Culture
Football
#SmiteTheWorld News: #ISL’s Latest Odds, Lanzini Out, Spain Cursed & More

#SmiteTheWorld News: #ISL’s Latest Odds, Lanzini Out, Spain Cursed & More

Greig Robertson
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published June 14, 2018

The World Cup is here! The horde are camped out in a Russian forest practicing their long throws, shield walls and Óðinn-guided free kicks as their first game, against out-of-form Argentina, draws closer. Here’s the latest news from Camp Smite.

“The Beautiful Death” to reign over Moscow
Hörður Björgvin Magnússon is already planning for life after Iceland’s glorious World Cup victory and has reportedly agreed to join CSKA Moscow from Bristol City. As one of four protectors of the footballing revolution including Rostov-based Ragnar Sigurðsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason and Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson, Hörður has been charged with manning the capital’s battlefront, should anyone dare to challenge the legitimacy of the newly established Viking empire in July. Though easy on the eye, Hörður is stony beneath the surface and whispers out of the Iceland camp suggest that he plans to rule with an iron fist. Read our profile of Hörður here.

Iceland have a chance of winning World Cup, football statistics outlet insists
Football statistics outlet Opta has given Iceland a chance of winning the 2018 Russia World Cup. A 1.3% chance to be exact, but a chance nonetheless. According to Opta’s World Cup predictor, our boys are more likely to taste glory than former semi-finalists South Korea and 2014 quarter-finalists Costa Rica. Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Panama and Morocco also ranked below Iceland, with Brazil mooted as the likeliest winners with a 13.2% chance of victory. Inexplicably, previous smitees Croatia and England ranked above Heimir’s men, but as all Icelanders know, the science of probability is not to be trusted–especially when it comes to the beautiful game…

Lanzini smited, Messi in hiding
Argentina attacker Manuel Lanzini has intentionally inflicted himself with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in order to miss his side’s meeting with Iceland this Saturday. He joins self-smited goalkeeper Sergio Romero on the injury list, whilst forward Sergio Agüero is reportedly desperate for a recurrence of the knee injury that saw him miss the end of Manchester City’s season. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, still can’t be coaxed from beneath his bed for fear of finally facing the horn music. His side’s friendly against Israel on 9th June was cancelled for this very reason, with Albiceleste officials using the Middle Eastern nation’s “political turmoil” as a smokescreen for Lionel’s Iceland-related night terrors.

Spain cursed by “The Shaman”
Iceland’s mystical shaman Ólafur Ingi Skúlason’s maledictions have borne fruit in the timeliest of fashions, with Julen Lopetegui’s tenure as Spain coach decapitated just two days before their Group B opener against Portugal. Ólafur’s carefully concocted stew of Spanish doom, containing a shred of Lopetegui’s already-signed, now-doomed contract extension and a bit of chorizo, ensured that the euskaldunak was overcome by duplicitousness and greed; thus welcoming Real Madrid’s wicked advances. Clouded by egotism, he preemptively announced his next career move to the press, only to be brutally smited by his current employers as a result. Another one bites the dust.

“The Steriliser” is Iceland’s Salt Bae
Gunnlaugur Jón’s depiction of Birkir Már Sævarsson as Salt Bae has gone down like a plate of putrefied skate on Þorláksmessa on Icelandic football twitter. The depiction owes to Birkir’s second job at a salt distribution company, which supplements his semi-pro salary at hometown club Valur. Apparently, Birkir even had to request time off to be in Russia, but his superiors are sympathetic to his skiving. “They are all football enthusiasts,” he told fotbolti.net. “I told them when I requested that I will probably stay away for the whole month of June.” Let’s hope their sympathy extends to mid-July, when Birkir will DEFINITELY be lifting the World Cup.

Viking battles to commence on two fronts this Saturday
When the referee blows his whistle at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium, marking Iceland’s first ever World Cup appearance, a few dozen people will be simultaneously re-enacting a viking battle in Hafnarfjörður. The event, hosted by viking enthusiasts Rimmugýgur, will also offer attendees the chance to participate in viking games, storytelling, archery and viking handcraft, while a hearty fill of bread and mead will be available. It won’t all be fun and games, however, and rumour has it that cabbage tossing at prisoners who’ve failed to synchronise their Viking clap will also take place.

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