After two routine victories in Indonesia against a selected XI and the Indonesian national team, Iceland’s assistant manager, Helgi Kolvidsson, has declared they will be in Russia in June without fear of Nigeria or any other Group D opponent.
“Russia will not be a holiday for us. It was hard work getting there, and it is hard work preparing for it,” Kolvidsson told Strait Times in Indonesia.
“Of course we are going to have fun there, but we have our goals, we want to achieve something.”
A largely home-based Icelandic team scored 10 goals and conceded one in the two matches they played in Indonesia and Kolvidsson said the opponents must now take Iceland ‘seriously’.
“People didn’t take us seriously before, but I don’t think they are going to do that anymore. People have started to take notice of us and they are thinking, ‘These guys are not doing a bad job’.
Iceland shocked the world at the 2016 European Championship by beating England 2-1 in the round of 16 – a feat Kolvidsson is hoping they can repeat when they face Argentina, Nigeria, and Croatia in June.
“When you talk about Argentina, of course, you think about Lionel Messi. He’s the best player in the world, along with Ronaldo,” he said.
“But it’s not just him, Argentina are a fantastic team. We haven’t planned how to stop him, but we’ve played against a lot of other good players too, and we work as a team together – that is our strength.”
Iceland start their World Cup campaign against Argentina on June 16 at the Spartak Moscow Stadium.
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