Published June 18, 2018
The games are coming thick and fast, and with them the usual circus of World Cup rumours, theories and upsets. Here’s the latest news from the Iceland battle camp.
Iceland set tone for year of the underdog
Our boys have clearly given belief to the tournament’s dark-horses—Mexico and Switzerland followed their lead by upsetting footballing royalty yesterday. The former beat defending world champions Germany 1-0 at the Luzhniki Stadium, with the latter securing a point in a 1-1 draw against favourites Brazil at the Rostov Arena. In fact, France are the only fancied team to get three points from their opening games thus far, and even they required intervention from the magic VAR ref, limping to a 2-1 win against a team of Socceroos. Heimir’s men have already made it clear that they’re not just in Russia to make up the numbers, and who knows … maybe … just maybe … an Iceland win could be written in the stars.
Sævarsson is the right back of the Icelandic team, who kept Messi quiet for 90 minutes today. Like he said he would. We interviewed him in a hardware store in March for the #doc "Last Call".
— Guðmundur Björn (@gudmundurbjorn) June 16, 2018
“The Steriliser” predicted Messi pocketing
It turns out that Iceland’s right back, Birkir Már Sævarsson, was asked about whether he was scared about marking Lionel Messi in a documentary that came out in March, entitled “Last Call.” His answer exuded the same confidence that saw him pocket the little maestro in Saturday’s match against Argentina. “No, honestly, it doesn’t scare me at all,” said Birkir. “Everyone knows that his talent is superior, and he shows that every weekend. No matter who he plays against, no-one seems to be able to stop him, but someone has to be the first.” It seems that all the time Birkir Már spent re-watching Greece’s unexpected run to the Euro 2004 title paid off.
— Icelandic Football (@icelandfootball) June 17, 2018
Messi begs for Birkir’s shirt
Lionel Messi got on his hands and knees, tears streaming down his face, begging Birkir Bjarnason for his shirt after Saturday’s clash at the Spartak Stadium, rumours say. “Horror Hooves” was pictured in the Iceland dressing room post-match, grinning while holding Messi’s shirt (and dignity) up to the camera. As many people know, Leo is an avid fan of the Norwegian OBOS-ligaen, and is clearly a long term fan, having been mesmerised by Birkir’s early performances at Viking. For years, he has been collecting Bjarki memorabilia, and would have moved mountains to get hold of his match-worn shirt. Finally, his dream has come true.
Wildcard Russian commentator caught being infinitely wrong
Vasilij Utkin, a Russian commentator and a co-owner of the sports.ru website, has come out against Iceland in no uncertain terms. He rewrote history by claiming Icelanders were those who fled the Vikings, and claimed that Iceland’s super-solid defensive style is damaging the beautiful game, also expressing surprise at the worldwide support the Iceland team is getting. However, he mindfully failed to notice that Iceland are a Viking force marching boldly across the battlefield of world football, smiting their opponents into submission be they great or humble. Much like Rio Ferdinand, who claimed England’s Euro 2016 game against Iceland would be a “walk in the park,” the talkative Vasilij may well end up eating his words.
— Alfreð Finnbogason (@A_Finnbogason) June 17, 2018
“The Arctic Fox in the Box” narrows down who scored against Argentina
In an attempt to help international media determine who scored Iceland’s equaliser against La Albiceleste, Alfreð Finnbogason has posted a meme on his personal Twitter account stating that it was “definitely someone with ‘son’ in his name.” That rules out Frederik Schram, the Danish-born back-up goalie and the only “Notsson” in the squad, but leaves 22 names still on the list. Reports say that journalists in Russia are working through the night in attempts to decipher the code, and a breakthrough is expected before the tournament’s end. Here’s hoping that a modern-day Alan Turing manages it.
— Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (@jondadi) June 17, 2018
Jón Daði behind former teammate Ikeme
Jón Daði Böðvarsson has shown his support for former Wolverhampton Wanderers teammate Carl Ikeme, who missed out on World Cup selection for Nigeria due to an acute leukemia diagnosis. Jón Daði, who played for the West Midlands side in the 2016-17 season, posted a picture of himself holding an Iceland shirt with the goalkeeper’s name and number on the back, alongside 18 members of the horde. “All of us in @footballiceland are with you,” he wrote. Ikeme will be watching on as his side meet Jón Daði and co. when they meet our boys on Friday at the Volgograd Arena. Keep fighting, Carl!