冰岛足球,太震撼人心了。
我永远热爱团队足球。

Elf:

写的真好,翻的也好,看得泪目,准备比赛看起,希望能尽量走的远一点





冰岛队长贡纳松亲笔信:冰龙驾到 


由  LuisdeCarvalho 发表在虎扑足球·世界杯专区 




但愿我们的世界杯对手不会读到这篇文章,因为我会和盘托出让我们这个弹丸小国的足球变得如此强大的所有原因。




但是首先,关于冰岛我有些事情要解释清楚。因为现在有件事情成功地引起了我的注意,每当我和人见面,他们都会说,“哇,你是冰岛来的?酷毙了啊。有极光啊!碉堡啊,大兄弟!”




欧洲杯上的成功将冰岛置于聚光灯下,在那之后似乎每个人适逢假期都开始选择雷克雅未克作为目的地。




但我并不是来自冰岛度假胜地那一块儿的。




我来自冰岛北境。




如果你试图在老版地图上寻找我的家乡,上面就这么说:此处冰龙出没。




我的家乡是一个叫做阿克雷里的地方,常住人口差不多18000人。那里除了运动以外真的没什么别的事情可做,于是我就踢起了足球。当然了,我曾经的梦想是踢上职业足球。但是这就有两个问题了。




第一,我只能在夏天踢球。你也知道,到了冬天球场上积得满满都是……来,大家跟我大声念出来!你猜对了:积满了冰和雪。我说的可不是你们英格兰的那种冬天,有那么几厘米的积雪就搞得鸡飞狗跳的。我说的是真正的冬天。好几米的积雪。零下10度。一天只有四五个小时的日照。




看过《权力的游戏》吗?好了,那你心里应该有个数了。




所以每逢冬天,我就改玩手球。但这并不能解决我的第二大足球难题。你知道,等到积雪终于融化,我也没法在草地上踢球。这种奢侈体验是专门为成年队球员们预留的。




这样一来我就必须要在沙地上踢球。




不跟你开玩笑。




说这个情况不理想,一点都不为过。有一天我拖着腿上一道可怕的豁口回到家中,我老妈整个惊呆了。不无意外,我只不过做了个滑铲而已,但是看了这伤口你会觉得我刚和狗熊博了命。




我的起步球队叫做索尔,就是以那个雷神命名的。(真不是我编的——不信你可以问我妈。)而我太渴望成为职业球员了。我反复练着冲刺跑,泡在健身房里……简单说,我像个疯子一样在努力。但我也知道摆在我面前的是各种各样的困难。我不断地问自己这些问题,然而答案却不容我乐观。




——阿隆,有多少职业球员是从阿克雷里走出去的?




不多。




——那么只有夏天能在沙地上踢球的你能踢到什么程度呢?




可能好不到哪里去。




但我选择无视这些事实。随之而来的就是一个天翻地覆的变化。几年前,冰岛足协投入重金建设了很多带有人工草的室内球场。突然之间冰岛的每个孩子都能一年四季踢上足球了。




你有意识到这对我们而言是多么大条的一件事吗?一整年!




不用想,我立马就搬去了我们村当地的室内球场。我把那里变成了我的客厅。一般来说到了晚上他们得赶我离开才行。物质条件虽然已经具备,但心魔仍难以突破。我的意思是,如果你是一位来自冰岛的球员,没人当真相信你能有什么大作为。事实上还有过这么一次,我们一个国家队队友跟我分享了他的故事,说他当年将自己的欧洲杯梦想告诉了教练。




“这是个好想法,”那位教练说道,“只可惜你是冰岛人。”




挺丧的吧?




个人层面上我并没有让这件事影响到我,但是我深知自己必须要离开冰岛才能在球员生涯上有所突破。所以当我收到了来自荷兰阿尔克马尔的邀请时,我毫不犹豫地接受了。那年我17岁。兄弟,当时是真的苦。那里的足球完全是另一个等级的。在我的第一堂训练课上,我被人穿裆了4次。我无地自容到真的有考虑马上就坐飞机回冰岛。




但最为艰难的一面还是离开我的家人。最初的2个月里我躲在旅馆里,给我母亲打电话,哭诉着说这并不是我真正想要的。谢天谢地,我的家人鼓励我坚持下去,而内心深处我仍然一股劲地想要克服困难。




我想这些眼泪都不是白流的,因为18个月后我得到了冰岛成年国家队的征召。他们正在马耳他准备和白俄罗斯的友谊赛,而我必须立刻飞过去才能赶上比赛时间。唯一的问题是我连车都没有。在荷兰的第一年,我去哪都是靠骑车因为这是我唯一能承担得起的交通方式。




然后你知道我老妈做了什么吗?她给我买了辆小电瓶。




一辆红色的电瓶车。讲真看起来更像是个小摩托,让我觉得倒是挺社会的。我还真的跟这小电瓶摩擦出了感情,有点形影不离的感觉。所以当国家队征召的时候,我背起背包,戴上头盔就一路骑到了火车站,在那里搭火车去了机场。




老妈,这可多亏了你 🙂




于是我就此起飞化梦想为现实,成为冰岛国脚,这感觉简直难以置信。飞回荷兰之后我仍感觉置身云端,我兴奋坏了。现在我可是大牌球员了吧?好嘞,我一边想着一边走出火车站去取我的电瓶车……在我眼前的景象是?




我的电瓶车应该不偏不倚地停放着的那个位置,除了一个拴着铁链的轮子之外啥也不剩了。




妈蛋有人在我跟白俄罗斯打比赛的时候偷了我的电瓶车。




我老妈对此仅仅一笑置之,但我跟你讲,我是真心气炸了!这次偷车事件迅速将我带回了现实世界。




几年后,我随队晋级2011年丹麦U21欧青赛。那可是件了不得的事,因为冰岛头一回晋级。等到后来参加2014年世预赛的时候,那支国家队里的很多人都来自我们那支U21。




当然了,即便有这么多青年才俊,我们仍不被看好进军世界杯。




以前人们会说,“冰岛?呐,冰岛又没什么世界级球星。”




但,实际情况是,因为只有33万居民……我们甚至连球员都没多少。




所以我们的足球必须要踢得聪明些。而就在此时我们的前任教练拉尔斯-拉格贝克走上了前台。




看着拉尔斯,你会觉得他不像是个战绩彪炳的教练。他被极大地低估了。但是,哥们儿,这个男人对一切胸有成竹。2011年初到球队之后,他开始召集会议讨论我们过去的防守方式。会议非常长,而且说实话,无聊透顶。真的太,太无聊了。但是拉尔斯一意孤行。站位、角球、边线球……没一个有意思的。训练当中,我们会进行攻防演练,仅仅是因为让我们能够熟练防守站位。




正是因为那股团队精神,我们打进了世预赛附加赛,对手是克罗地亚。当我们主场拿到一场0-0平局的时候……说实话,我本以为我们还有机会。然后去到克罗地亚,他们虽然1-0领先但是被罚下一人,我们只需要一个进球。一个进球。我们如此之接近……




但我们却与其失之交臂。




克罗地亚2-0取胜。




比赛完了以后我们的更衣室就像一片坟场。不仅仅是因为我们没能赢球,更是因为我们没能好好发挥。但这时候有人说了句,“好了……那咱们就去欧洲杯吧!”




我至今仍不知这句话出自哪位,但我记得当时的想法,他说的没错。爱谁谁。我们这就快点翻篇吧。




于是这就是我们后来的故事。我们开始加倍努力。而在2016年欧洲杯的晋级过程中,我们越战越勇越战越强。我们的球迷也其中也有很大的功劳。我们10月在主场对阵荷兰的时候,我记得我们1-0取得领先,然后球场安静了下来……然后……




BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!




我转过身去。那是谁?听起来像是打雷的身影。




BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!




我一阵脊背发凉。




BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!




我想你明白了,这是我们的球迷第一次做出现在举世闻名的维京战吼。可能观战我们比赛的球迷只有10000人,但是当他们发出维京战吼的时候……兄弟,感觉就像是十万勇士助阵。




那天晚上,我看着不少荷兰球员的脸色不禁思忖:哇……他们肯定也瘆得慌。




到预选赛尾声阶段,我们需要在主场对阵哈萨克斯坦时拿到1分,这样我们就会成为有史以来参加欧洲杯的最小国家。那场比赛非常煎熬。我甚至还被红牌罚下。但是当我们艰难砍下那场0-0平局时……我们整个爆发了。我穿着外套就冲进场内。我们这次的维京战吼如此嘹亮想必全冰岛都能听到。那天夜里当我们去到雷克雅未克市里的广场,我们看见成千上万的球迷在那里翘首以盼。




就是在这里一刻你真的意识到你的祖国以你为荣,你知道吗。




当然了,晋级是一回事。欧洲杯本身呢?谁知道啊?很多人觉得我们别丢人现眼已是万幸了。




这很有意思,因为我清楚地记得在何时我意识到我们并不是一支平庸的球队。那是在欧洲杯开打前不久的一次训练后,艾杜尔-古德约翰松过来我面前。




他说:“阿隆你知道吗……我个人来说真的会很不想对阵我们这种球队。”




我说:“什么意思?”




他说:“恩,球场上没有任何空间。我想要打传倒,我想要创造机会……但是我就是做不到。”




就是这一刻我恍然大悟。因为如果你不知道的话,我来告诉你古德约翰松可是足球名门。他效力过瓜迪奥拉的巴塞罗那——他可是和罗纳尔迪尼奥还有梅西搭档过的男人。基本上,如果艾杜尔说你的防守很牛掰,那你是真的有一条很强的后防线。




我们的揭幕战是打葡萄牙。所有人都在说C罗会对我们如何予取予求。“他会进几个?2球?帽子戏法?”




所以当我们守出了一场1-1平局……好了,葡萄牙人可不高兴了。




不用想都知道,我们庆祝了。然后我看到C罗批评我们的“小国心态”。




而我想着,“等等,我们之前可从没有走上过这样的舞台。你是驾轻就熟了。我们是冰岛。我们当然很自豪啦!”




随后对阵匈牙利我们只能勉强取得平局,所以在小组赛最后一场比赛里我们需要在奥地利身上拿走1分。他们需要赢球。一如既往地,我们篱笆扎得很紧。90分钟的时候比分是1-1……他们对我们施加着压力……我们解围了一个角球,发动反击……然后我们进球了!




阿尔诺尔-特劳斯塔松!94分钟!冰岛晋级淘汰赛!




难以置信……




我猜你可能已经看过冰岛电视台解说在我们进球时候暴走的视频了吧。这个视频火遍大江南北,这也丝毫不奇怪。我的意思是,这家伙是真的抓狂了。他又是喊又是哭,嗓子都失声了。




但关键在于,在冰岛的每个人都对此感同身受。不仅仅是球员和球迷而已——对于远在家乡的每个人而言都是。我们全都抓狂了。




当我们在场上恣意庆祝的时候,我跑去寻找球迷团体里的大鼓手。我认得他,所以我给了他一个讯号……他立马让所有人安静下来……接着就是我们至今最著名的一次维京战吼演出。我们之前从来没有做到过这种程度,球迷和球员们同心同力。




这是纯粹的,自发的快乐。




BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!




十六强对阵英格兰的比赛前我们非常放松。我们已经达成了目标——余下的多一分便是奖励。事实上我们还带着额外的动力,因为在冰岛大家都爱看英超联赛——电视上会转播每一场比赛。真是每一场都转。所以现在我们手握这次大好机会来给我们的英雄们当头棒喝。然后还生怕有人没做好充足准备似的,古德约翰松还进行了一次发言。




他说:“所有人都吃饱了?我们还想要更多吗?我们还饿吗?”




所有人怒吼回应的场面你可以想像一下。




英格兰那边却是截然相反的状况,我私以为。我几乎都为他们感到难过。他们肩负的压力太大了,这点你绝对能看得出来。他们有很多低级失误,简单的动作都做不好……他们知道要是输给冰岛话将会面对怎样的口诛笔伐。




所有人都在谈英格兰多么多么糟糕,但是再好好看看这场比赛。看看我们的组织有多么严密。我们的跑动。我们限制了场上的空间。我们为各自补位。古德约翰松在那次训练之后所说的话句句属实:对上我们真是糟糕透顶。




比赛结束后,我一股脑地冲向我们的球迷,甚至都忘了和英格兰球员握手。所以如果有你们大英球员读到这个的话……对不起!




所以,然后……好了,我知道这可能听起来有些怪怪的,因为我是这么个一身的纹身留一脸大胡子的冰岛汉子。但当我们庆祝的时候,我曾一度想要哭泣。不骗你。当我们和球迷一起做维京战吼的时候,我一阵阵脊背发凉。




我必须承认在那届欧洲杯之后我们花了好一阵子才将心情平复下来。但是我们做到了。这样的,在我们随后的一次球队会议上,黑米尔-哈尔格里姆松带来了震撼消息让我们回到现实中来。欧洲杯期间他和拉尔斯一同担任教练,但是现在拉尔斯离开我们前去接手了挪威的工作,黑米尔接过了帅位。




他的消息很简明。




冰岛历史上我们从来没有打进过世界杯?




所以……我们为什么做不到呢?




我想说,我们本可以来一句,“我们就是个小冰岛。没人指望我们晋级世界杯。我们也别往自己身上多加压力。”




但是这话是绝对不可能说出口的。这根本不是我们的风格。




事实上,在欧洲杯上,我们就已经派出球探去观察我们的世预赛对手了。这已经能让你对我们的心态有所了解。我们渴望更多。




我们队里有很多球员都已经步入职业生涯暮年。我们都接近30岁了,而我们知道很快就要给年轻球员们让路。正如此,将我们赖以取得成功的价值观继续传递下去更显得极为重要。我想说,我们大可以去俄罗斯然后像巴萨那样去比赛。但是这又有何意义?我们只会是个劣质盗版,我们绝对发挥不出应有的水平。




这不是冰岛的风格。从来不是。




某种方式上,我将我们的风格看做是冰岛的象征。看看我们的球员吧——也许我们不是技术最好的。也许我们不是长相最俊的。但是你想跟我们斗?我猜你不想。




我们团结,我们坚毅,我们无所畏惧。




而这就是我想在俄罗斯灌输给我们的年轻球员的一课。我希望他们知道如果你努力工作,如果你们愿意团结一心,在足球场上一切皆有可能。一切。









There Be Ice Dragons Here


Aron Gunnarsson


ICELAND NATIONAL TEAM




I hope our World Cup opponents aren’t reading this, because I’m gonna tell you exactly what has made our tiny country so successful.


But first, I need to explain a little bit about Iceland. Because I’ve noticed that now, whenever I meet people, they’ll say, “Oh, you’re from Iceland? That’s so cool. Northern Lights! Yeah, man!”


After the Euros put our country in the spotlight, it seemed like everybody started going to Reykjavik on vacation.


But I’m not from the vacation part of Iceland.


I’m from the north of Iceland.


If you try to find my town on old maps, it just says: There Be Ice Dragons Here.


My hometown is a place called Akureyri, with about 18,000 people. There wasn’t really much else to do there except play sports, so I began playing football. Of course, I dreamed of becoming a pro. But there were two problems.


Tattoo Stories With Aron Gunnarsson


First, I could only play in the summer. You see, in the winter, the pitches were covered with … come on, everybody say it together! You guessed it: ice and snow. And I’m not talking about the kind of winters you have in England, where a few centimeters of snow cause panic. I’m talking about proper winters. Several meters of snow. Minus 10 °. Four or five hours of sunlight a day.


Have you seen Game of Thrones? Well, then you get the idea.


So in winter, I played handball instead. But that didn’t solve my second football problem. You see, when the snow finally melted, I didn’t play on grass. That kind of luxury was reserved only for the senior players.


So I had to play on gravel.


Seriously.


Safe to say, it wasn’t ideal. One day I came home with this horrific gash on my leg, and my mother was shocked. Of course, all I had done was to go into a sliding tackle, but you’d think I had been fighting a bear!


The team I started playing for was called Thór, named after the god of thunder. (I’m not making this up — you can ask my mother.) And I wanted to be a footballer so badly. I was doing these sprints, I was hitting the gym … basically, I was working like a madman. But I also knew the odds were stacked against me. I kept asking myself questions, and I didn’t like the answers.


Aron, how many professional footballers have come from Akureyri?


Not many.


And how good can you possibly get by playing only in summer on a gravel pitch?


Probably not very good.


But I chose to ignore the facts. And then came the game-changer. You see, years ago, the Icelandic Football Association invested heavily in these indoor halls with artificial grass. Suddenly every kid in Iceland could play football all year.


Do you realize how big a deal that was for us? All year!


Of course, I immediately moved into my local hall. I made it my living room. They often had to kick me out at night. But there was still this mental block. What I mean by that is, nobody really believed you could win anything as a footballer from Iceland. In fact, this one time, a player on our national team told me a story about how he told his club coach that he dreamed of playing in the Euros.


“That’s a nice thought,” the coach said. “It’s just a shame you’re from Iceland.”


Pretty depressing, right?


Personally I didn’t let that bother me, but I did know I had to leave Iceland to evolve as a player. So when I got the chance to join AZ Alkmaar, in Holland, I took it. I was 17 years old. And man, it was tough. The football was on another level. In my first training session, I got nutmegged four times. I was so embarrassed that I considered jumping on the first flight back to Iceland.


Sam Robles/The Players' Tribune


But the hardest part was leaving my family. I spent the first two months holed up in a hotel, calling my mother, crying, saying I didn’t really want to do this. Thankfully, my family encouraged me to keep going, and deep down I was still hell-bent on making it.


I guess all my tears paid off, because 18 months later I got the call for the Iceland senior squad. They were playing a friendly against Belarus in Malta, and I had to get on a flight immediately in order to make it in time. Only I didn’t have a car. During my first year in Holland, I had been riding a bicycle everywhere because I couldn’t afford anything else.


So you know what my mother did? She bought me a scooter.


A red scooter. It looked more like a motorcycle really, which I thought was kind of badass. I actually grew quite attached to it. So when they called me up to the national team, I strapped on my backpack, put on my bike helmet and drove to the train station, where I got the express train to the airport.


Thanks for that one, mum 🙂


So I go off and live my dream, playing for Iceland, and it’s incredible. I fly back to Holland, and I’m still in the clouds. I’m buzzing. I’m a big time footballer now, right? Well, I walk outside the train station to fetch my scooter from the rack where I had parked it … and what do I see?


In the very spot where my scooter was supposed to be, there’s nothing but a single tire with a chain wrapped around it.


Someone had stolen my damn scooter while I was off playing Belarus.


My mother just laughed about it, but I’m telling you, I was genuinely upset! That robbery really brought me down to earth quickly.


A few years later, I was part of the group that qualified for the 2011 under-21 Euros in Denmark. That was a big deal, because Iceland had never done that. By the time we entered qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, many of us guys from the under-21 team had become part of the senior side.


Of course, even with all that young talent, we were never supposed to make the World Cup.


People always used to say, “Iceland? Bah, there’s not many world-class players in Iceland.”


But, actually, with 330,000 people living there … we don’t have many players full-stop.


So we had to be clever about the way we played. And that’s where our former coach, Lars Lagerbäck, came in.


When you look at Lars, he doesn’t appear to be a prolific coach. He’s very understated. But, man, he knows what he’s doing. When he arrived in 2011 he began holding these meetings about how we defended. They were long, and honestly, extremely boring. Just so, so boring. But Lars kept going on about it. Positioning. Corners. Throw-ins … none of the fun stuff. In training, we’d play attack vs. defense, just so that we could work on our defensive shape.


Because of that collective spirit, we made the playoffs, and faced Croatia. And when we got a 0–0 draw at home… honestly, I thought we had a chance. Then in Croatia, when they went 1–0 up but got a man sent off, we just needed one goal. One goal. We were so close…


But we never made it.


Croatia won 2–0.


Afterwards our locker room was like a graveyard. Not just because we hadn’t won, but because we hadn’t played well. But then somebody says, “Well… Let’s just go to the Euros then!”


I still don’t know who said it, but I remember thinking, He’s right. Screw this. Let’s just move on to the next one.


So that’s what we did. We started working even harder. And in that qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, we just got better and better. Our fans were a huge part of it, too. When we played Holland at home in October, I remember we went up 1—0, and the stadium fell quiet for a bit …  and then …


BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!


I turn around. What was that? It was like the sound of a thunder strike.


BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!


Shivers run down my spine.


BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!


Aron Gunnarsson on The Viking Clap


You see, that was the first time our fans did the famous Viking Clap. We may only play in front of 10,000 people, but when they do that clap … man, it feels like 100,000.


That night, I looked at some of the Holland players, and I thought, Whoa … They must be feeling that.


At the end of qualifying, we needed a point at home against Kazakhstan to become the smallest nation to ever reach the Euros. That match was a struggle. I even managed to get sent off. But when we dug out that 0–0 draw…. We went ballistic. I sprinted out on the pitch with my jacket on. We did the Viking Clap so loudly that the whole of Iceland must have heard it. And when we went to a square in Reykjavik later that night, we saw tens of thousands of people waiting for us.


That’s when you realize that you’ve really made your country proud, you know?


Of course, qualifying was one thing. The tournament itself? Who knows? Many people thought we would be lucky just not to be embarrassed.


It’s funny, because I can recall the exact moment when I realized that we had something special. It was after a training session just before the tournament, when Eidur Gudjohnsen came up to me.


He said, “You know, Aron … I really wouldn’t want to play against us.”


I said, “What do you mean?”


He said, “Well, there’s no space. I wanted to play these passes, and I wanted to create chances … But I just couldn’t.”


And that’s when the penny dropped for me. Because if you didn’t know, Eidur is football royalty. He’s played for Pep Guardiola at Barcelona — he’s played with Ronaldinho and Messi. Basically, if Eidur says you have a great defense, you really do have a great defense.


We started off against Portugal. And everyone was talking about what Cristiano Ronaldo would do to us. “How many will he get? Two goals? A hat-trick?”


So when we ground out a 1–1 draw … well, the Portuguese weren’t happy.


Of course, we celebrated. Then I saw that Ronaldo had criticized us for having a “small-country mentality”.


And I thought, “Hang on, we’ve never been at this stage before. You have done it plenty of times. We’re Iceland. Of course we’re gonna be proud!”


We could only draw against Hungary next, so we needed a point against Austria in the final group game. They needed to win. As usual, we defended well. It was 1–1 on 90 minutes…. They’re putting pressure on us…. We clear a corner, we launch a counter-attack…. And we score!


Arnór Traustason! 94th minute! Iceland goes through to the knockout stage!


Unbelievable….


I guess you may have seen the clip of the commentator on Icelandic TV going berserk when we score. It went viral, and no wonder. I mean, the guy genuinely lost it. He was screaming and crying, losing his voice.


But the thing is, everyone in Iceland was feeling like that. It wasn’t just the players and the fans — it was people back home too. We were all going berserk.


As we celebrated on the pitch, I went looking for the drummer in the Iceland fan group. I knew him, so I gave him a hint … He told everyone to be quiet … and then we did our most famous rendition of the Viking Clap. We had never done it like that before, with both the fans and the players together.


It was just pure, spontaneous joy.


BOOM, BOOM, HÚH!


Thibault Camus/AP Photo


We were so relaxed ahead of the Round of 16 game against England. We had reached our goal — everything else was a bonus. We actually had extra motivation, because everyone in Iceland loves the Premier League — they show every single game on TV. Literally. So now we had this great chance to beat our heroes. And just in case anyone wasn’t fully up for it, Eidur made a speech.


He said, “Is everyone full? Do we want any more? Are we still hungry?”


You can imagine the roar of the response.


It was the opposite for England, I think. I almost felt sorry for them. They were under so much pressure, and you could definitely tell. They were making simple mistakes, getting the basics wrong…. They knew the trouble they would be in if they lost to Iceland.


Everyone spoke about how bad England were, but watch the game again. Look at how organized we are. We run. We shut down space. We cover for each other. What Eidur had said after that training session was spot on: We really are horrible to play against.


When the game was over, I sprinted toward our fans so quickly that I forgot to shake hands with the England players. So if you guys are reading this … sorry!


And, then … well, I know this may sound weird, because I’m this Icelander with all these tattoos and a beard and all that. But as we celebrated, I wanted to cry. Honestly. When we did the Viking Clap with our fans, shivers ran down my spine.


I must admit that it took us a while to come back down to earth after that tournament. But we managed to do it. You see, at our next team meeting, Heimir Hallgrímsson shook us back to life. He had been the joint first coach with Lars during the Euros, but now that Lars had left for the job in Norway, he was in charge.


His message was simple.


We had never made a World Cup in our nation’s history.


So … Why can’t we do it?


Sam Robles/The Players' Tribune


I mean, we could have said, “We’re tiny Iceland. Nobody expects us to qualify. We won’t put any extra pressure on ourselves.”


But there was no way that was happening. That’s just not us.


In fact, at the Euros, we had already sent people to scout our World Cup qualifying opponents. That tells you something about our mindset. We wanted more.   


Some of us players are nearing the end now. We’re in our late 20s and early 30s, and we know we’ll have to give way for younger players soon. That’s why it’s so important that we pass on the values that have made us successful. I mean, we could go to Russia and try to play like Barcelona. But what would be the point? We’d just be a bad copy. We’d definitely be a worse team.


That’s not what Iceland is about. It never has been.


In a way, I see our style as a symbol of Iceland. Just look at some of our players — I mean, maybe we’re not the most technical. Maybe we’re not the prettiest to look at. But would you want to fight us? I don’t think so.


We’re united. We’re tough. We fear nothing.


And that’s the lesson I want to pass on to our young players in Russia. I want them to realize that if you work hard, and if you have guys who are willing to stick together, anything is possible in football. Anything.





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  1. 莫行Elf 转载了此文字
    冰岛足球,太震撼人心了。我永远热爱团队足球。
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