Iceland are out to win everyone’s hearts again at the World Cup

first_img Iceland fans perform the famous Viking Clap Live on talksport GROUP D “Before anyone asks,” said Hallgrimsson, “I’m still a dentist and I will never stop being a dentist.”Priceless. And it got even better, not least when asked about what makes his team – and the country as a whole – so infectious.“People can’t help but love us,” he replied. “We certainly feel it. We have not attacked anyone or been at war with anyone. Well, except the ‘cod war’ and nobody got hurt there.”Hallgrimsson can’t hide his pride at being in Russia. Argentina, he said, was the biggest game in the lives of every one of his players – far bigger than England two years ago. Group D 4 But there is a serious side too. He believes 100 per cent in his team who, he said, had planned meticulously. And woe betide anyone who uses the “M” word again.“What we did two years ago was not a miracle,” he retorted when asked about Iceland’s exploits in France.“We are 22nd in the FIFA rankings and we won our qualifying group. We deserve to be here.“It’s down to knowing your strengths and weaknesses. We play a different style of football to many teams but if you work together as a unit then anything is achievable and I hope we can continue showing that. Anyone who thinks it is a shock we are here doesn’t know much about the Iceland national team.” Argentina World Cup team guide – fixtures, kits, key player, probable line-up Heimir Hallgrimsson oversees an Iceland training session They’re back. And everyone has fallen in love with them – again.Two years after making the quarter-finals at the European Championship, knocking out England in the process, guess what Icelandic head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson’s first words were at his media conference on the eve of the country’s World Cup debut against the mighty Argentina? Iceland World Cup team guide – fixtures, kits, key player, probable line-up ICE BREAKER He continued: “I understand that, for other nations, this is strange and probably couldn’t happen but it shows the unity between the fans and the team.“It’s more than a football game – this is part of them. We give the fans ownership in the team and vice versa. You can see it in their eyes.”But after their unexpected exploits two years ago, surely Iceland can only go one way: down. Not so, says the dentist.“Icelandic football doesn’t stand or fall by the results in three group games. We know we can have the best game of their lives tomorrow and still lose to Argentina. That’s just reality.” 4 Argentina v Iceland is LIVE on talkSPORT Argentina v Iceland: Preview, team news, kick-off time and commentary Messi and co head to training on golf buggy driven by Di Maria Iceland manager – and dentist – Heimir Hallgrimsson Iceland celebrate knocking England out of Euro 2016 Former England assistant explains Iceland horror show – ‘there was mass panic’ BUGGING OUT But how on Earth will his team be able to cope with the other “M” word – Messi?“I don’t have a magic formula,” said Hallgrimsson. “Everyone has tried everything against him and he always manages to score a goal. We’ll help each other and try to do it as a team.“It would unfair to give one player the role of guarding Messi. But it’s not just Messi. They are crammed with talent. If you focus on one player, someone else will punish you.”Win or lose, Hallgrimsson will probably end up in bar somewhere during the tournament mixing with the fans. 4 4 Iceland’s bearded captain and inspiration Aron Gunnarsson has recovered from  a knee injury to  push the team on.“He’s invaluable,” says the coach.  “Every trainer in the world looks for a player who will sacrifice everything on the pitch.”Gunnarson says he and his teammates will take heart from beating England at Euro 2016.“We’ve taken that experience into this tournament and have nothing to lose,” he said.“We weren’t sure what to expect last time. This time, the preparations have been far easier.”Argentina v Iceland is LIVE on talkSPORT on Saturday, kick-off 14:00last_img