As the Icelandic national men and women’s football teams continue to smite the entire world within an inch of its quivering life, we once again decided to turn to the omens, witches, entrails, the Grapevine Magic 8-Ball, Google—and, ahem, press releases—for a closer look at what’s going on inside the sport.
You know how awesome our men’s team is? Well, equally awesome is our women’s team. Last month, they beat two-time World Cup winners Germany 3-2 in an away game in Weisbaden—their first World Cup qualifying loss since 1998. A Dagny Brynjarsdóttir brace and a sumptuous Elín Metta Jensen strike secured the glorious smiting as “stelpunar okkar” (“our girls”) solidified their position in Group Five, and now they sit just two points off the top spot, with a game in hand. Not until the men beat Germany in Volgagrad in next summer’s World Cup has the superstar nation suffered such a loss.
Unfriendlies: Qatar—you’re next
The idea of “friendlies” doesn’t apply to Iceland, who know no “friendly” in the heat of battle, and can only smite. On November 14 they’ll catastrophically decimate the unsuspecting national men’s teams of Qatar, who will be razed to the ground in a torrent of fiery footballing wrath. Good luck finding a streaming link.
The Curse Of Merseyside
A troubling pattern seems to be emerging for Icelandic star players who ply their trade professionally to the twin Merseyside teams of Everton and Liverpool. Many moons ago in the mid-’90s, the most talented attacking young footballer in the Icelandic game, Haukur Ingi Guðnasson, signed onto the Liverpool youth team, only to be plagued by injuries and never play a single competitive game. Last summer, Icelandic marksman and star midfielder Gylfi Sigurðsson followed suit and signed for Everton in a £45m move. He has since gone from being Swansea’s star player to being a wretched Evertonian bench warmer. Is it a coincidence? Is it a dark Scouse curse? Only time, and omens, will tell.
Villaviciosa-born (that sounds warm) Oviedo right-back Diego Johannesson Pando was back in the Iceland squad for the November friendlies against Czech Republic and Qatar. Diego made his full debut for the country of his father’s birth in 2016, after declaring his allegiance two years earlier. Rumour has it he was called up to protect stalwart right-back Birkir Már Saevarsson from a Vitamin D-induced coma, and it is thought other members of the squad are frantically trawling through Icelandic genealogy databases to avoid selection for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. For now, they’ll have to make do with SPF 50.
Iceland Prepares To Smite The World… At Quidditch
Quidditch—a broomstick-based, airborne fictional sport from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe involving a flying golden puck called “the snitch”—is also a sport that’s being approximated in real life. Iceland has a team, managed by Sigurður Skúli Sigurgeirsson, who says the IRL version lies somewhere between handball, rugby and dodgeball. According to Sigurður, instead of a snitch the game uses “an individual who wears yellow clothes and a huge sock over his head with a tennis ball attached to it.” The ridiculousness of the sport does not matter—Iceland will smite the world at it anyway. The tournament will take place in 2018 in the Italian city of Florence between June 27-July 2.
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