“Friðjónsson can hit them from here,” Guy Mowbray will say, preemptively, as Sammi lines up a 35-yard piledriver against the Croats on June 26th at the Rostov arena, his eyes fixated on the valve of the Telstar ball as the stadium inhales collectively. “And boy, has he hit it! Friðjónsson’s effort has sailed past the despairing Subašić to make it Iceland one, Croatia nil, in the dying seconds of this Group D decider. What a time to score your first international goal!” Mark Lawrenson, turning to Mowbray, mischievously, will say “that really is Samsational,” as “The Reykjanesbaer Ballista” wheels away, thumping his bare chest, bellowing “DEATH OR GLORY!” Iceland will be through to the knockouts and on their way to World Cup glory in Moscow.
At least that is what young Sammi is dreaming will happen this summer as he makes his first foray into competitive international football. The young buck, who plays in Norway with Vålerenga, has intrigued coach Heimir because of his positional fluidity, which could prove vital given the fitness concerns of star players Gylfi and Aron. He’s unlikely to be an automatic starter in Russia, but Sammi was chosen to board the longboat with the future in mind, and he may well be seen launching in fireballs from the touchline in the unlikely eventuality that Iceland are found chasing a game.
Ultimately, though, “The Liquid Lacerator” will be hoping to write his name in lights in Russia to engineer a move to one of the European big leagues. A group stage piledriver certainly wouldn’t do his chances any harm.
Name: Samúel Kári “The Hammer” Friðjónsson
Club: Vålerenga Fotball
Position: Defensive Midfielder/Utility Player
Special Skills: Positionally unchainable, monster throw-ins, long-range missiles
Nicknames: “The Hammer,” “The Reykjanesbaer Ballista,” “The Liquid Lacerator”