PARIS — Having a tooth doctor as a mentor, a movie director in goal and a squad of unheralded players usually, the underdogs of
Iceland were heading to be the feel-good history of the Western european Tournament always.
The smallest region ever to contend in the Euros is displaying, though, that there surely is a accomplished team behind the intimate
And there’s a genuine belief that the medial side could lengthen its stay static in France beyond the group level.
After pulls against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and then Hungary, Iceland has learned a third sketch against Austria at the Stade
on Thursday will secure a location within the last 16 de France in Paris.
Not really a bad achievement for a little island nation of 330 barely,000 people showing in its first major competition.
“It’s been an excellent experience, clearly, getting the eye that we need,” Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson said
Tuesday. “We’ve fought hard to get where were. It all started out as young guys, attempting to get here.
“Our company is here now but that insufficient in our sight, you want to qualify and continue. Everyone wants to remain … the whole
world loves the underdog.”
The cast mixed up in excitement make Iceland’s tale even more charming.
There’s joint-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who — you should definitely taking care of his country’s soccer team — has a oral surgery in a
small town in Iceland.
“I have dental practitioners working in the office for me personally while I’m away,tuesday ” Hallgrimsson said.
Then there’s goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, a movie director who was simply behind the music video tutorial for his nation’s 2012
Eurovision Song Competition entry. His profession behind the camera is on keep until his life as a soccer player has ended.
“We don’t want this to get rid of,” Halldorsson said. “We’re really enjoying participating in on the best stage.”
Under Hallgrimsson and fellow trainer Lars Lagerback, the Iceland team is apparently one big happy family. Gunnarsson spoke
Thursday of the players getting involved in quizzes to wipe out the peace and quiet in camp and to be given a fake Cristiano
Ronaldo shirt by his teammates, having didn’t get genuine from the Portugal superstar following a groups’ game
“I decided to swept that away and shut that circumstance,” a grinning Gunnarsson said. “The people in the team made a decision to give me
the shirt to keep carefully the jokes heading.”
But Iceland means business.
Lagerback said the team hasn’t enjoyed to its best yet at Euro 2016 which it has a “excellent” potential for beating
Austria to attain the previous 16. A pull can also be enough to define, either in third or second devote this extended
“You want to show the true Icelandic frame of mind,” said Lagerback, a Swede. “I believe Austria is set for a hardcore game.”
Gunnarsson, who performs in the next tier of the British category, said a previous-16 match against Britain will be a “desire for
every Icelander.” That could happen if Iceland completed second in the mixed group, which is its current position after two
“Being a country, we’ve always viewed towards Great britain in the finals,” Gunnarsson said. “The Top Category is the most-
watched group in Iceland and it is the most talked-about, and participating in them in the finals would be special, You are advised by me that.
“But it’s about getting there, no matter how you take action.”