Before the 2018 World Cup starts in Moscow next 14 June, Brussels Express has presented all EU national teams involved in the competition. Let’s then introduce European teams. Chapter XI: Iceland.
Will Iceland be the big surprise of the 2018 World Cup? Should you remember well, the Vikings were one of the major attractions during the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup. Nobody indeed expected anything from this national team, which represents about 300,000 inhabitants, but they got to the quarter-finals and even eliminated England in the group stages before they were defeated by France.
The point of Iceland also lies within its supporters. Thousands of Icelandic nationals (which is huge in comparison with the total population) came to France two years ago to support their players.
Two years later, it seems it is a bit hard to confirm what the team has done since their surprisingly good performance in the Euro. The Icelandic team hasn’t won any of the preparatory games, and the first round will be very challenging, as it will play vs. Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia.
Key player: Gylfi Sigurðsson
Gylfi Sigurðsson is definitely the player who represents the Icelandic football team. Although achieving to get to quarter-finals during for the UEFA Euro Cup requires to have very good players, there is no star in the Icelandic team…. except Sigurðsson.
Everton paid €50 million last year to enrol Sigurðsson. While the top players are valued more than €100 million now, €50 million is still something really significant in the market today.
A few weeks ago, Gylfi Sigurðsson was not certain to participate in the World Cup-as he was seriously injured last March. But he played and scored on Saturday, which gives the Viking hope for the upcoming games.
- 16 June – Argentina vs. Iceland.
- 22 June – Nigeria vs. Iceland.
- 26 June – Iceland vs. Croatia.
Places to watch the games in Brussels:
EFTA (European Free Trade Association), 12 rue Joseph II.