THE VIKINGS’ SHOCKING EURO RUN: THE UNBELIEVABLE RISE OF ICELANDIC SOCCER

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With a population of just 325,000, Iceland has long been a footballing minnow. Yet, 16 years ago, the nation decided to change that, developing a bold and unprecedented masterplan that transformed the tiny volcanic island into one of football's most effective youth development pipelines. Against all the odds, that investment has paid off, producing a peerless generation of footballers, Vikings in cleats, whose collective team play, unshakeable confidence, and will to win, made Iceland the smallest ever nation to qualify for a major tournament at Euro 2016, and pound for pound, the sport's greatest micropower. Just ask Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. Roger Bennett, of Men In Blazers, went to Reykjavik to meet the visionaries, players, coaches and fans who made what had seemed a far-fetched dream at the outset, become fantastically real.