Iceland is a tiny nation, with a population of around 330,000. It is the smallest nation to qualify for a major football tournament. EVER.
No one gave them a chance in a group that also featured Hungary, Portugal and Austria.
But hey, they must have received the memo that this is the year of the underdogs. A draw against Portugal (that pissed off Cristiano Ronaldo) and Hungary, and an exhilarating win against Austria later, ICELAND FINISH TOP OF THEIR GROUP!
Joy for Iceland as they seal their first ever win in a major football tournament – and qualify! #ISLAUT #EURO2016 pic.twitter.com/cdciBS1Az7— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 22, 2016
And if it feels incredible to us in India, far removed from the madness of European football, imagine how the Icelandic people must be reacting to this.
Actually, don’t imagine. Just listen for yourself, for this is how the Icelandic commentator described the late, late winner from Arnor Ingvi Traustason against Austria to seal Iceland’s place in the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Absolutely incredible. The emotion that only football can bring out!
The Iceland coach Hallgrimsson summed up the achievement perfectly.
“I would guess we will change the national holiday. It’s normally on June 17 [referring to Icelandic National Day which commemorates the country’s independence from Danish rule in 1944] but they will probably change it now. That’s how much (this result) means to us”
And this how Twitter reacted to the win:
Cristiano Ronaldo: “Iceland have a small mentality, they’ll do nothing.”
Iceland finish above Portugal… pic.twitter.com/0zTncFpel6— TheSPORTbible (@TSBible) June 22, 2016
Any words needed? #ISL pic.twitter.com/4sM4aeRZs6— Alfreð Finnbogason (@A_Finnbogason) June 22, 2016
What a photo of Ari Skúlason. #ISL pic.twitter.com/I8mmjZFpXh— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 22, 2016
Go on, Iceland! Keep giving us goosebumps!
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