Euro 2016: Iceland qualify for their first major tournament


Iceland surprised the world of football as they sealed their place at a major tournament for the first time ever. They needed just one point from the Euro 2016 qualifier against Kazakhstan and they secured it with a goalless draw. Czech Republic also advance from Group A while favourites Netherlands will go through a playoff tie at best.

Aron Gunnarsson, the Iceland captain, who plays in the Championship for Cardiff, said: "It's unbelievable, I'm shocked." Iceland is the smallest nation to ever qualify for a European Championship, with a population of just 317,000. Their head coach is Lars Lagerback, who managed to reach eight consecutive final tournaments with his native Sweden.

The surprising results of the campaign have seen Iceland move up 100 places in the FIFA rankings since Lagerback took charge in 2011. They are now in 23rd position, above big nations like France, Ukraine and Russia. Iceland have won six of their eight qualifying matches so far, including a shocking 1-0 success in the Netherlands. They have also beaten the Dutch 2-0 at home and also defeated Czech Republic 2-0 in Iceland.

If you fancy a long-shot bet, you can put your money on Iceland to win Euro 2016, the odds are 67.00 at Bet365.

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Members Comments

  • Hungary GREGJO

    7/9/15

    What a strange world, Iceland and Czech Republic qualified to the European Championship 2016 while both of Turkey and Netherlands wants to reach the 3rd position and the extra qualifying round. Iceland, Wales and Northern Ireland are group leaders... Impossible is nothing.

  • Bulgaria sharpe

    7/9/15

    Not only the Iceland captain is shocked but most of the fans really. Great success for them and the favourites in this group Netherlands and Turkey will have to fight for the last spot which will assure to one of them nothing more than a playoff game. We had many surprises in most of the qualifying groups but Iceland are maybe the biggest of them.

  • Serbia rikimartin4444

    8/9/15

    What a great result for Iceland. They work hard and they did it. With a population of just 317,000 they success to qualify for European Championship. They must be proud! I am happy to see such a small country with small number of players fighting hard and going for their dream. Hope they will be at the top level next yearn on European Championship.

  • Alexa Alexa

    8/9/15

    This is wonderfull success for such a small country.For everyone who is following football,this is not big surprise.They were also in good position to qualify for World Cup in Brazil,but they could not passed Croatia.Now ,with that experience,they played good all the matches in qualifications and they wont have minor role in EURO 2016,I am sure...

  • The Netherlands Johnajax

    9/9/15

    I have nothing else to say but Well Done Iceland. They showed to the world how football should be bayed. Without big European stars they played together and they made sensational result. I think that is well deserved first place in very hard group and now I think that they should prepare even harder and better for final tournament and where they also could make big surprise.

  • mdacic

    11/9/15

    This is great generation of young players and I admire them. This is big success for such a small country and they are example how football should be played. They are here without big world stars who plays for big clubs, only what is important to them is chemistry and they are really great. Well done Iceland.

  • Romania galata86

    15/9/15

    I am shocked with this information. Iceland is small country I think without professional football club. Maybe I am wrong about professional football club but their clubs never played European competitions and when they play qualification every team want them for opponents. So I don't know how that happened, how they qualified for EURO 2016.

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