Iceland national football team

Iceland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Strákarnir okkar (Our Boys)
Association Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ)
Knattspyrnusamband Íslands
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Arnar Viðarsson
Captain Birkir Bjarnason
Most caps Rúnar Kristinsson (104)
Top scorer Eiður Guðjohnsen
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (26)
Home stadium Laugardalsvöllur
FIFA code ISL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 62 Decrease 2 (21 October 2021)[1]
Highest 18 (February–March 2018)
Lowest 131 (April–June 2012)
First international
Unofficial
 Faroe Islands 0–1 Iceland 
(Tórshavn, Faroe Islands; 29 July 1930)[2]
Official
 Iceland 0–3 Denmark 
(Reykjavík, Iceland; 17 July 1946)[3]
Biggest win
Unofficial
 Iceland 9–0 Faroe Islands 
(Keflavík, Iceland; 10 July 1985)
Official
 Iceland 5–0 Malta 
(Reykjavík, Iceland; 27 July 2000)[4]
Biggest defeat
 Denmark 14–2 Iceland 
(Copenhagen, Denmark; 23 August 1967)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (first in 2018)
Best result Group stage (2018)
European Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 2016)
Best result Quarter-finals (2016)

The Iceland national football team (Icelandic: Íslenska karlalandsliðið í knattspyrnu) represents Iceland in men's international football. The team is controlled by the Football Association of Iceland, and have been a FIFA member since 1947 and an UEFA member since 1957. The team's nickname is Strákarnir okkar, which means Our Boys in Icelandic.

The team has enjoyed success in the second half of the 2010s. In the qualifying rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Iceland reached the playoffs before losing to Croatia. Iceland reached its first major tournament, UEFA Euro 2016, after a qualification campaign which included home and away wins over the Netherlands. After advancing to the knockout stages of Euro 2016, Iceland defeated England in the Round of 16, advancing to the quarter-finals, where they lost to host nation France 5–2. They became the smallest nation by population to ever clinch a FIFA World Cup berth when they qualified for the 2018 tournament on 9 October 2017.[6] They drew with Argentina in their opening match, but nonetheless still went out in the group stage.[7][8]

History

20th century

Although Úrvalsdeild, the Icelandic Football League, was founded in 1912,[9] the country's first international match was played on 29 July 1930, against the Faroe Islands.[10] Although Iceland won 1–0 away, both teams were at the time unaffiliated with FIFA.[11] The first match officially recognised by FIFA took place in Reykjavík on 17 July 1946, a 0–3 loss to Denmark.[12] The first international victory was against Finland in 1947.[13] For the first 20 years of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ)'s existence, the team mostly did not participate in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. In 1954, Iceland applied to take part in qualification for the 1954 World Cup, but the application was rejected.[10] In qualification for the 1958 World Cup, Iceland finished last in their group with zero wins, conceding 26 goals.[10]

In 1980, Iceland won the first edition of the friendly tournament known as the Greenland Cup.[14]

Since 1974, the team has taken part in qualifying for every World Cup and European Championship. In 1994, the team reached their then best ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, 37th. This record stood until 2016 when they managed to reach 21st.[15] In a friendly against Estonia on 24 April 1996 in Tallinn, Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen entered as a substitute for his father Arnór. This marked the first time that a father and son played in the same international match.[16]

21st century

Iceland national football team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

In qualification for Euro 2004, Iceland finished third in their group, one point behind Scotland.[17] As a result, they failed to qualify for a playoff spot.[18]

In 2014, Iceland almost secured qualification for their first World Cup.[19] Finishing second in Group D, they played Croatia in a two-leg playoff for qualification.[20][21] After holding them to a 0–0 draw in the home leg, they lost 2–0 away.[22]

Iceland qualified for a major tournament for the first time in 2015 after finishing second in Group A of qualification for Euro 2016, losing only two games, and beating the Netherlands – which had finished third in the 2014 World Cup – twice.[23] During the qualification, they reached their then highest ranking in the FIFA World Rankings, 23rd.[24][25] Iceland were drawn into a group with Portugal, Hungary and Austria for the final tournament.

At the tournament finals, Iceland recorded 1–1 draws in their first two group stage matches against Portugal and Hungary. They then advanced from their group with a 2–1 victory against Austria.[26] Iceland qualified for the tournament's quarter-finals after a 2–1 upset win over England in the Round of 16, which led to England manager Roy Hodgson resigning in disgrace immediately after the final whistle.[27] However, they were eliminated by host nation France in the quarter-finals, 5–2.[28]

World Cup team 2018.

Iceland qualified for the 2018 World Cup, their first ever appearance in the world championship, securing qualification on 9 October 2017 after a 2–0 win against Kosovo. In doing so, they became the lowest-populated country ever to reach the finals.[29] Iceland were drawn to play Croatia, Argentina and Nigeria in a group that was considered by many as the "group of death".[30][31] Despite a challenging group, Iceland were tipped to advance from the group by several journalist websites, based on their impressive performance in Euro 2016.[32] Their maiden match at the World Cup was against 2014 runners-up Argentina, with Iceland surprisingly holding Argentina to a 1–1 draw.[33][34] However, their chances of advancing from the group were hurt following a 2–0 loss to Nigeria, putting Iceland to play with full determination against already qualified Croatia.[35][36] Iceland lost to Croatia in their final group game; and because Argentina won against Nigeria, Iceland finished bottom of the group with just a point.[37][38]

In 2020, Iceland came agonisingly close to qualifying for Euro 2020. In their playoff game against Hungary, Iceland led 1–0 for nearly the entire match until Hungary scored two goals in under five minutes, the first coming in the 88th minute to stun Iceland and the second in the second minute of added time, proving to be the winner; Hungary had beaten Iceland 2–1.[39] Iceland had also suffered poor results in their UEFA Nations League campaign in League A, having lost all their group stage matches and failing to garner a single point, resulting in their relegation to League B the following season.[40] Manager Erik Hamrén ultimately resigned, following their poor performance that year.[41]

Team image

The national team uses a blue as the home colours and white as their second colours but their crest featuring stylized imagery of Iceland's four "guardian spirits" (Landvættir) in local folklore; a giant, a dragon, a bull, and an eagle. The team's crest was adopted in 2020 and was designed by Reykjavík-based firm Bradenburg. Previously the team used a team crest which features a shield-type symbol which consist the abbreviation of the Football Association of Iceland in Icelandic (KSI), strips which derives colors from the Flag of Iceland, and a football.[42][43]

Iceland's supporters became known for using Viking Clap chant in the mid-2010s, which involves fans clapping their hands above their heads and yelling "huh!" to the beat of a drum. Iceland's Viking Clap first received wider international attention during the Euro 2016.[44]

Kit providers

The official kit is produced by German sports manufacturing company Puma since 2020. Before that the kit providers were Umbro (1975), Adidas (1976–1992), ABM (1992-1996), Reusch (1996–2001) and Erreà (2002–2020)

Kit provider Period
England Umbro 1975
Germany Adidas 1976–1991
Italy ABM 1992–1996
Germany Reusch 1996–2001
Italy Erreà 2002–2020
Germany Puma 2020–

Results and fixtures

  Win   Draw   Loss

2020

2021

[45][46]

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Iceland Arnar Viðarsson
Assistant coach Iceland Eiður Guðjohnsen
Technical advisor Iceland Bjarni Jákobsson
Training coach Iceland Birkir Eyjólfsson
Fitness coach Iceland Ári Þór Örlygsson
First-Team Doctor Iceland Jóhannes Rúnarsson
Goalkeeper coach Iceland Halldór Björnsson
Physiotherapist Iceland Sverrir Sigþórsson

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the matches against Armenia and Liechtenstein, played on 8 October and 11 October 2021 respectively.[47]
All caps and goals are correct as of 11 October 2021 after the match against Liechtenstein.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 (age 26) 12 0 Belgium OH Leuven
1GK Elías Rafn Ólafsson (2000-03-11) 11 March 2000 (age 21) 2 0 Denmark Midtjylland
1GK Patrik Gunnarsson (2000-11-15) 15 November 2000 (age 20) 0 0 Norway Viking

2DF Hjörtur Hermannsson (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 26) 25 1 Italy Pisa
2DF Guðmundur Þórarinsson (1992-04-15) 15 April 1992 (age 29) 10 0 United States New York City
2DF Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason (1999-12-06) 6 December 1999 (age 21) 8 2 Italy Lecce
2DF Alfons Sampsted (1998-04-06) 6 April 1998 (age 23) 6 0 Norway Bodø/Glimt
2DF Daníel Leó Grétarsson (1995-10-02) 2 October 1995 (age 26) 3 0 England Blackpool
2DF Ari Leifsson (1998-04-19) 19 April 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Norway Strømsgodset

3MF Birkir Bjarnason (1988-05-27) 27 May 1988 (age 33) 103 14 Turkey Adana Demirspor
3MF Albert Guðmundsson (1997-06-15) 15 June 1997 (age 24) 27 6 Netherlands AZ
3MF Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson (1998-11-26) 26 November 1998 (age 22) 14 1 Denmark AGF
3MF Mikael Anderson (1998-07-01) 1 July 1998 (age 23) 11 1 Denmark AGF
3MF Andri Baldursson (2002-01-10) 10 January 2002 (age 19) 8 0 Denmark Copenhagen
3MF Stefán Teitur Þórðarson (1998-10-16) 16 October 1998 (age 23) 5 1 Denmark Silkeborg
3MF Þórir Jóhann Helgason (2000-09-28) 28 September 2000 (age 21) 5 0 Italy Lecce
3MF Mikael Egill Ellertsson (2002-03-11) 11 March 2002 (age 19) 2 0 Italy SPAL

4FW Viðar Örn Kjartansson (1990-03-11) 11 March 1990 (age 31) 32 4 Norway Vålerenga
4FW Elías Már Ómarsson (1995-01-18) 18 January 1995 (age 26) 9 0 France Nîmes
4FW Sveinn Aron Guðjohnsen (1998-05-12) 12 May 1998 (age 23) 6 0 Sweden Elfsborg
4FW Andri Guðjohnsen (2002-01-29) 29 January 2002 (age 19) 4 2 Spain Real Madrid Castilla

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up to the Iceland squad in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Hannes Þór Halldórsson (1984-04-27) 27 April 1984 (age 37) 77 0 Iceland Valur v.  Germany, 8 September 2021 RET
GK Ögmundur Kristinsson (1989-06-19) 19 June 1989 (age 32) 19 0 Greece Olympiacos v.  Poland, 8 June 2021

DF Birkir Már Sævarsson (1984-11-11) 11 November 1984 (age 36) 102 3 Iceland Valur v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 SUS
DF Ari Freyr Skúlason (1987-05-14) 14 May 1987 (age 34) 82 0 Sweden Norrköping v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 SUS
DF Jón Guðni Fjóluson (1989-04-10) 10 April 1989 (age 32) 18 1 Sweden Hammarby v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 INJ
DF Kári Árnason (1982-10-13) 13 October 1982 (age 39) 90 6 Iceland Víkingur Reykjavík v.  Germany, 8 September 2021 RET
DF Valgeir Lunddal Friðriksson (2001-09-24) 24 September 2001 (age 20) 1 0 Sweden Häcken v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
DF Ísak Ólafsson (2000-06-30) 30 June 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Denmark Esbjerg v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
DF Kolbeinn Þórðarson (2000-03-12) 12 March 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Belgium Lommel v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
DF Ragnar Sigurðsson (1986-06-19) 19 June 1986 (age 35) 97 5 Iceland Fylkir v.  Mexico, 30 May 2021
DF Hörður Ingi Gunnarsson (1998-08-14) 14 August 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Iceland FH v.  Mexico, 30 May 2021
DF Rúnar Þór Sigurgeirsson (1999-12-28) 28 December 1999 (age 21) 1 0 Iceland Keflavík v.  Mexico, 30 May 2021
DF Sverrir Ingi Ingason (1993-08-05) 5 August 1993 (age 28) 39 3 Greece PAOK v.  Liechtenstein, 31 March 2021
DF Hörður Björgvin Magnússon (1993-02-11) 11 February 1993 (age 28) 36 2 Russia CSKA Moscow v.  Liechtenstein, 31 March 2021
DF Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson (1990-08-06) 6 August 1990 (age 31) 19 2 Norway Rosenborg v.  Liechtenstein, 31 March 2021

MF Victor Pálsson (1991-04-30) 30 April 1991 (age 30) 29 1 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 WD
MF Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson (2003-03-23) 23 March 2003 (age 18) 8 1 Denmark Copenhagen v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 SUS
MF Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (1990-10-27) 27 October 1990 (age 30) 81 8 England Burnley v.  Armenia, 8 October 2021 INJ
MF Arnór Sigurðsson (1999-05-15) 15 May 1999 (age 22) 16 1 Italy Venezia v.  Germany, 8 September 2021
MF Gísli Eyjólfsson (1994-05-31) 31 May 1994 (age 27) 2 0 Iceland Breiðablik v.  Germany, 8 September 2021
MF Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson (1990-06-18) 18 June 1990 (age 31) 32 2 Romania CFR Cluj v.  Romania, 2 September 2021 WD
MF Aron Gunnarsson (Captain) (1989-04-22) 22 April 1989 (age 32) 97 2 Qatar Al-Arabi v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
MF Aron Elís Þrándarson (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 26) 6 0 Denmark OB v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
MF Arnór Ingvi Traustason (1993-04-30) 30 April 1993 (age 28) 40 5 United States New England Revolution v.  Mexico, 30 May 2021
MF Willum Þór Willumsson (1998-10-23) 23 October 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Belarus BATE Borisov v.  Liechtenstein, 31 March 2021
MF Gylfi Sigurðsson (1989-09-08) 8 September 1989 (age 32) 78 25 England Everton v.  Germany, 25 March 2021 WD

FW Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (1990-03-14) 14 March 1990 (age 31) 64 26 Sweden IFK Göteborg v.  Romania, 2 September 2021 EX
FW Jón Daði Böðvarsson (1992-05-25) 25 May 1992 (age 29) 60 3 England Millwall v.  Poland, 8 June 2021
FW Hólmbert Friðjónsson (1993-04-19) 19 April 1993 (age 28) 6 2 Germany Holstein Kiel v.  Liechtenstein, 31 March 2021
FW Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson (1991-02-26) 26 February 1991 (age 30) 17 1 Norway Molde v.  Germany, 25 March 2021 WD
FW Alfreð Finnbogason (1989-02-01) 1 February 1989 (age 32) 61 15 Germany FC Augsburg v.  Denmark, 15 November 2020

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue. EX Player expelled from the squad due to non-injury issue.

.

Previous squads

Records

As of 11 October 2021.[48][49]
Players in bold are still active with Iceland.

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954 Entry not accepted by FIFA Did not participate
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 6 26
Chile 1962 Did not enter Did not enter
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974 Did not qualify 6 0 0 6 2 29
Argentina 1978 6 1 0 5 2 12
Spain 1982 8 2 2 4 10 21
Mexico 1986 6 1 0 5 4 10
Italy 1990 8 1 4 3 6 11
United States 1994 8 3 2 3 7 6
France 1998 10 2 3 5 11 16
South Korea Japan 2002 10 4 1 5 14 20
Germany 2006 10 1 1 8 14 27
South Africa 2010 8 1 2 5 7 13
Brazil 2014 12 5 3 4 17 17
Russia 2018 Group Stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 5 10 7 1 2 16 7
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total Group stage 1/21 3 0 1 2 2 5 106 28 19 59 116 215

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 5
Italy 1968 Did not enter Did not enter
Belgium 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 Did not qualify 6 1 2 3 3 8
Italy 1980 8 0 0 8 2 21
France 1984 8 1 1 6 3 13
West Germany 1988 8 2 2 4 4 14
Sweden 1992 8 2 0 6 7 10
England 1996 8 1 2 5 3 12
Belgium Netherlands 2000 10 4 3 3 12 7
Portugal 2004 8 4 1 3 11 9
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 2 2 8 10 27
Poland Ukraine 2012 8 1 1 6 6 14
France 2016 Quarter-finals 8th 5 2 2 1 8 9 10 6 2 2 17 6
Europe 2020 Did not qualify 12 7 1 4 17 14
Germany 2024 To be determined To be determined
Total Quarter-finals 1/16 5 2 2 1 8 9 107 30 18 59 96 159

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Pld W D L GF GA P/R Rank
Portugal 2018–19 A 2 4 0 0 4 1 13 Same position 12th
Italy 2020–21 A 2 6 0 0 6 3 17 Fall 16th
2022–23 B To be determined
Total 10 0 0 10 4 30 12th

Honours

FIFA ranking history

Source:[50]

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
46 47 39 50 60 72 64 43 50 52 58 58 93 94 93 90 83 92 112 104 90 49 33 36 21 22 37 39 46

See also

References

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  2. ^ Courtney, Barrie (16 May 2008). "Faroe Islands – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  3. ^ Nygård, Jostein (16 May 2008). "International matches of Iceland". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  4. ^ Nygård, Jostein (16 May 2008). "International matches of Iceland". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  5. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 14 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
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  8. ^ "Iceland bow out of World Cup after defeat by Croatia in final group game". The Guardian. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
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  17. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Euro 2004 Qualifying Group Five". BBC News. 11 October 2003. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
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  32. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "World Cup Russia 2018: For Iceland, anything is possible | DW | 30.05.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  33. ^ FIFA.com. "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ - Matches - Argentina - Iceland - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
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  50. ^ [1]

External links

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