, advancing to the quarter-finals and finishing eight in the tournament. Well done by one of Europe’s smallest nations. One third of Iceland’s inhabitants showed up at the games in France to encourage their team with the famous Vikingaklapp –
Football has always been very popular in Iceland. Today it’s the most popular sport both for boys and girls. They start at an early age and some of them make it to the international scene. The most valuable player, moneywise, being Gylfi Sigurdsson who has recently been bought by Everton. Many other names come to mind but Gudjohnsen is probably the one who is most widely known.
Iceland being one of Europe’s smallest nation has really “hatched” a number of football players, out of proportion with the country’s only 330 thousand plus inhabitants. Whether it’s the the harsh weather, the Lýsi (cod oil), the Skyr, the Harðfiskur (dried fish) it’s impossible to say, maybe it’s just the good old Viking blood !
The Icelandic Football league was founded in 1912. The team played their first official national game (acknowledged by FIFA) against Denmark on July 17, 1946. The game took place at Melavöllur field in Reykjavík a 0-3 defeat to Denmark.
Iceland reached 19th place on the FIFA World ranking list in the summer of 2017, and has never been higher.