Iceland team profile

Iceland were slow to make an impression in UEFA European Championship qualifying but are now a team on the rise, constructed on the foundations of recent success at U21 level.

Rúrik Gíslason (Iceland) & Bruno Alves (Portugal)

Best result: never previously qualified
Coach: Lars Lagerbäck/Heimir Hallgrímsson
Leading scorers: all-time – Eidur Gudjohnsen (25); current – Eidur Gudjohnsen (25)
Most appearances: all-time – Rúnar Kristinsson (104); current – Eidur Gudjohnsen (81)
Association formed: 1947
Nickname: Strákarnir okkar (Our boys)
Where they play: Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik

A team on the rise, constructed on the foundations of the talented Under-21 squad that qualified for the 2011 UEFA European Championship in Denmark, Iceland made history by reaching the qualifying play-offs for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Led by former long-serving Sweden head coach Lars Lagerbäck they finished second in their qualifying group, missing out on a place in Brazil after a 2-0 aggregate defeat by Croatia. It was their best ever performance in a major competition, eclipsing their valiant effort to qualify for UEFA EURO 2000 when only a last-day 3-2 defeat in France eliminated them – but even better was to follow as Iceland claimed second place in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group A to reach a major tournament for the first time.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P96 W24 D17 L55 F81 A146
Final tournament: P0 W0 D0 L0 F0 A0
Qualifying: P96 W24 D17 L55 F81 A146

Iceland were slow to make an impression in UEFA European Championship qualifying, failing to record a victory in the 1964 preliminaries. Having not entered in 1968 and 1972 they earned just two wins in their next three campaigns, though the shock 2-1 defeat of East Germany in Reykjavik in 1975 hinted at their potential.

Iceland's recent history reads much better. Ahead of UEFA EURO 2000 they recorded four wins as they amassed 15 points to run France, Ukraine and Russia close. Four years later they were even closer, missing out on the play-offs by a solitary point after winning half their eight fixtures. They finished second bottom of their UEFA EURO 2008 and 2012 qualifying groups.

Memorable EURO matches
09/09/2014: Iceland 3-0 Turkey, UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying
Iceland opened their campaign with a ruthless display against ten-man Turkey in Reykjavik.

03/09/2015: Netherlands 0-1 Iceland, UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying
Gylfi Sigurdsson's 51st-minute penalty completed the double over the Dutch and left Iceland on the brink of the finals.

05/06/1975: Iceland 2-1 East Germany, 1976 UEFA European Championship qualifying
Iceland's first EURO qualifying win was a big scalp, ultimately barring East Germany's progress.

Did you know?
Striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, then 17, came on for his father Arnór in Iceland's 3-0 friendly win against Estonia in Tallinn on 24 April 1996 – the first time that a father and son had featured as players in the same international match.

*Last updated on 18/11/15