Therefore, the team wants to wear special warm-up jackets during the national anthem. The clash on Thursday (8.45pm) is also the first game for new coach Arnar Vidarsson. The 43-year-old had previously coached the U21 selection: “It’s okay to have a tingling sensation in my stomach. If I didn’t, it could mean that the matter is not important to me.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson is missing
But there is no shortage of experience in the coaching staff: two familiar faces will take their places next to Vidarsson on the Icelandic bench: In addition to the greatest football star in history and today’s assistant coach Eidur Gudjohnsen, who was on the hunt for goals at FC Barcelona and Chelsea, Lars will also be Sit lager pastries. The Swede, who led the Icelanders to the European Championship in 2016 and thus to the first major tournament ever, has been a technical advisor since this year. “It’s great to have Lars with us”Vidarsson told the radio station RÚV.
There are also some experienced kickers in the team, but not all of them will be on board. Icelanders should especially miss Gylfi Sigurdsson (31). The professional from FC Everton played for TSG Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga between 2010 and 2012. The Augsburg clippers Alfred Finnbogason is also absent due to a calf injury.
Only one Icelander plays in Germany
His team’s energy and concentration are good, says Vidarsson. He hopes that the ailing Johann Berg Gudmundsson from Premier League club Burnley FC can play. The Icelanders’ top scorer is 31-year-old Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (IFK Göteborg). The focus is also on young talent Arnór Sigurdsson (21, CSKA Moscow). The only Icelander playing in Germany in the current squad is Gudlaugur Victor Pálsson from the second division SV Darmstadt 98.
“Germany is a nice start – but definitely a difficult one too. Germany is a football giant”says coach Vidarsson. National coach Joachim Löw has adjusted his team to a “healthy mentality” of the opponent: “They know that they only have one chance if they perform well as a team.”
Iceland ranks 46th in the FIFA World Ranking. In the last five games, the team from the far north have lost five times – including against England (0: 4) and Belgium (1: 2). The Icelanders face Armenia and Liechtenstein after the game against Germany.
Remembering Völler’s angry speech
During qualification for the 2004 European Championship, Germany did not get beyond a 0-0 win in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik in 2003. The then DFB team boss Völler started his legendary “wheat beer” speech after reviews and questions from ARD reporters Gerhard Delling and Waldemar Hartmann as well as from expert Günter Netzer.
Vidarsson can still remember it, but said that he did not know what an upset it was in Germany. He always admired the player Völler. In the second encounter back then in Hamburg, where coach Vidarsson was on the pitch for 90 minutes, the Icelanders lost 3-0.
Stand: 24.03.2021, 23:01
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