World Cup Adventure

Iceland FIFA world cup 2018

Last year, Iceland became the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup tournament in men’s football. For a nation just about a century old, living on a small island north of almost everything, making such an achievement on an international scale is something that will go down in history.

For the past few decades, Icelanders put a lot of energy and pride into building up top-notch training facilities and quality youth programs for sports of all kinds. Icelanders have excelled in sports such as gymnastics, handball, and golf but the crowning glory of Iceland’s sporting industry are the national football teams. Excelling in the world’s favourite sport, and certainly, the most-watched sport in Iceland has unlocked new levels of national pride in this small group of 350 000 souls.

As the men’s football team travelled to Russia to compete with the best of the best, the whole nation held its breath. Airline tickets to Russia sold like hotcakes, as did the official team shirts. Buses, offices, homes, and faces were decorated with the Icelandic flag, and the national broadcasting company scored record ratings on game days. Every football enthusiast was in an emotional uproar as the game against Argentina, led by Messi, ended in a draw, but even when the team wasn’t winning, the boys had the love and attention of supporters from Russia to Akureyri, and even a small gas station in Blönduós.

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French Fans Celebrate World Cup Win in Reykjavík

The atmosphere was lively at Ingólfstorg square in Reykjavík yesterday, where an international crowd of hundreds gathered to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup final between France and Croatia, RÚV reports.

A little rain did not seem to bother the crowd, which followed along with the game enthusiastically. “It’s incredible. There’s a lot of pressure,” said one French viewer during the second half. “We can’t believe that maybe in 20 minutes we’re going to win this World Cup[…] We’re just praying.”

The gathering included a considerable number of Frenchmen, who joyfully celebrated their team’s second-ever World Cup victory, 20 years after the first.

“It’s definitely awesome to be here in Iceland, and to win against Croatia,” said one French fan after the game, adding that he was only eight years old when France won their first World Cup in 1998. “It was really stressful, but really amazing,” said another supporter, before being interrupted by a screaming fan.

To Russia With Love

football soccer

Once a footballing backwater, the Icelandic national team has enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years. Iceland enthralled viewers all over Europe at the EURO 2016, and will now step on the grandest sporting stage of them all, the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The team will look to defy the odds yet again and prove that the success is no fluke. Iceland is the smallest nation that has ever managed to qualify for the tournament, but they have a secret weapon – their team spirit. Instead of relying on a star player, the Icelandic team is greater than a sum of its parts.

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