The Applause of a Nation: How Iceland shook Europe

(Posted on 15/07/16)

The Applause of a Nation: How Iceland shook Europe
If asked two months ago about what you know about Icelandic football, we could have told you about three things. They play in blue, Eidur Gudjohnsen use to play for them and they somehow qualified for Euro 2016.
 
2016 has essentially been the year of the under-dog. However, Leicester’s Premier League win and Wales’ semi-final appearance at the championships almost pales into insignificance when you think about it.
 
Europe’s minnows, the smallest of the David’s who were about to face the biggest of the goliath’s. Commentators, pundits and journalists looked at them with glee whilst whacking out the biggest book of cliché’s they’ve got from the work desk draw. 
 
You’d have to go a long long way to see where it all began for KSI, so far back that the current squad would be in nappies. With the new structure in place from young children all the way to the senior team the love for the game has advanced to levels never seen before. 
 
Just 330,000 people live on the Nordic island, less than the population of Coventry and the chance of an Icelandic citizen being in the national team is a thousand to one. But still the football association has managed to bring through some of the best talent in Europe with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson. 
 
Iceland progressed through the group stages drawing with eventual tournament winners Portugal as well as Hungary. A final group game win over Austria saw them qualify and all of a sudden the spotlight was on them.
 
However, spirit and determination would see them win the biggest game of their history. The nickname of the Icelandic football team is Strákarnir okkar, which for those of you who don’t speak Icelandic means ‘Our Boys’. That connection between fans and players (with many of the players claiming they knew half of those in the stadium) was key. The hand-clap trend that swept the Euro’s was of course all began among Icelanders, who blew the support of other nations away. Even Gareth Bale and Wales just had to join in following their Quarter-Final shock win over Belgium.
 
Losing to the host nation France 5-2 in the Quarter-Final was nothing to be ashamed of, and now the whole of Europe is sitting up and waiting to see what comes next from a country managed by a full-time dentist. 
 
They won the hearts of millions wearing their traditional blue shirt with red stripe to represent the flag that they fall upon, alongside just over a quarter of a millions others. The Errea design is smart and comfortable, but more than anything has created footballing history as the shirt that saw them see off England in the Round of 16, coming from a goal behind in the process. 
 
You can have your own slice of history by purchasing your very own shirt right here on Vintagefootballshirts.com through the link here
 
But with such a talented squad and sheer togetherness, we hope there will be a lot more to come from the small nation with big heart, and that we see another shirt at either a World Cup or European Championships in the future. 
 
Koma á Ísland! 
 
2016-17 Iceland Home Shirt *BNIB*

2016-17 Iceland Home Shirt *BNIB*

£55.00
(Approx $73 / €62)

Latest from VFS blog

National Football Museum | A VFS Away Day

National Football Museum | A VFS Away Day

Planet earth inhabits over seven billion human beings all with their own varying dreams and passions...

Read more


6 Of the Best | Non-League Day

6 Of the Best | Non-League Day

For many people this weekend is seen as an unwelcome break to club football as the final World Cup qualifiers...

Read more


TOP 6 | Football Matches Played Behind Closed Doors

TOP 6 | Football Matches Played Behind Closed Doors

Football is a wonderful game that’s made even greater by the fans who make it, the roar of the...

Read more


VFS Goes Stateside | Messi, Concussions & Goalkeeper Shirts

VFS Goes Stateside | Messi, Concussions & Goalkeeper Shirts

Football in the United States has gone from being a nothing sport of indoor soccer played by ageing...

Read more


Second City Derby | Hardcore Villains & Zulus

Second City Derby | Hardcore Villains & Zulus

Football derbies in England often see passion off the pitch overspill and turn grounds in to a...

Read more


The Battle of Old Trafford

The Battle of Old Trafford

From tunnel tantrums to penalty mishaps Manchester United and Arsenal at a time was the most highly...

Read more