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KÍ Klaksvík: Meet the Faroese side in UEFA group stage action

The Faroe Islands' first UEFA club competition group stage contenders, KÍ Klaksvík secured their first win at this level on Matchday 3: meet them!

The fairytale story of KÍ Klaksvík

KÍ Klaksvík are making history this season as the first ever side from the Faroe Islands to take their place in the group stage of a UEFA club competition. On Matchday 3, they secured their first victory at this level: 3-0 at home against Slovenia's Olimpija Ljubljana.

UEFA.com delves deeper to find out more about their landmark achievement.

Who are KÍ Klaksvík?

KÍ are one of the oldest clubs in the Faroe Islands. Established in 1904, they have been crowned champions in three of the last four seasons to take their overall tally to 20 – second only to the capital's HB Tórshavn (24). Klaksvik is the second largest town in the Faroes with a population of 5,000.

KÍ play their home games at Djúpumýru, which has a capacity of 1,200 for European games. The club had to move their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg against Molde to the national stadium in Tórshavn, a crowd of 4,584 watching them stun their guests by winning 2-1.

KÍ's route to the group stage

Champions League
First qualifying round

11/07: KÍ 0-0 Ferencváros
19/07: Ferencváros 0-3 KÍ (agg: 0-3)

Second qualifying round
26/07: KÍ 0-0 Häcken 
02/08: Häcken 3-3 KÍ (agg: 3-3, KÍ win 4-3 on pens)

Third qualifying round
08/08: KÍ 2-1 Molde
15/08: Molde 2-0 KÍ (agg: 3-2)

Europa League

24/08: KÍ 1-1 Sheriff 
31/08: Sheriff 2-1 KÍ (agg: 3-2)

How have KÍ Klaksvík secured a group stage place?

All teams that reach the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round are assured of a group-stage berth in one of the three UEFA men's club competitions. Defeat by Molde meant they moved into the UEFA Europa League play-offs, where a 3-2 aggregate loss to Sheriff confirmed their place in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Who are KÍ Klaksvík's key players?

Over the last couple of years KÍ have built a team blending young local talent, Faroese internationals and quality imports. Ones to watch out for among their Faroese contingent include Árni Frederiksberg, top scorer in Champions League qualifying with six goals in six games, as well as Jákup Andreasen, Odmar Færø and René Joensen.

Most are part-timers, combining playing with studying or employment. Frederiksberg works as a director for a local wholesale food business, captain Andreasen is studying to be a marine engineer and Joensen is an electrician.

Árni Frederiksberg: KÍ's top scorer in Champions League qualifying, and director for a local wholesale food business
Árni Frederiksberg: KÍ's top scorer in Champions League qualifying, and director for a local wholesale food businessGetty Images

Two of KÍ's most high-profile imports are Norwegian: striker Luc Kassi and defender Vegard Forren. Forren is no stranger to the European stage. The 35-year-old was capped 33 times by his country and made more than 350 appearances for continental regulars Molde.

Who is KÍ Klaksvík's coach?

KÍ's coach is another former Norway player with strong Molde connections: 42-year-old Magne Hoseth. The midfielder scored 118 goals in 364 appearances for the reigning Norwegian champions, including two in a famous Champions League comeback in 1999 when Molde overturned a 2-0 loss to CSKA Moskva in the second qualifying round by winning the return 4-0.

Hoseth played in the Norwegian top flight until 2017 before moving into coaching, first as an assistant at Kristiansund before taking the reins at KÍ in 2022. Assisted by yet another Molde club legend, ex-Norway midfielder Daniel Berg Hestad, he has honed an effective counterattacking style for KÍ in Europe.

Faroe Islands fact file

Population: 54,000
Languages: Faroese, Danish
UEFA ranking: 39 (out of 55)
Nearest neighbour: Scotland (320km to mainland)

What has been the reaction to KÍ Klaksvík's achievements?

"We're writing history, but we're not done writing yet," Hoseth said after the home victory over Molde. It's fair to say that has also been the line in the almost blanket coverage KÍ have enjoyed across Faroese media outlets. Even in Denmark, where there's a large Faroese population, their feats have been celebrated widely.

Faroese national airline Atlantic Airways put on extra flights to help supporters get to Norway for the return against Molde. They can expect similar demand now KÍ are guaranteed a place in the Europa Conference League, and at least three away games.