19 May 2024
For Iceland fans, the World Cup players are true family 0

For Iceland fans, the World Cup players are true family 0

Many Iceland fans who come to Russia to watch the World Cup are relatives, friends or acquaintances of the players because the country's population is very small.

Iceland fans performed a `thunderous` applause at Zaryadye park, Moscow, Russia on June 16 before the home team’s opening match against Argentina.

An Iceland fan went to the same elementary school as the father of a national team player.

With a population of around 350,000, Iceland is the smallest country to ever reach a FIFA World Cup final.

Bjarni Arnason came to the city of Volgograd, southwestern Russia to watch the home team play against Nigeria in the Group D qualifying round on June 22.

The connection between the players and the fans is `tight` as follows: one of Arnason’s friends is close friends with the national goalkeeper’s wife, while one of Arnason’s cousins plays football with another player.

`I cheer for the whole team, I don’t cheer for anyone more enthusiastically. We are probably all related to each other to some extent,` Arni Sigurdsson, a 61-year-old engineer, said humorously.

That Icelandic characteristic is also carried into the practice field and into matches.

Fairy tail

For Iceland fans, the World Cup players are true family

Iceland players celebrate after Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (No. 9) scored against the Czech Republic back in 2015 during the Euro qualifiers in Reykjavik.

At the 2016 European Championship, Iceland caused a stir by eliminating `giant` England and advancing straight to the quarterfinals.

Iceland’s fairy tale has conquered the hearts of football fans, especially in a context where the World Football Federation is mired in a series of corruption scandals and the public is fed up with arrogance and snobbery.

However, unlike fairy tales where everything is always rosy, the downside of living in a small community is that it is difficult to have privacy.

In return, what they get is close feelings.

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