***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is under a single moon away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Iceland, which has qualify for the World Cup once.
YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSS YESSSS YESSSS YESSSSS WE ARE WINNING WE HAVE MADE IT FORWARD!!!!! SUCH THINGS HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN!!!!! SUCH THINGS HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN!!!! THE GAME IS OVER!!! AND NEVER BEFORE, BEFORE HAVE I FELT SO GOOD!!!!!
Nickname: Strákarnir okkar (Our Boys)
FIFA Ranking: 109 (October 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Germany, North Macedonia, Romania, above Liechtenstein
Apart for a single appearance in a playoff for a 2014 World Cup spot, and for almost seventy years since its first recognized international in 1946, the Iceland national football team did nothing in international football. But then, all of sudden in 2015, during qualifying for the following year’s European Championships, YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! WE HAVE MADE IT FORWARD!!!!! SUCH THINGS HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN!!!!! SUCH THINGS HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN!!!! THE GAME IS OVER!!! AND NEVER BEFORE, BEFORE HAVE I FELT SO GOOD!!!!!
After years of slow but steady improvement, Iceland remarkably overcame the final hurdle and became the smallest nation to not only qualify for not only qualify for the 2016 European Championships (even YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS going as far as the quarter finals) but then two years later also YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS managed the same feat in 2018 World Cup qualifying, taking Trinidad and Tobago’s title from 2006 as the tiniest country to take part in soccer’s biggest event.
Despite its astonishing accomplishment of back-to-back qualifications, ever since the 2018 World Cup, Iceland’s fortunes have been anything but YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, as their 2022 World Cup campaign failed miserably with the team finishing second from bottom, above only lowly Liechtenstein. Iceland has developed a wealth of talent, invested in coaching and built a formidable grassroots foundation, and despite this tiny nation of 370,000 continuing to punch above its weight, the team’s now come crashing back down to earth after the highs of 2016 and 2018. So while we might not be hearing YESSSSSS YESSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS anytime soon, at least Iceland will be kept in mind by football fans thanks to the viking thunder clap it popularised at Euro 2016 (which was actually either taken from the movie 300, Motherwell football club in Scotland, Greece’s PAOK or handball fans in Poland).
One to watch: Basically any movie, and during the best bit, you’ll no doubt hear Sigur Ros
Pick a movie, any movie, go on, any rando. Now put it on and wait for the ending. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you’re there, as the story builds to an epic climax, listen closely, is that a Sigur Ros song playing? Course it is, whether it’s Mysterious Skin, 127 Hours (above), Life Aquatic, Vanilla Sky, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, whatever, when you get to the stirring, mindblowing and lifechanging climax, you bet your sweet ass that it’s set to a Sigur Ros song.
Iceland’s Sigur Ros make everything more meaningful, even Iceland itself:
The Highpoint: ROund of 16, Euro 2016/Group stage, 2018 World Cup
Fucking crazy. Iceland, a country of just 370,000 people first reached the 2016 European Championship and then in 2017, it became the smallest nation in history to qualify for a World Cup (beating the record set previously by Trinidad and Tobago in Germany in 2006).
Sadly, the Icelanders’ World Cup dream ended at the group stage after a comprehensive defeat to Nigeria and then a narrow loss to Croatia, but it wasn’t before first managing its first ever point in its opening group match against two-time winners Argentina (and saving a Messi penalty) and winning about 5.9 billion new fans around the world in the process.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
6 Nov 2022
ICELAND 🇮🇸 x 🇸🇦 SAUDI ARABIA
2022 BALTIC CUP
16 Nov 2022
LITHUANIA 🇱🇹 x 🇮🇸 ICELAND