In case you haven’t noticed, the Icelandic men’s football team have, this year, finally equalled the achievement of their female counterparts and qualified for the finals of a major international tournament. And today, Euro 2016 finally begins. As hundreds of Icelanders make the trip over to France to revel in the once-in-four-generations sporting spectacle of Iceland competing against some of the world’s greatest teams, they leave behind a nation gripped in the nervous, sweaty-palm of pre-tournament tension.
Of course, Iceland are destined to triumph gloriously. So, here it is: the Grapevine guide to how the Icelandic men’s football team will exact a mighty and overdue revenge on the entire continent of Europe for the indignity of all those Eurovision defeats.
The Group Stage
Because FIFA has not yet realised the true power of Iceland’s unstoppable víkingar, they must first prove themselves by demonstrating the majesty of the Icelandic game against an initial three pitiable foes.
June 14: A rout of the meek Portuguese
Iceland’s march to glory at Euro 2016 begins when they stride forth onto the battlefield of Saint-Étienne, where they will undoubtedly grind the meek Portuguese beneath their winged boots, blessed by the power of the mighty Thor. We expect to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s heavily gelled hair stand on end from the sheer electricity of the brave Icelanders as his team is beset by Thor’s lightning bolts, blasting their defence apart as Gylfi Sigurðsson strides across their cratered box to slot home the winner past the goalkeeper, who has, of course, been crushed by a blow from Mjollnir. Result: 19-0.
June 18: A historic trouncing of the terrified Hungarians
Iceland’s vikings will then proceed to Marseille, looked down upon, no doubt, by Týr, the god of justice and heroic glory. After an evening of bathing in tears of the decimated Portuguese, and some rehydrating sports mead, Týr will understand that the only just outcome for the second group game is for the Hungarian team to be soundly whipped and thoroughly routed. His rune is an upwards arrow, which may mean a thunderous headed goal after a mighty leap from striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson. Result: 7-0.
June 22: A demonstration of true Icelandic power against the fleeing Austrians
Next, Iceland’s heroes will proceed to Saint-Denis. After team manager Lars Lagerbäck makes offerings of meat and blood to the Allfather, Odin will look kindly over the next game against the cowering soon-to-be-destroyed Austrians, smiting them with his mighty spear of destiny. Many of them will no doubt be sent to feel the wrath of Hel, the goddess who’ll greet Iceland’s crushed foes at the gates of the underworld. Result: 12-0.
The Knockout Stage
Having thoroughly dominated their group, there are now just four matches remaining between Iceland and their heroic destiny. We imagine the tournament may play out as follows.
June 27: The monied man-boys of England reduced to a quivering, teary spectacle after a volcanic bombardment of unstoppable shots. Result: 100-0
July 2: The sacking of Paris. Result: 107-0
July 6: The vanquished Germans consumed whole by the jubilant Ásatrú gods. Result: 66-0
July 10: Returning to the battle-pocked pitch of Saint-Denis, the jubilant Icelanders run rampant, battering Portugal into submission with the force of ten geysers to claim the ultimate victory, and to sup on a fountain of #RonaldoTears. Result: 69-0