Iceland national football team

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 meaning our boys.

Iceland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Strákarnir okkar (Our Boys)
AssociationFootball Association of Iceland (KSÍ)
Knattspyrnusamband Íslands
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachErik Hamrén
CaptainAron Gunnarsson
Most capsRúnar Kristinsson (104)
Top scorerEiður Guðjohnsen & Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (26)
Home stadiumLaugardalsvöllur
FIFA codeISL
First colours
FIFA ranking
Current 39 Steady (16 July 2020)[1]
Highest18 (February–March 2018)
Lowest131 (April–June 2012)
First international
Unofficial:
 Faroe Islands 0–1 Iceland 
(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
Appearances1 (first in 2018)
Best resultGroup stage (2018)
European Championship
Appearances1 (first in 2016)
Best resultQuarter-finals (2016)

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]

HistoryEdit

20th centuryEdit

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, mostly the team 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 centuryEdit

 
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]

Team imageEdit

The national football team uses a blue and white 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 (KIS), strips which derives colors from the Flag of Iceland, and a football.[39][40]

Iceland's supporters became known for using Viking Clap chant in the mid-2010s, which involves fans clapping their hands above their hands and yelling "huh!" to the beat of a drum. Iceland's Viking Clap first received wider international attention during the Euro 2016.[41]

Competitive recordEdit

For the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page.

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
  1934
  1938
  1950
  1954 Entry not accepted by FIFA Did not participate
  1958 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 6 26
  1962 Did not enter Did not enter
  1966
  1970
  1974 Did not qualify 6 0 0 6 2 29
  1978 6 1 0 5 2 12
  1982 8 2 2 4 10 21
  1986 6 1 0 5 4 10
  1990 8 1 4 3 6 11
  1994 8 3 2 3 7 6
  1998 10 2 3 5 11 16
    2002 10 4 1 5 14 20
  2006 10 1 1 8 14 27
  2010 8 1 2 5 7 13
  2014 12 5 3 4 17 17
  2018 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 5 10 7 1 2 16 7
  2022 To be determined To be determined
      2026
Total Group stage 1/21 3 0 1 2 2 5 106 28 19 59 116 215

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Did not enter Did not enter
  1964 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 5
  1968 Did not enter Did not enter
  1972
  1976 Did not qualify 6 1 2 3 3 8
  1980 8 0 0 8 2 21
  1984 8 1 1 6 3 13
  1988 8 2 2 4 4 14
  1992 8 2 0 6 7 10
  1996 8 1 2 5 3 12
    2000 10 4 3 3 12 7
  2004 8 4 1 3 11 9
    2008 12 2 2 8 10 27
    2012 8 1 1 6 6 14
  2016 Quarter-finals 8th 5 2 2 1 8 9 10 6 2 2 17 6
  2020 To be determined 10 6 1 3 14 11
  2024 To be determined
Total Quarter-finals 1/15 5 2 2 1 8 9 106 30 18 58 95 157

Results and fixturesEdit

  Win   Draw   Loss

2019Edit

7 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingIceland  3–0  MoldovaReykjavík, Iceland
16:00 (UTC±0)
Report Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
Attendance: 8,338
Referee: João Pinheiro (Portugal)
10 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingAlbania  4–2  IcelandElbasan, Albania
20:45 (UTC+2)
Report
Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Attendance: 8,652
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
11 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingIceland  0–1  FranceReykjavík, Iceland
18:45 (UTC±0) Report
Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
Attendance: 9,719
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
14 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingIceland  2–0  AndorraReykjavík, Iceland
18:45 (UTC±0)
Report Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
Attendance: 7,169
Referee: Tamás Bognár (Hungary)
14 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingTurkey  0–0  IcelandIstanbul, Turkey
20:00 (UTC+3) Report Stadium: Türk Telekom Stadium
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
17 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingMoldova  1–2  IcelandChișinău, Moldova
21:45 (UTC+2)
Report
Stadium: Zimbru Stadium
Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)

2020Edit

15 January 2020 FriendlyCanada  0–1  IcelandIrvine, United States
Report Hólmar Örn   21' Stadium: Championship Soccer Stadium
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez (United States)
19 January 2020 FriendlyEl Salvador  0–1  IcelandCarson, United States
Report Kjartan Henry   64' Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park
5 September 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2Iceland  v  EnglandReykjavik, Iceland
19:45 BST Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
8 September 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2Belgium  v  IcelandBelgium
19:45 BST
8 October 2020 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offsIceland  v  RomaniaReykjavík, Iceland
20:45 (19:45 UTC±0) Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
11 October 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2Iceland  v  DenmarkReykjavik, Iceland
19:45 BST Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
14 October 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2Iceland  v  BelgiumReykjavik, Iceland
19:45 BST Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur
15 November 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2Denmark  v  IcelandCopenhagen, Denmark
19:45 BST Stadium: Parken
18 November 2020 UEFA Nations League Group A2England  v  IcelandLondon, England
17:00 GMT Stadium: Wembley Stadium

2021Edit

3 January 2021 Kirin Challenge Cup 2021Japan  v  IcelandKyoto, Japan
Stadium: Sanga Stadium by Kyocera

HonoursEdit

FIFA ranking historyEdit

Source:[42]

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
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

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach   Erik Hamrén
Assistant coach   Freyr Alexandersson
Goalkeeping coach   Lars Eriksson

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for friendly matches against Canada and El Salvador on 15 January and 19 January 2020.[43]
All caps and goals are correct as of 19 January 2020 after the match against El Salvador.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Hannes Þór Halldórsson (1984-04-27) 27 April 1984 (age 36) 69 0   Valur
13 1GK Patrik Gunnarsson (2000-11-15) 15 November 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Brentford
12 1GK Elías Rafn Ólafsson (2000-03-11) 11 March 2000 (age 20) 0 0   Aarhus Fremad

2 2DF Birkir Már Sævarsson (1984-11-11) 11 November 1984 (age 35) 92 1   Valur
14 2DF Kári Árnason (1982-10-13) 13 October 1982 (age 37) 83 6   Víkingur Reykjavík
5 2DF Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson (1990-08-06) 6 August 1990 (age 30) 14 2   Levski Sofia
3 2DF Davíð Kristján Ólafsson (1995-05-15) 15 May 1995 (age 25) 2 0   Aalesund
15 2DF Alfons Sampsted (1998-04-06) 6 April 1998 (age 22) 2 0   Norrköping
6 2DF Daníel Leó Grétarsson (1995-10-02) 2 October 1995 (age 24) 1 0   Aalesund
23 2DF Ari Leifsson (1998-04-19) 19 April 1998 (age 22) 1 0   Strømsgodset
16 2DF Oskar Sverrisson (1992-11-26) 26 November 1992 (age 27) 1 0   Häcken

7 3MF Mikael Anderson (1998-07-01) 1 July 1998 (age 22) 5 0   Midtjylland
10 3MF Aron Elís Þrándarson (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 25) 5 0   OB
4 3MF Alex Þór Hauksson (1999-11-26) 26 November 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Stjarnan
8 3MF Bjarni Mark Antonsson (1995-12-27) 27 December 1995 (age 24) 2 0   Brage
22 3MF Höskuldur Gunnlaugsson (1994-09-26) 26 September 1994 (age 25) 1 0   Breiðablik

9 4FW Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (1990-03-14) 14 March 1990 (age 30) 57 26   AIK
19 4FW Viðar Örn Kjartansson (1990-03-11) 11 March 1990 (age 30) 26 3   Rubin Kazan
11 4FW Kjartan Finnbogason (1986-07-09) 9 July 1986 (age 34) 13 3   Vejle
21 4FW Óttar Magnús Karlsson (1997-02-21) 21 February 1997 (age 23) 9 2   Víkingur Reykjavík
20 4FW Kristján Flóki Finnbogason (1995-01-12) 12 January 1995 (age 25) 6 1   KR
17 4FW Tryggvi Hrafn Haraldsson (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 23) 4 1   ÍA
18 4FW Stefán Teitur Þórðarson (1998-10-16) 16 October 1998 (age 21) 2 0   ÍA

Recent call-upsEdit

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 Ögmundur Kristinsson (1989-06-19) 19 June 1989 (age 31) 15 0   AEL v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
GK Ingvar Jónsson (1989-10-18) 18 October 1989 (age 30) 8 0   Víkingur Reykjavík v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
GK Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 (age 25) 5 0   Dijon v.   Turkey, 14 November 2019 INJ

DF Ragnar Sigurðsson (1986-06-19) 19 June 1986 (age 34) 94 5   Copenhagen v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
DF Ari Freyr Skúlason (1987-05-14) 14 May 1987 (age 33) 72 0   Oostende v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
DF Sverrir Ingi Ingason (1993-08-05) 5 August 1993 (age 27) 29 3   PAOK v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
DF Hörður Björgvin Magnússon (1993-02-11) 11 February 1993 (age 27) 28 2   CSKA Moscow v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
DF Jón Guðni Fjóluson (1989-04-10) 10 April 1989 (age 31) 16 1   Krasnodar v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
DF Hjörtur Hermannsson (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 25) 14 1   Brøndby v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019

MF Emil Hallfreðsson (1984-06-29) 29 June 1984 (age 36) 71 1   Padova v.   Canada, 15 January 2020
MF Samúel Friðjónsson (1996-02-22) 22 February 1996 (age 24) 8 0   Paderborn 07 v.   Canada, 15 January 2020
MF Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson (1998-11-26) 26 November 1998 (age 21) 3 1   AGF v.   Canada, 15 January 2020
MF Birkir Bjarnason (1988-05-27) 27 May 1988 (age 32) 84 13   Brescia v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
MF Gylfi Sigurðsson (1989-09-08) 8 September 1989 (age 30) 74 22   Everton v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
MF Arnór Ingvi Traustason (1993-04-30) 30 April 1993 (age 27) 33 5   Malmö v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
MF Victor Pálsson (1991-04-30) 30 April 1991 (age 29) 15 0   Darmstadt 98 v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
MF Arnór Sigurðsson (1999-05-15) 15 May 1999 (age 21) 8 1   CSKA Moscow v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
MF Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson (1990-06-18) 18 June 1990 (age 30) 25 1   Astana v.   Turkey, 14 November 2019 INJ
MF Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (1990-10-27) 27 October 1990 (age 29) 75 8   Burnley v.   Andorra, 14 October 2019 INJ
MF Aron Gunnarsson (Captain) (1989-04-22) 22 April 1989 (age 31) 87 2   Al-Arabi v.   France, 11 October 2019 INJ

FW Alfreð Finnbogason (1989-02-01) 1 February 1989 (age 31) 57 16   Augsburg v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
FW Jón Daði Böðvarsson (1992-05-25) 25 May 1992 (age 28) 48 3   Millwall v.   Moldova, 17 November 2019
FW Albert Guðmundsson (1997-06-15) 15 June 1997 (age 23) 11 3   AZ v.   Albania, 10 September 2019

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
WTD Player withdrew from the national team.
SUS Player is serving suspension.

Previous squadsEdit

Kit providersEdit

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
  Umbro 1975
  Adidas 1976–1991
  ABM 1992–1996
  Reusch 1996–2001
  Erreà 2002–2020
  Puma 2020–

RecordsEdit

Most capsEdit

As of 19 January 2020, the 20 players with the most caps for Iceland are:

Note: Some unofficial matches are counted for some players, as per the KSÍ count.

 
Hermann Hreiðarsson played 89 games for Iceland between 1996 and 2011, which puts him fourth in the nation's appearances list.
Rank Name Career Caps Goals
1 Rúnar Kristinsson 1987–2004 104 3
2 Ragnar Sigurðsson 2007– 94 5
3 Birkir Már Sævarsson 2007– 92 1
4 Hermann Hreiðarsson 1996–2011 89 5
5 Eiður Guðjohnsen 1996–2016 88 26
6 Aron Einar Gunnarsson 2008– 87 2
7 Birkir Bjarnason 2010– 84 13
8 Kári Árnason 2005– 83 6
9 Guðni Bergsson 1984–2003 80 1
10 Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 2008– 75 8
11 Brynjar Björn Gunnarsson 1997–2009 74 4
Birkir Kristinsson 1988–2004 74 0
Gylfi Sigurðsson 2010– 74 22
14 Arnór Guðjohnsen 1979–1997 73 14
15 Ólafur Þórðarson 1984–1996 72 5
Ari Freyr Skúlason 2009– 72 0
17 Arnar Grétarsson 1991–2004 71 2
Árni Gautur Arason 1998–2010 71 0
Emil Hallfreðsson 2005– 71 1
20 Atli Eðvaldsson 1976–1991 70 8

In bold players still playing or available for selection.

Top goalscorersEdit

As of 19 January 2020, the 20 players with the most goals for Iceland are:

Note: Some unofficial matches are counted for some players, as per the KSÍ count.

 
Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen scored a record 26 goals for Iceland in a 20-year international career.
Rank Name Career Goals Caps GPG
1 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson 2010– 26 57 0.46
Eiður Guðjohnsen (list) 1996–2016 26 88 0.30
3 Gylfi Sigurðsson 2010– 22 74 0.30
4 Ríkharður Jónsson 1947–1965 17 33 0.52
5 Alfreð Finnbogason 2010– 16 57 0.28
6 Ríkharður Daðason 1991–2004 14 44 0.32
Arnór Guðjohnsen 1979–1997 14 73 0.19
8 Þórður Guðjónsson 1993–2004 13 58 0.22
Birkir Bjarnason 2010– 13 84 0.15
10 Tryggvi Guðmundsson 1997–2008 12 42 0.29
Heiðar Helguson 1999–2011 12 55 0.22
12 Pétur Pétursson 1978–1990 11 41 0.27
Matthías Hallgrímsson 1968–1977 11 45 0.24
14 Helgi Sigurðsson 1993–2008 10 62 0.16
Eyjólfur Sverrisson 1990–2001 10 66 0.15
16 Þórður Þórðarson 1951–1958 9 16 0.56
Teitur Þórðarson 1972–1985 9 41 0.22
18 Guðmundur Steinsson 1980–1988 8 19 0.42
Sigurður Grétarsson 1980–1992 8 46 0.17
Marteinn Geirsson 1971–1982 8 67 0.12
Atli Eðvaldsson 1976–1991 8 70 0.11
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 2008– 8 75 0.11

In bold players still playing or available for selection.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Courtney, Barrie (16 May 2008). "Faroe Islands – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
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  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. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
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  18. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Germany reach Euro 2004". BBC News. 11 October 2003. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
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  42. ^ [1]
  43. ^ https://www.ksi.is/um-ksi/frettir/frettasafn/frett/2019/12/30/23-leikmenn-til-Bandarikjanna/

External linksEdit