Football

Iceland's players celebrate their Euro 2016 success on an open top bus.

Iceland fans welcome home national team with incredible 'Viking Clap'

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Much like Leicester City's Premier League heroics last season, Iceland were Euro 2016's surprise package.

No one expected Gylfi Sigurdsson and co. to even progress through to the last 16 in a group that featured Portugal and Austria, yet they did just that by finishing second behind Hungary.

They faced England in the next round and, to the amazement of each and every football fan, ran out 2-1 winners after going behind to Wayne Rooney's early penalty.

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A thumping 5-2 defeat to hosts France in the quarter-finals brought their dream to an end but they exited the tournament as heroes.

Iceland's fans certainly thought so anyway. In the spine-tingling footage below, thousands of proud supporters welcomed home Heimir Hallgrimsson's men with a breathtaking 'Viking Clap'.

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HERO'S WELCOME

Incredible - and just what they deserve.

It's onwards and upwards for Iceland now after showing such promise in France despite boasting a meagre population of 330,000.

For co-manager Hallgrimsson, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup is the next target.

He said, per BBC Sport: "The World Cup is what we talked about before this tournament. Success is not a destination but a journey in the right direction.

FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH44-ENG-ISL

"We are going in the right direction and we should build upon this. People probably expect now that Iceland qualifies for every major tournament.

"Next is the World Cup. We have a tough group and it's tough to be the top team.

"We could use this and should use this as a brick to build on. That's our task."

Swansea midfielder and star man Sigurdsson shares his manager's aspirations.

"This has been a fairytale story around the world: a small nation going all the way to the quarter-finals," the 26-year-old added.

France v Iceland - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016

"We will set the target to go all the way to the World Cup. It will be very difficult, we have got some really good teams in our group.

"But we will go away for a couple of weeks then set our minds to it."

Iceland will be joined by Croatia, Turkey, Finland, Ukraine and Kosovo in Group I and face a difficult test to progress.

Luka Modric's Croatia and Hakan Calhanoglu's Turkey will be favourites to top the group, of course, but if any lesson is to be taken from Euro 2016, it's that anything is possible.

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Topics:
Swansea City
England Football
Football
Premier League
Portugal National Football Team
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Euro 2016

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