The Icelandic dream of World Cup, 2018 – The Journey

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Anyone who follows daily football and the International football updates is well accustomed with the greatness of the Viking Country- Iceland. Recently, the country has sent the football world into a surprise by holding off Argentina in the WC 2018 and by resisting Portugal in EURO 2016 with a stunning draw. For all curious readers out there, let us follow up with this beautiful country and their journey.

Iceland team, more known locally as Strákarnir okkar (Our boys), were ranked in 130s around four years ago. But such a team filled with immense rage and ambition is hard to resist. Iceland’s way to success started with the appointment of Heimir Hallgrimsson who slowly built up the team and led it to rank in 30s. The football team has a large history which may be unknown to many of you. We are unveiling the facts which may inspire every football lover of this generation.

There are only 21,500 registered football players in Iceland, a country with a population of just 330,000 which is less than that of Christchurch. They make FOOTBALL HOUSES that comprises 11 football houses at present, containing a full field, changing rooms, medical facilities, stands and some hold thousands of spectators. Iceland was hit hard by the global financial crisis six years ago, which put the brakes on constructing these houses. Here is a fantastic estimation:

Team Selection

One country where you can rarely find any army or police force is this Iceland. They are one of the most peaceful and pollution-free countries in the world. We have known the Vikings for their power and hard work. Till now the Icelandic people tend to engage with their works most of the time. Their Captain Aron Gunnarsson stated that they had to take leave from their respective works for coming to world cup. Their coach, Heimir Hallgrímsson has stated that “In Iceland, being a dentist is more paying than a footballer and it’s of higher esteem“.

We have all read about Asterix-Obelix in our childhood where they live peacefully in their Gaul village. Similar is the life of these Viking people. Work fight and win. We have seen how the Iceland has taught us HOW TO PLAY LIKE A TEAM with their unity and defence. Hannes Þór Halldórsson, Iceland’s well known film director who is also their 1st goalkeeper has already stopped 22 shots from Messi and Ronaldo collectively keeping a clean sheet against the world’s best 2 players.

Sometimes the smaller countries can become the most notable ones. Such a country is Iceland who have risen from the silent caves to the peak of the mountain of achievements. They share their win together, they share their loss together, their team shares their goals with the fans and even in  the darkest days, you can see them cheering up with their Viking Clap which is their roar of presence, their roots of pride and strength. Holding off Argentina and now they are going to face Croatia in the last match of their group stage. Who knows what fortune they have?

Even if they go out, Let us give them a wonderful ovation for their dedication to the sport alongside their life and daily profession. Let us give them a Viking Clap to respect their efforts.

 

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Navoniloy Bhaumik

An optimistic Football lover with a monstrous urge to know the unknown!
Working to make people enthusiastic about more knowledge and amazing facts

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