Glódís Perla Among Top 10 Footballers in Europe

Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir

Icelander Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir has been ranked the tenth-best footballer in Europe by football news outlet The ranking described her as an “absolute rock” and an “integral part” of her team Bayern Munich’s defence, which only conceded seven goals in the entire 2022-2023 season. RÚV reported first.

In the early years of her career, Glódís, now 27, played youth football in Denmark. Her first senior club was Iceland’s HK/Víkingur. She made her national Icelandic team debut more than a decade ago, in 2012 and has played more than 100 matches with the national team.

Glódís played professionally in both Denmark and Sweden before signing with FC Bayern Munich in July 2021. She is not the only Icelander on the team, which also includes forward Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir and goalkeeper Cecilia Rán Rúnarsdóttir.

Other Icelanders that have seen success in European women’s football leagues in recent years include Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir, a 21-year-old forward currently playing for VfL Wolfsburg, and former national team captain and European champion Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, a midfielder currently at Juventus F.C. Women.

Former National Team Captain Sara Björk Wins Maternity Rights Case

Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir fyrirliði landsliðs Íslands í fótbolta

Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, recently retired captain of the Women’s National Football Team, has won her maternity case against former club and employer Olympique Lyonnais.

Read more: Captain Sara Björk Retires from National Team

During her time at the prestigious French football club, she became the first Icelander to score in the finals of a Champions League match, among other achievements.

After becoming pregnant in 2021, however, she ran up against cultural expectations within professional sports that discourage athletes from having children during the height of their careers. 

Sara Björk arranged with her club to return to Iceland for the duration of her pregnancy, with the understanding that she would return to the team after giving birth. However, Lyon soon began withholding her pay. When it became clear the withheld pay was part of a pattern, Sara Björk pressed claims against Lyon. Now, she has been awarded the back pay, plus interest, in a landmark case of maternity rights in professional sports.

Sara Björk now plays for the Italian club Juventus.  A full account of her pregnancy and subsequent battle with Lyon can be read here.

In a statement on social media, Sara Björk said: “This is not ‘just business.’ This is about my rights as a worker, as a woman and as a human being.” 

Icelandic National Women’s Team Starts EM with Draw

Iceland flag national team

The Icelandic Women’s national team drew a tie in their opening match against Belgium last night, with both teams scoring one point.

The Icelanders kept up the pressure on the Belgian goal for some time, and the Icelandic goal came shortly into the second half of the match, with a header by Berglind Björg. However, the Belgians soon equalized the score with a penalty shot on the Icelandic goal.

Some 2,000 Icelandic fans were in attendance to show support for the team, including the Prime Minister. In honour of the famous Tólfan fan club, the popular Viking Clap was performed at the twelve-minute mark.

Notably, the girls played the match in their old kit. Although the new uniforms for the team are ready, the Icelanders were obliged to wear white as the away team.

France currently leads Group D, with Iceland and Belgium tied for second and third, and Italy in fourth place. At the moment, France holds three points after its victory over Italy, while both Iceland and Belgium hold one point each. Italy currently stands with zero points.

Iceland’s next match will be this Thursday at 16.00 against Italy.

First Community Transmitted COVID-19 Infection in Two Months

Almost 70 people have been put into quarantine after being in contact with two Icelanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, reports. One of those who tested positive is a player for Breiðablík, one of the teams in Iceland’s top-tier women’s football league; the other is an employee who works for the Ministry of Industries and Innovation. According to a press release issued by the Department of Civil Protection, it’s possible that as many as 200 people will need to be quarantined.

According to Vísir, the football player came back from the US on June 17 and tested negative for COVID-19 when she was screened at the border. She proceeded to play in several football matches after that. After it was discovered that she had come into contact with a COVID-infected person in the US, however, the player was tested again for the virus and this time, the results came back positive. She is currently asymptomatic but has gone into quarantine, as have her teammates and coaches, as well as the teams that she played against and their coaches.

The ministry employee’s infection has been traced back to the football player. This is then the first case of community infection in Iceland in roughly two months. About 15 ministry employees have also been sent into quarantine.

“We’re talking to a lot of people”

“We’re taking this really seriously,” said Víðir Reynisson, director of Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. “We’re looking at this as a potential group infection and are working on it accordingly.”

Contact tracers are working diligently to identify all the people who have come into contact with both of the infected individuals.

“At the moment, we’re talking to a lot of people,” Víðir explained. “Then we’re preparing a comprehensive screening of the people who are connected with these infections.” Víðir said that this is somewhat atypical – it’s not a given that people who are sent into quarantine because they’ve interacted with COVID-infected people are definitely tested for the virus themselves. But the circumstances call for such measures, he says. The screenings began on Saturday and will continue for several days after that.

Víðir noted that the football player who the infection has been traced to has been really helpful in the contact tracing process. “She’s helped us a lot and let us know as soon as she got the information herself. Since then, she’s worked very closely with us.”

Per the announcement issued by the Department of Civil Protection, Icelanders returning from trips abroad are urged to be extra mindful and take additional precautions when coming home, even if they test negative for COVID-19 when they are screened at the border. The announcement also reminded people that if they’ve been told to go into quarantine because they’ve come in contact with a COVID-infected individual, they must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days, even if they receive a negative result to their own screening test before the 14 days are up.

Women’s National Football Team Wins First Euro ’21 Qualifier

Iceland’s national women’s football team won their first qualifying match for the 2021 European Championships against Hungary, RÚV reports, with a final score of 4-1.

Hopes were high for the squad when the game began at Laugardalsvöllur stadium on Thursday night. Energy was high from kickoff and the Icelandic team had many good opportunities early on. Elín Metta Jensen gave the team their first goal in the 9th minute after a cross from Hallbera Gísladóttir.

The Hungarian squad evened the score with a goal in the 41st minute, but the Icelandic team came back fighting after half time. Hlín Eiríksdóttir scored again in the 59th minute, followed by Dagný Brynjarsdóttir in the 64th. Elín Metta then capped off an excellent game by scoring again in extra time.

The Iceland women’s national team will match up against Slovakia on September 2, and then France on October 4.

Sara Björk and Gylfi Þór Named Footballers of the Year

The Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) has named Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir and Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson Footballers of the Year, RÚV reports.

Sara Björk is a midfielder for the German club VfL Wolfsburg, which won both the German division and Cup titles this year, as well as playing in the Women’s Champion League final against Lyon. Sara Björk is also the captain of Iceland’s National Women’s football team.

Gylfi Þór is a midfielder for the Premier League club Everton. He has scored seven goals this season and made two assists over the course of 17 matches. Gylfi Þór is also a key player on Iceland’s National Men’s team and played in all three Iceland matches during the 2018 World Cup. He scored one goal during the competition, during their final group match against Croatia.

KSÍ ranked Augsberg’s Alfreð Finnbogason and Kristianstad’s Sif Atladóttir in second place this year. Burnley’s Jóhann Berg and Rosengård’s Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir came in third.

Iceland’s World Cup Dream Over

The Icelandic women’s football team drew 1-1 against the Czech Republic today in a World Cup qualifier. Iceland was in pole position to qualify for the World Cup, which will take place in France next year, ahead of these last two matches in Group 5.

After being down 0-1 for the majority of the match, an equalizer from Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir brought Iceland level in the 87th minute. Iceland had the perfect chance to snatch the win in additional time but Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir missed a penalty which would have secured Iceland’s place in the play-offs.

Iceland lost 0-2 against group leaders Germany where a win would have sealed Iceland’s qualification. A win today versus the Czech Republic might have sealed Iceland’s spot in the World Cup playoffs, provided results in other groups went Iceland’s way. The four best 2nd placed sides from the 7 European qualification groups advance to the play-offs.

The Icelandic women’s team has previously gone to the final stage of the EURO competition three times. This would have been the first time Iceland competes at the World Cup finals. The team is currently ranked the 19th best team in the world, according to the FIFA world rankings.

Iceland Loses World Cup Qualifier Against Germany

The Icelandic women’s football team lost their World Cup qualifying match against Germany on Saturday, with a final score of 2 – 0, RÚV reports. If the team is going to have a shot at qualifying for their first World Cup ever, then, it’s imperative they win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Iceland went into the match at the top of Group 5, with 16 points. Germany was ranked second in the group with 15 points. Had Iceland won, they could have been certain of a direct qualification. Only the group winners will go directly through to the next round, while the four best-ranked teams from the European qualifiers will have to go through additional playoffs.

Iceland started their sold-out homefield match looking strong, keeping the pressure on their opponents and preventing them from seeing much of the ball. As the first half progressed, Germany slowly won more possession but Iceland’s defense remained strong until the 42nd minute, when Svenja Huth scored. The first half ended 0 – 1, Germany.

Germany came out looking much stronger at the start of the second half, while Iceland had trouble keeping possession of the ball or making any goal opportunities for themselves. Svenja Huth then scored a second goal in the 74th minute. The final score was 0 – 2, Germany. The result puts Germany in first place in Group 5, with 18 points, while Iceland falls to second place with 16.

Germany’s last group match will be against the Faroe Islands, a game they are expected to win easily. As such, they will almost definitely go straight through to the next round. If Iceland wants a chance at the play-offs, then, they have to win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Iceland’s Women One Win from World Cup

Tickets for the Icelandic women’s national football team match against Germany are nearly sold out, RÚV reports. The match takes place this Saturday at Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavík. A victory would send the women’s team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year.

It would be the first ever World Cup tournament for Iceland’s women’s team, which has never before qualified. The team, currently ranked 19th in the world, won their first qualifying match against the German team. Hopes will undoubtedly be high on the pitch this Saturday.

If the match could set another record if it sells out, as the team has never sold out a match at the Reykjavík stadium before. Tickets can be bought here.