Drawn into a World Cup pool with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia… it’s the stuff dreams are made of for Jón Daði Böðvarsson and Iceland, who will be on the world’s biggest stage next summer.
Never before have the nation of 330,000 people qualified for a chance to win the game’s greatest prize. And last week’s group draw means that reality is beginning to set in!
Böðvarsson and his countrymen will line up against the likes of Modric, Musa and Messi… and they’re setting their sights on progressing.
Although, our striker faced a wait to find out their fate, as domestic affairs with Reading and a trip to Wearside meant a delay in the news filtering through…
“I was on a plane going to Sunderland… so I missed it!” Böðvarsson said. “But as soon as I opened my phone, I saw it on Twitter and everywhere. It was a nice feeling.
“It is a big moment personally, and for the nation in general. It was like being a kid waiting to open the Christmas presents, waiting to see who it would be! And it didn’t disappoint.
“It’s ridiculous to think that a nation as tiny as Iceland is going to the World Cup – it’s the first time in the history of the nation. The Euros was a fantastic achievement, and making it to the World Cup is even greater.
“There is some great momentum with the national team at the moment and there’s a football fever. We’re really excited.
“We want to go further than we did at the Euros. The confidence and the self-belief in the team is huge and I think sometimes people underestimate us a bit.
“Even though it’s a small country, we have good players around Europe, playing in strong leagues. We’re going to set some new goals and go as far as possible.”