Culture
Football
Plenty Of Room On The Smitewagon: News From The Iceland Dressing Room

Plenty Of Room On The Smitewagon: News From The Iceland Dressing Room

Greig Robertson Elías Þórsson
Photos by
Lóa Hlín Hjamtýsdóttir

Published December 4, 2017

As the Iceland’s national football teams continue to smite the entire world within an inch of its quivering life, we took a closer look at what’s going on inside the sport ahead of our inevitable World Cup-winning destiny.

Iceland smites Qatar in 1-1 thrashing
The Icelandic men’s team fielded a strong side in their recent international match against Qatar, smiting the bejesus out of the beleaguered Qataris in Doha. In an almost-empty stadium, the “friendly” (“fiendly,” more like) match was quite a thriller. The Qatari team was well organised and their players showed impressive individual skill, with a flowing attack style. But they were ultimately thrashed 1-1 by the marauding Icelandic horde, who, after a commanding performance, let in a late goal, their minds already set on Brennivín, roasted lamb legs, and the longship voyage home. So, you know, it barely counts. JR

The bandwagon trundles on
Iceland’s qualification for the 2018 World Cup has captured the world’s imagination and sports writers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. The Washington Post published a review of the qualifying teams, with the headline “2018 World Cup field set: Iceland’s in, Italy’s out, and compelling story lines abound.” To quote the article: “For those without natural rooting interests, there is a clear, cuddly choice for adoption.” Cuddly? CUDDLY? We are not cuddly, we are hardcore. Our forefathers survived famines, volcanic eruptions and disease. We are not going to the World Cup to get a participation medal, we are going there to defy the odds and conquer nations. So, while we appreciate the support, we are not puppies, or Dustin from ‘Stranger Things.’ We are fearless conquerors borne of an inhospitable sub-Arctic wilderness. And there is nothing cuddly about that.

The Guðmundsson dynasty
One of the rising stars of strákarnir okkar is PSV Eindhoven’s silky attacking midfielder Albert Guðmundsson, but his footballing talent is far from exceptional in his own household. With the pressure of being Iceland legend Albert Guðmundsson’s great grandson already on his shoulders, he is also the son of rabid commentator Guðmundur Benediktsson and former Iceland international, Kristbjörg Ingadóttir. To top it all off, his grandfather is the Icelandic league’s record scorer, Ingi Björn Albertsson. Through the grapevine, we heard a conversation at a family dinner about how Albert’s aspirations to become a dentist didn’t go down too well. GR

Goddamn Danes
In the recently released and updated FIFA World Rankings, Iceland fell to 22nd in the world. While this is obviously some sort of bureaucratic error, the real affront is that yet again the Danish inferiority complex towards us is showing, as they have now (somehow) overtaken us as the best ranked Nordic country. Just as bad, it would appear that everything that transpired in the Dano–Swedish War of 1808–1809 has been forgotten, as Sweden (we thought we were friends) has conspired with Denmark to also overtake us on the list, also going up seven spots and currently occupying number 18. Obviously this is some sort of Scandinavian royal plot concocted in the exuberant halls of Amalienborg and Kungliga slottet against the Icelandic republicans. So, in the words of the poet laureates of Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey Twisted Sister: “We’re not gonna take it!”

Guðjohnsen-land
Potent in front of goal as well as behind closed doors, Eiður Guðjohnsen is now only eight sons away from comprising the future National XI. His youngest, Daníel Tristan, is currently ransacking for Barcelona’s Under-11 team, and recent viral footage revealed his merciless destruction of several “peers.” After leaving two other tiddlywinks for dead with a mazy run from his own half, a clinical finish into the bottom corner made the entire opposition renounce their footballing ambitions post-match. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Andri Lucas is hacking his way through the ranks of Espanyol, and 19-year-old Sveinn Aron smites at home for Breiðablik UBK. GR

Read more about Iceland’s football team here. Follow us on Twitter for match day commentary. Get an #IcelandSmites SmiteShirt here


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