The Little Nation That Can: Iceland’s Underdogs Take on the World Cup Stage


“Seven years ago, when he put his dentistry career to the side and became a coach for Iceland, Heimir Hallgrímsson began a tradition that continues to this day. Two hours before every men’s national team home game, Hallgrímsson (who’s now the head coach) arrives at Ölver, a popular soccer bar near Laugardalsvöllur national stadium in Reykjavík. He climbs a wooden stage in front of the members of Tólfan—the 12th Man, Iceland’s raucous supporters group—and asks for the doors to be locked, with no media allowed, nor any sharing of photos, video or information on social media. …” SI

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