#IcelandSmites: Taking Care Of Business, or Belgian Revenge Waffles Best Served Cold - The Reykjavik Grapevine

#IcelandSmites: Taking Care Of Business, or Belgian Revenge Waffles Best Served Cold

#IcelandSmites: Taking Care Of Business, or Belgian Revenge Waffles Best Served Cold

Published November 1, 2018

Photos by
Lóa Hlín Hjámtýsdóttir

Iceland’s indomitable footballers are spread across Europe—nay, THE WORLD—currently, plying their merciless mercenary trade for unimaginable spoils at clubs like Everton, Augsberg and Cardiff City. The shockwaves of their warlike talents radiate out from their every long throw, tumultuous tackle and glorious goal; their presence in a squad can make or break their opponents’ psyches, chances and bones. Here’s what’s been going down.

Aron returns, inspires Cardiff win
Aron Gunnarsson, Iceland captain and Cardiff City’s totemic midfield general and longest-serving player, returned to the battlefield in late October. His beard flowing in the wild Welsh wind and with a knowing gleam in his eye, Aron’s presence boosted the beleaguered Bluebirds, who had only two point and no wins from their first eight Premier League games. When he wasn’t breaking up play with crucial tackles and moving the ball forward for piercing attacks, Aron helped Cardiff keep their shape, adding a noticeable sense of assurance. He came off in the 75th minute after starting the move for the third goal; it ended 4-2, with Aron underlining his importance as the essential fulcrum of Cardiff City’s midfield.

Gylfi smites Mourinho
Everton and Iceland talisman and wing’d messenger of the old gods Gylfi Sigurðsson was found taking care of business last weekend against José Mourinho’s stuttering Manchester United. When Richarlison was desperately hacked down in the Man Utd box, the penalty was awarded instantly; Richarlison tried to take the ball, but was informed by Gylfi in no uncertain terms that “Golden Boots” would be taking it himself. He arrowed home past David De Gea—commonly thought to be the world’s best goalkeeper—without flinching. The Premier League was thus rocked once again by the volcanic might of Icelandic football, and Gylfi became only the second player—after Darren Bent, weirdly—to score at Old Trafford in four separate matches.

Finnbó wildfire spreads
Icelandic hitman striker Alfreð Finnbogason—the decimator of castles, the moat-crosser, the drawbridge destroyer; the ultimate striking champion of the world; he who wrestles wolves before breakfast; the horrible hulk, the merciless marauder; the rampaging warlord who sails forth across the open sea screaming wildly at lightning-riddled stormy sky—smashed in yet another pen for German side Augsburg last week. He has now scored five goals in four Bundesliga outings this season and has hit home all six penalties he’s taken for the side. Be afraid—if football loses his attention, he may his eagle-eyed gaze to other sports, or, god help us all, outvasion pillaging; then, we will find ourselves living under his heel as he rampages across the globe like an Icelandic Alexander The Great, burning everything in his terrible wake.

Belgian revenge waffles best served icy
Iceland are warming up to wreak havoc and claim their terrible revenge against the star-studded Belgian team who kicked three colours of crap out of them in a 1-3 UEFA Nations League defeat earlier in the autumn. With danger man Eden Hazard currently struggling with injury at Chelsea, and star striker Romelu Lukaku struggling to find the groove at Manchester United, it could be a good time to play them; especially as captain and morale mainstay Aron Gunnarsson; attacking trio Jóhann Berg, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Alfreð Finnbogason are all in fine and firing form at their home clubs. It’s Iceland’s last chance to grab some consolation points in the tournament, as we’re already relegated to the second tier after a weird, injury-hampered run in the tournament. The game takes place in Brussels on November 15th. The world—and the gods—will be watching.


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