At the moment the Icelanders are waking up after a dream coming true, after the Icelandic football team managed to get a space in the World Cup in Russia in the summer of 2018.
It‘s an unbelievable results for a nation of a bit over 300.000 people.
I have been thinking since I saw one of the games of this team in France last year at Euro 2016, how it was possible for these guys to manage to get to where they are and I think that is a very important story to tell.
The fact is that the guys who are playing for Iceland in the World Cup next summer are known for a good group spirit where no link is more important than any other. This is an ideology and management approach used in many workplaces in the world with success.
But why are these guys so humble? Why are they not flying around in a cloud of self love and arrogance because of their acheivements?
I think the answer is that they have had to work for it and they know that football isn´t life.
I have a personal experience, where I actually was the boss of one of these players. He was 21 years old at the time and starting his career as a starter for his team. To be able to keep on playing, he had to attend two practices every day. One in the morning and one at noon because they had games in the evening. To be able to do this meant he had to get special permission from his boss to attend these trainings. It wasn´t easy to make it work but boy I am glad that I gave him that permission.
Distances pay a big role too. If it takes only five minutes to get to your training location from work, it makes everything easier. That is the case in the Reykjavik area and in most other towns in Iceland.
This has been the reality of these players to work and play football as well in any kind of weather. At the time there were not many possibilities to train inside, like there are today as a result of Iceland‘s investment in indoor football training facilities, so these guys who now are entering the World Cup are truly modern-time Vikings, and the joy of playing and community in the team is their trademark.
Nevertheless, indoor facilities are not accessible everywhere for all clubs in Iceland, so many of these guys and girls have to play outside in all weather possible on this rock in the North Atlantic.
I have my favorite team already and, you guessed it, it´s Iceland.
To organize a custom Iceland Football Tour, or attend a match of the National Team or one of the country´s top club teams during your visit, contact me on www.helgastina.com