It’s two days until the fight for Iceland’s World Cup life. The players have been sending out good vibes and social media posts, and having press conferences ahead of the Croatia clash. Here’s what’s being said in Camp Smite.
Gylfi ready for grudge match
In an interview with FIFA’s Iceland correspondent Pétur Hreinsson, Gylfi Sigurðsson has insisted Iceland have “nothing to lose” against Croatia, recasting our boys as World Cup underdogs. The Everton playmaker will be desperate to make amends for his uncharacteristically loose penalty kick against Nigeria, which sailed over the bar, sealing our boys’ fate in Matchday Two. Nevertheless, he expects the squad to dig deep and draw on past experiences to overcome their qualification foes. “Somehow, we always manage to fight back and do the almost-impossible. I hope that will be the case this time as well.”
Faith is needed before Croatia tie
Emil Hallfreðsson says that all the boys need to send them through to the Round of 16 is faith in the project that has seen them this far, Visír reports. “The next task is on Tuesday […] we need positive energy around us,” the Udinese man said in a press conference this morning with Kári Árnason. Emil had been readied to replace Aron Gunnarsson after the captain received a blow to the ribs in the first-half against Nigeria, but eventually wasn’t needed. Against Croatia, though, “The Emilinator” is highly likely to get the nod from coach Heimir, given the side’s underwhelming performance in his absence.
Lovren wants a full house
Dejan Lovren is desperate for Croatia to finish Group D on 9 points, reiterating captain Luka Modrić’s desire to smite Iceland, according to fótbolti.net. No love is lost between the sides, who have played often—three red cards have been shown in their last four competitive encounters. Iceland came out on top last time out, winning a crucial 1-0 World Cup qualifier in June 2017. Coach Zlatko Dalić has already intimated that he will make changes to his starting eleven with Croatia all but qualified as group winners. In truth, it might be better if dithering Dejan plays on Tuesday and produces one of his trademark howlers. The stage is yours, Mr Lovren.
?This way if you still believe! pic.twitter.com/X4YXHF4gfp
— Alfreð Finnbogason (@A_Finnbogason) June 24, 2018
“The Arctic Fox in the Box” ready for Great Escape
Newly established meme master Alfreð Finnbogason has continued his hot streak with a motivational post on Twitter. The Augsburg striker uploaded a picture of himself pointing during the game against Argentina with the caption “This way if you still believe!” Alfreð has three goals in his last four internationals and coach Heimir will need his number 11 firing against Croatia if our boys are to stand any chance of making the knockout rounds in Russia. Thus far, he is the only Iceland player to have ever scored in a World Cup, but that won’t be the case after Tuesday’s game when the lads are banging them in left and right. Áfram Ísland!
Ahmed Musa vows to score 2 against Argentina
Nigeria striker Ahmed Musa has promised to score another brace in his team’s fixture against Argentina on Tuesday, fótbolti.net reports. “Whenever I play against Argentina and when I meet Messi, I score two goals,” the Leicester City forward said. “I remember that four years ago when Messi met in Brazil I scored two goals, I also played Messi when Leicester and Barcelona met and then I scored two goals.” Unfortunately for Ahmed, Argentina are going to score three and our boys are going to better that result against Croatia on Tuesday, sending both the The Super Eagles and La Albiceleste home. Boy bye.
Rúrik reaches promised land
#SexyRúrik is ready to invade your smartphone screens with product advertisements and vacuous inspirational memes after he surpassed one million Instagram followers last night. The viral sensation began the tournament as a relative unknown, due in part to his absence from Euro 2016—where Iceland’s second-place babe Birkir Bjarnason stole the headlines—but now has marriage proposals from pretty much every continent on Earth. Indeed, “The Siren’s” visual appeal is so great that his wage from second-tier German club SV Sandhausen is likely to become supplementary to his modelling income. Don’t forget who repped you from the start, Rúrik.
Read more about Iceland’s World Cup campaign here.