As a casual soccer fan, I’m intrigued by the remarkable fact that Iceland is one of eight European teams fighting for the last four of the 13 spots allotted to European teams in the 32-team World Cup Final, to be played next summer in Brazil.
It seems incredibly unlikely that it would be possible for a volcanic island in the far north Atlantic, with a total population almost exactly the same as that of the Kalamazoo metropolitan area, to produce a dozen world class soccer players. A glance at the national team’s wiki page indicates that, until this particular qualification tournament, Iceland’s success on the world soccer stage had consisted almost entirely of beating the crap out of the Faroe Islands. Now suddenly Iceland has gotten as far as France and Portugal in the quest to make it to the sport’s biggest stage.
How did this happen? And will it eventually become a major motion picture, with a Bjork soundtrack, and starring Will Smith as the unlikely outsider who was brought in to lead Iceland to semi-glory?