In what’s being hailed as a huge upset, tiny Iceland defeated a talented but chronically underperforming English side to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016 European Championship. And the excitement might be too much for Icelandic announcer Gummi Ben.
This impassioned squealing, according to Twitter user Gissur Simonarson CN, translates to:
This is done! This is done! We are never going home! Did you see that?! Did you see that?! Amazing! I can’t believe it! This is a dream. Never wake me up from this amazing dream!
Live the way you want England. Iceland is going to play France on Sunday. France Iceland! You can go home! You can go out of Europe! You can go wherever the hell you want! England 1, Iceland 2 is the closing score here in Nice! And the fairytale continues!
While the odds, at 13/2, weren’t as steep as the the odds Peru faced (15/2) in its upset over Brazil in the Copa America Centenario earlier this month, English melodrama—combined with some very real numerical disadvantages for Iceland—earned this win comparisons to Leicester City’s shocking Championship run in the Premier League, in which they overcame 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title. The global media covered Leicester’s surreal rise with the appropriate rhapsody and deemed the team’s championship win the greatest underdog story of all time. So how does Iceland’s win stack up?
Injured Belgian international, Manchester City star, and soccer analyst Vincent Kompany called the win “bigger than Leicester.”
That’s a point that’s up for debate, but here are a few facts that support Iceland’s case.
Besides Tahiti, which qualified for the 2013 Confederation’s Cup, Iceland is the smallest country ever to qualify for a major soccer tournament, as Eric Betts wrote in Slate. Iceland’s manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson, still occasionally works as a dentist at his practice. Most importantly, not only does the population of the entire country of Iceland roughly equal that of Leicester City but Iceland can’t buy players from other countries to represent them as club teams can. They only have so many men to choose from. But, boy, did those men perform.
England’s Wayne Rooney converted a penalty shot just four minutes into the game to give the favorites the lead, but less than two minutes later, Ragnar Sigurdsson slid a shot past England keeper Joe Hart to equalize. Fifteen minutes later, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson rocketed a shot to the lower right hand corner that Hart got a piece of before it trickled across the line. You can watch the goals here: