When Ólafur Ingi Skúlason was a child, his father would tell him a story about the humble people of Vestmannaeyjar. “Long, long ago,” he would begin, as he perched on the edge of young Ólafur’s bed, “some of the islanders were skimming stones into the sea when one of them spotted ships far in the distance. At first, they thought it must be the Danes, but as they advanced closer towards the shore, their origin became more curious. Curiosity soon became fear and fear quickly became terror; it was Ottoman pirates. In the next three days, tens would be killed and hundreds captured in what would become known as the Turkish Abductions of 1627. For the sake of our national pride, son, you must avenge our ancestors, for Iceland can only become great again once it has smited those who smote it before.”
With his father’s words ringing in his ears, Ólafur moved to Turkey with Gençlerbirliği in 2015, earning the trust of those he would eventually destroy through his solid, stable performances. He continued his ruse for a further year with Karabükspor, helping them to a solid mid-table finish in his first season, before unleashing a curse with tenfold the ferocity of the abductions. 34 games later, Karabükspor found themselves with a miserly 12 points, having conceded 86 goals over the course of the season.
Better still, he cast the net of his wrath so wide that former side Gençlerbirliği was dragged down to the deepest pits of hell as well.
Ólafur’s destiny, though, is not quite fulfilled and at the height of his powers, “The Shaman” is already muttering maledictions in preparation for the World Cup. I mean, you didn’t think Sergio Agüero’s injury woes were a mere twist of fate, did you?
Name: Ólafur Ingi “The Shaman” Skúlason
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Special Skills: spell-casting, taking two eyes for an eye, blood-vessel-bursting concentration
Nicknames: “The Vengeful,” “The Shaman,” “The Leveller”