Iceland Keep the Magic Alive in Russia #260

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During the European Championships In France two years ago Iceland a country of 300,000 people one of the smallest countries in Europe caught the attention of the world. Iceland were playing in just the first tournament in their countries history the last thing we ever expected was for them to be as magical as they ended up being. Iceland fought their the odds against Ronaldo’s Portugal drawing even with the eventual European champions. They finished Second in their group to advance to an historic knockout round Earning a Round of 16 Match up against England as they made the last 8 two years ago.

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This was unprecedented territory for a team who never even got a sniff at a tournament. They truly captivated all of Europe and most of the world with their different cast and characters and their iconic and gratifying Thunderclap. Their fans and supporters were almost the best part of all of it. You truly wanted this team succeed in fact the only people who wanted England to win is people from England. We fell in love with this team and this nation that showed on precedent, emotion and belief. This was unlike any team we seen in this tournament the Euros is where the best European countries do battle although we have seen some Underdog stories this one was really special because no one thought it could come for a country of 300,000 people to have a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals was just unreal. The entire world fell in love with them and even though everything and everyone was stacked against them they never gave up and they kept going. On that faithful Day in France on the biggest stages anybody in Icelandic football culture ever been apart of the magical run only continued it was something to celebrate in its own right. But this group who believed in one another this group were not going to be denied even against The Three Lions. They sent shockwaves through all of Europe as they did the impossible they dethroned England a England team with exceptional players like Harry Kane Raheem Sterling Marcus Rashford Jamie vardy and others could not stop this Iceland team. They ended up losing in the quarterfinals to the hosts as France ended their dream in a 5-2 drubbing. However this Icelandic Story is one that will be told throughout time this ended up being only the first chapter of what they possessed. A team managed by a part-time dentist a goalkeeper that is a film director as well as many other crazy stories attached to the players. Iceland was happy with their performance but was not satisfied as they had bigger Targets in mind to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia. This was no easy task as this Iceland team ended up in qualifying group I in the European region. They ended up in a group with Croatia the Ukraine turkey Finland and Kosovo. Just based off the other teams in their group they were already underestimated there no way they could do this again right? The Ukraine Croatia and turkey are very strong sides that talent wise are far superior. Their fans their people and their team believed and Magic repeated itself. Iceland ended up topping the group making it to their second straight International Tournament after and having qualified for none before 2016 the same crew with the same cast of characters were heading for Russia. It would be Iceland’s first World Cup in history. Iceland would be grouped with Argentina Nigeria and Croatia in group D. The question became could Iceland keep the magic going once arriving in Russia they would end up having to face the biggest test of them all trying to stop Leo Messi and Argentina. But there is just something special about this little team from Iceland. In The Opening match of the World Cup Argentina opened up the scoring with Sergio Aguero to give Argentina the lead. Iceland didn’t give up and equalized within minutes despite Argentina dominating The Possession and the match. There was a defining moments in this game in which Iceland truly arrived at the World Cup. Iceland gave up a penalty to Argentina in the second half. Up stepped Barcelona Superstar Leo Messi one of the greatest players of all time. Messi took his penalty to the left side and the Icelandic goalkeeper and part-time film director read him like a book saving what would have been a game-winning goal. Iceland defended the Argentina attack extremely well for the remainder of the game and they got an historic 1-1 draw against the South American heavy weights. In the process holding Leo Messi to one of the worst games of his career 11 shots no goals only 3 On Target. Much like how they played Cristiano Ronaldo 2 years ago they stopped the Superstar and they got the point. They could not have started this world cup any better the fans throughout the game created an incredible atmosphere as their supporters did the Vikings chance throughout the game. The people of Iceland will always remember a monumental result like this one. Once again their magic continues at the world cup with games against Nigeria and Croatia qualifying for The Knockout rounds is not out of the question. Iceland is a team that on there day can beat anyone but HOW FAR CAN THEY GO?………….

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Group D

Crotaia

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