Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason has stated that they will be tough to beat at this year’s World Cup if they can replicate their 2016 European Championship display which saw them get to the quarter-finals.
Debutant, Iceland, are drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia.
At the 2016 Euros in France, they stunned not a few by getting to the last eight, eliminating England despite making their debut at the tournament.
Finnbogason who was on target for Iceland in their 2-2 draw against Ghana in a friendly game on Thursday, stated their strength lies in their team play.
“Our strength always is the team. We work well as a team together. It is difficult to score goals against us,” the Augsburg striker who was joint fifth highest goalscorer with 12 goals in the Bundesliga last season told Omnisport.
“If we can take the momentum of the Euros to the World Cup it will be difficult to beat us. We aren’t a favourite in the group but we will give everything to be able to surprise again.
“In the last two years we have developed the style of play as a team and got better. We showed that in our results in the very difficult group which we had in the qualification. I hope that we will surprise again. Of course it is our target to go farther than the group stage.”
Finnbogason expressed hope that they will be able to contain Lionel Messi just as they marked out Cristiano Ronaldo in the group stage of the 2016 Euros.
“I am happy that I am a striker. Maybe I do not need to defend so much against him. But that is the special thing about these big tournaments.
“Also against Ronaldo it was very special – he was so angry after the game that they didn’t win against us. I hope that we will disappoint another world star in the first game of the World Cup.”
And on who Iceland will look on to for inspiration as they head to the World Cup, Finnbogason picked out midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
“The most important thing about him ( Sigurdsson) is that he doesn’t think that he is bigger than the team,” he said.
“He always runs and works for the whole team. He is like any other player in our team. That is a main part of us that we have no superstars who thinks that they are too good to run for the team. I think he is the best example why we have the success that he works so much for our team.”