Fifa Ranking: 22
Although Úrvalsdeild, the Icelandic Football League, was founded in 1912, the country’s first international match was only played on 29 July 1930, against the Faroe Islands. Although Iceland won 1–0 away, both teams were at the time unaffiliated with FIFA. The first match officially recognized by FIFA took place in Reykjavík on 17 July 1946, a 0–3 defeat to Denmark. The first international victory was against Finland in 1947. For the first 20 years of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ)’s existence, mostly the team did not participate in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. In 1954, Iceland applied to take part in qualification for UEFA Euro 1956, but the application was rejected. In qualification for the 1958 World Cup, Iceland finished last in their group with zero wins and with 26 goals against.
Since 1974, the team has taken part in qualifying for every World Cup and European Championship. In 1994, the team was awarded their then best ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, 37th. In a friendly against Estonia on 24 April 1996 in Tallinn, Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen entered as a substitute for his father Arnór. This marked the first time that a father and son played in the same international match.
Iceland In Fifa World Cup:
The Iceland men’s national football team (Icelandic: Íslenska karlalandsliðið í knattspyrnu) is controlled by the Football Association of Iceland.
The team has enjoyed success in the second half of the 2010s. In the qualifying rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Iceland reached the playoffs before losing to Croatia. Iceland reached its first major tournament, UEFA Euro 2016 after a qualification campaign which included home and away wins over the Netherlands. In doing so, they became the smallest ever nation to qualify for a major tournament. After advancing to the knockout stages of Euro 2016, Iceland defeated England in the Round of 16, advancing to the quarter-finals, where they lost to France 5–2.
They became the smallest nation by population to ever clinch a FIFA World Cup berth when they qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 9 October 2017.
A former dentist who previously served as a joint-head coach with Lars Lagerback, Hallgrimsson has overseen Iceland’s remarkable rise. Having led the team with Lagerback at UEFA EURO 2016, he was in sole charge as they reached a first World Cup – becoming the smallest country by population ever to qualify – by topping Group I.
ISL – KOS (2-0) 9 OCT 2017:
The first-ever appearance at a FIFA World Cup was the prize for victory and Iceland talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson was keen to grasp it, sending them on their way to a win with this nerveless solo effort.
Iceland’s talismanic midfield playmaker has been named his country’s footballer of the year for the last five years running. Sigurdsson supplied four goals and as many assists in the team’s Russia 2018 qualifying campaign.