UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Four reasons to love Icelandic football

Underdog lovers will be backing Iceland when they take on England in the last 16; team reporter Jóhann Ólafur Sigurdsson explains why everyone else should too.

Four reasons to love Icelandic football
Four reasons to love Icelandic football ©Getty Images

No one is loving this EURO more than Iceland
There have been around 10,000 Icelanders at each of the team's last two UEFA EURO 2016 games – not a huge number but massive for a nation of just 330,000. Those 10,000 fans represent around 3% of the population; if a similar proportion of the population of round of 16 opponents England came to France, there would be 1.59 million people backing Roy Hodgson's side.

"It is like having your family at the game," defender Kári Árnason said after the 2-1 group-stage win against Austria. "I probably know at least 50% of the people in the crowd."

Icelanders love football, full stop
Football is the most popular sport in Iceland, and viewing figures for the national team's EURO matches have been phenomenal. While around 9.3 million British viewers tuned in for England's game against Wales – some 14% or so of the population of Great Britain – over half of all Icelanders are estimated to have watched Iceland v Austria, representing 99.8% of the nation's television audience. And of course, if you have heard that famous piece of commentary for the second goal against the Austrians, you will know how much EURO success means to Icelanders.