From Iceland — The Smiting Never Ends: Women's World Cup, Aron & Hannes Contracts & More

The Smiting Never Ends: Women’s World Cup, Aron & Hannes Contracts & More

Published July 19, 2018

Greig Robertson
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After a fascinating World Cup tournament reached its finale, the Icelandic men’s team are regrouping for some coming tournaments, while the women’s team storms past a much-fancied Germany side to potentially top their group for the Women’s World Cup. Here’s all the latest news from the war camp.

Women’s team poised to double-smite Germany
While the men’s team were flaming out of the World Cup’s group stage in a blaze of glory, the women’s team were coasting through a challenging qualifying group on their way to the Women’s World Cup. After smiting the poor Faroe Islands 8-0, the valkyries proceeded to cause a huge upset by beating strongly-fancied Germany 3-2, putting them in pole position to win their group and automatically qualify. They’ll have to smite Germany in second (home) leg on September 1st at Laugardalsvöllur, before resolving the group in their final game against the Czech Republic soon after. Áfram stelpurnar! JR

Heimir refs 11-year-olds in Vestmannaeyjar
No sooner had Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrímsson returned from Russia than he was pictured back in the local media on his home soil of The Westman Islands. Was he down the pub telling tales of his exploits? Putting his feet up and catching up on RuPaul’s Drag Race? Taking it easy in the local hot pot, maybe? Nope, none of the above. The outgoing manager was immediately back to work inspiring the Icelandic nation to greater footballing heights by reffing a game between some 11-year-olds. What a guy. JR

Hannes heads to Azerbaijan
Hannes Þór “Wild Claws” Halldórsson has moved onto pastures new following his World Cup heroics, ending a two year spell with Danish club Randers. In the 2018-19 season, Hannes will be turning out for Azerbaijani champions Qarabağ, who appeared in last year’s Champions League Group C alongside Roma, Chelsea and Atlético Madrid. Rumour has it that Hannes was compelled to move simply to continue his ongoing mental obliteration of Lionel Messi. The little magician will be hoping Hannes’s form in the group stage—should Qarabağ meet Barcelona—will be even softer than Azerbaijan’s human rights record. GR

Men’s team poised to destroy Nations League
The Icelandic men’s team are set to become the inaugural winners of the UEFA Nations League once the World Cup is over. Beginning their campaign against perpetual disappointments Switzerland on September 8th, they will then play Belgium on September 11th, before completing return legs against both sides in October and November respectively. Nobody is entirely sure what the Nations League is, or how it works, but the vague idea behind it is to replace meaningless international friendlies with something more competitive. Supposedly, it will also offer an alternative qualification route to Euro Cup hopefuls who miss out through traditional means; not that Heimir’s men will need that. GR

“Shaggy Breeches” hangs up his battle-axe
Defensive stalwart Ragnar Sigurðsson has called time on his international career, saying in an Instagram post that “it’s time for some young guns to take over the defence.” Raggi made his crusading debut in 2007 in a 1-1 draw with Canada, and went on to earn 80 horned helmets over the next decade. Obviously, his most memorable moment was his equaliser against England in Euro 2016, which helped our boys on to their most famous pillaging. The Rostov man’s announcement will almost certainly be the first of several changes made to the starting smiters in the wake of the World Cup, as more warriors-in-waiting dislodge the old guard from the front line. GR

“The Annihilator” handed new deal
Aron Gunnarsson has signed a one-year contract extension with newly promoted Premier League club Cardiff City. There had previously been speculation over his future, but Aron extinguished any uncertainty by joining Junior Hoilett and Sean Morrison in committing to the Bluebirds’ battle for survival next season. Aron told Cardiff City TV: “I always wanted to stay and I told the gaffer that. Even though I didn’t say much in the news, I just wanted to do my job on the pitch.” The Iceland captain joined the Welsh club from Coventry City in 2011 and has gone on to make 258 appearances for them, scoring 24 goals. Here’s to many more, big man! GR

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