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Category: Iceland

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World Cup 2018 draw – live!

Russia 2018 groups decided at draw in Moscow, from 3pm GMTStadium guide | Create your own draw | How the draw worksAnd feel free to email Simon or tweet him @Simon_Burnton 2.13pm GMT Update: Diego Maradona has located a razor. And a suit. And a comedy …

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Russia World Cup 2018 draw: team-by-team guide to all 32 countries

With the draw taking place in Moscow on Friday, here is everything you need to know about the teams, from star players to tactics and the ones to watch Continue reading…

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Bristol City’s Hordur Magnusson: ‘The Iceland mentality is quite different’ | Ben Fisher

Bristol City’s Hordur Magnusson recalls Iceland’s shock win over England as Roy Hodgson, the beaten manager that day, brings Crystal Palace to Ashton GateHordur Magnusson is speaking about an unforgettable 18 months playing for Iceland when he is remin…

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Germany on top among qualified 23 | Nick Ames

Twenty-three nations have booked their places for the World Cup in Russia, with the holders and Brazil looking in good shape but we rank England in 13th place, below Iceland

If the world champions were frustrated by their failure to win continental honours at Euro 2016 they have certainly taken it out on everyone else since. Germany won 10 qualifying games out of 10 and, even if San Marino’s presence in Group C needs taking into account, a record 43 goals scored suggests things are back in their old working order. So too did their Confederations Cup title in July, achieved with an experimental squad; Joachim Low can select from an unrivalled depth of talent and, while winning back-to-back World Cups remain a huge task, none of next summer’s contenders has an equivalent selection of tools with which to tackle the different challenges they will face.

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Iceland get the party started after showing they are no one-hit wonders

Iceland are going to their first World Cup and have reached the big time again without losing any of their small-time charm, with the coach addressing fans in a bar before the decisive win over Kosovo

Amid the flurry of bodies there was, fleetingly, a moment when Gylfi Sigurdsson just wanted to take it all in. Three hours had passed since full-time and the music had never really stopped; now Iceland’s players and staff were dancing on stage with the local rapper Emmsje Gauti and if a football match is exertion enough then this, feeding from the energy of the thousands who had greeted them on Ingolfstorg Square, was an exercise fuelled purely by adrenaline. Sigurdsson paused, puffed out his cheeks slightly and had a word in the ear of his team‑mate and captain, Aron Gunnarsson. Both men glanced at the blue-clad throng in front of them, and back at each other. The grins that spread across their faces rendered further conversation unnecessary.

“I thought that, after the Euros, the toughest thing to do would be to restart,” the Iceland manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson, had said back at the Laugardalsvollur stadium, which emptied swiftly after the 2-0 victory against Kosovo in order that the celebrations might continue in Reykjavik city centre. “The first beer the day after a party is not good-tasting; I think tomorrow it won’t taste as good as now.”

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Celebrations as Iceland become smallest country to qualify for World Cup – video

Icelanders celebrate after sealing a place in the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik. The victory makes Iceland the smallest nation to have qualified for a World Cup. Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored five minutes before half-time and set up the second for Johann Berg Gudmundsson midway through the second half. 

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Iceland become smallest nation ever to qualify for World Cup finals

• Win over Kosovo secures place at World Cup 2018 in Russia
• Serbia seal qualification, Croatia confirm play-off place

Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup finals.

Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team knew a win against Group I’s bottom side would guarantee top spot and an automatic qualifying place, and Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson settled their nerves with a superbly taken goal five minutes before half-time.

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Spain seal finals spot while Iceland take giant stride towards first World Cup

• Pique again the target of jeers as Spain seal place in Russia
• Iceland edge closer, while Italy are held by Macedonia

Spain sealed their place in next year’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Albania, while Iceland are on the verge of their first finals after recording a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Turkey in Istanbul.

First-half goals from Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago helped make it eight wins from nine matches in Group G for Julen Lopetegui’s unbeaten Spain side, in a match which saw La Roja centre-back Gerard Pique once again the target of whistles and jeers.

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Spain seal finals spot while Iceland take giant stride towards first World Cup

• Pique again the target of jeers as Spain seal place in Russia
• Iceland edge closer, while Italy are held by Macedonia

Spain sealed their place in next year’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Albania, while Iceland are on the verge of their first finals after recording a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Turkey in Istanbul.

First-half goals from Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago helped make it eight wins from nine matches in Group G for Julen Lopetegui’s unbeaten Spain side, in a match which saw La Roja centre-back Gerard Pique once again the target of whistles and jeers.

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World Cup qualifiers: previews for five of the week’s most intriguing matches

A look at Scotland v Slovakia, Northern Ireland v Germany, Montenegro v Denmark, Turkey v Iceland and Bulgaria v France

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Slovakia’s visit to Glasgow is enormous for Gordon Strachan’s men, who know they will finish second in Group F if they win their final two qualifying games. Anything other than a win on Thursday night will probably be too little for Scotland. Defeat would end their hopes entirely, leaving Slovakia and Slovenia to fight it out for a top-two spot with England; while a draw would give Slovakia a one-point advantage before the final round of fixtures, when they have a favourable home game against Malta. Jan Kozak’s side wouldn’t be disheartened with a share of the spoils provided their neighbours Slovenia, who are also in with a shout of qualifying, don’t spring an upset at Wembley.

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Iceland’s Hordur Magnusson proves too much for Ireland’s second string

Hordur Magnusson’s first-half free-kick was enough to give Iceland a 1-0 friendly victory over a second-string Republic of Ireland side in Dublin.

The Bristol City defender curled home a 21st-minute free-kick as Martin O’Neill’s side spluttered through the first half before belatedly finding a rhythm.

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France v Spain, Holland v Italy and more: international clockwatch – live

• Updates from the latest round of internationals

• Email simon.burnton@theguardian.com or tweet him @Simon_Burnton

Lionel Messi banned for four Argentina matches after insulting official

4.53pm BST

Simon Burnton will be here shortly …

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Arctic blasts force Icelandic football match to be abandoned … eventually – video

An Icelandic League Cup match between Breiðablik and Fram is abandoned on Thursday when extreme weather forces the referee to stop the match after 70 minutes of play. Footage posted to social media shows players huddling for warmth on the bench, as heavy snow and wind forces play to stop. The Football Association of Iceland has not yet rescheduled the game

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A 2016 football moment to remember: Iceland light up Euro 2016

Increasing the European Championship to 24 teams was not a popular decision at first but one of the debutants supplied the most memorable storyline of the tournament

Increasing the European Championship to 24 teams seemed like a typically ham-fisted attempt by a governing body to meddle with football for meddling’s sake. The extended competition inspired typical disdain from football purists, with its cumbersome mathematical formula and its abundance of minnows who could hardly be expected to aspire to much.

It is at this point that Cristiano Ronaldo entered the conversation. After Portugal drew their opening fixture against Iceland, opprobrium poured out of the modern game’s iconic superhero in the form of a piqued hissy fit. “I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end,” he tutted. “It was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in this competition.” Ronaldo may be a man of many gifts, but for various reasons this turned out not to be his finest piece of rhetoric.

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A 2016 football moment to remember: Iceland light up Euro 2016

Increasing the European Championship to 24 teams was not a popular decision at first but one of the debutants supplied the most memorable storyline of the tournament

Increasing the European Championship to 24 teams seemed like a typically ham-fisted attempt by a governing body to meddle with football for meddling’s sake. The extended competition inspired typical disdain from football purists, with its cumbersome mathematical formula and its abundance of minnows who could hardly be expected to aspire to much.

It is at this point that Cristiano Ronaldo entered the conversation. After Portugal drew their opening fixture against Iceland, opprobrium poured out of the modern game’s iconic superhero in the form of a piqued hissy fit. “I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end,” he tutted. “It was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in this competition.” Ronaldo may be a man of many gifts, but for various reasons this turned out not to be his finest piece of rhetoric.

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International football: 10 things to look out for in World Cup 2018 qualifying

Ramsey’s Wales return, Yiadom’s controversial Ghana inclusion, Southgate and Strachan heading in opposite directions and a fairytale comeback for Falcao

Gareth Southgate is at the beginning, Gordon Strachan could be approaching
the end. But both managers are under pressure before Friday night’s
qualifier at Wembley. While Southgate has shown that he is not afraid to
make big calls, dropping Wayne Rooney for the fortunate goalless draw in
Slovenia, England’s caretaker oversaw underwhelming performances in his
first two matches and would not be seen as an inspiring permanent appointment
if his team fails to convince against Scotland. The return of Harry Kane
and Raheem Sterling should enhance England’s threat, however, and it is
Strachan who has bigger problems. Robert Snodgrass has been in fine form
for Hull City and the jinking winger could give England’s defence plenty to
think about, yet Strachan’s stock is perilously low after last month’s
defeat to Slovakia
and defeat in this match would surely be the final straw. JS

Players can land Southgate the England job full-time, says Lallana
Pitches, coaches and iPads: what are the reasons for Scotland’s talent decline?Kane calls for ‘calm heads’ in England clash with Scotland
Daniel Taylor: Wilshere raring to go after rediscovering love for game

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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If English football is short of coaches, why are badges cheaper in Germany?

Every time England fail at a tournament we hear that grassroots football needs more investment. Reducing the cost of coaching badges would be a good start

By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport Network

As soon as England beat an inglorious retreat from yet another international tournament, there are calls for wholesale changes. This repetitive cry was particularly pronounced after the debacle of the exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, whose football association, KSI, has a turnover of only £7m compared to the £318m the FA brought in last year.

Sam Allardyce has been installed as the England manager, but one of the fundamental problems for English football is the lack of a coherent and co-ordinated approach to grassroots football. English football has a long, tortured history of various factions working against each other. The Football League has been at loggerheads with the FA at varying degrees of intensity since the league was founded in 1888 and, more recently, the omnipotence of the Premier League has added to the internecine strife.

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Iceland? Motherwell? Lens? Where did the ‘thunderclap’ originate? | The Knowledge

Plus: in at the international deep end, North Korea’s lucky 1966 run, and more flying beasties. Mail your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Where did this bloody Icelandic clap really first come from?” asks Simon Weaver.

Every time a new song is aired or a new action appears on the terraces its origin is met by claim and counter-claim, with only a few exceptions (see: the Poznan, the Mexican wave). This summer’s fashionables,

Mitro’s
Will Grigg’s on Fire and the Icelandic Viking clap/haka/chant/thunderclap/roar/train, are no different and are coming back to a stadium near you very soon.

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