Hallgrimsson: A romantic feeling to face Argentina

  • Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson gave his thoughts after Friday’s World Cup Final Draw

  • Debutants drawn in Group D with Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria

  • Iceland make World Cup bow against Argentina in Moscow on 16 June 2018

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is looking forward to facing two-time champions Argentina in their FIFA World Cup™ debut after being drawn in Group D with the South American giants at Friday’s Final Draw in Moscow.

“When you think about the World Cup, you think about Argentina and Brazil, so it’s a little bit of a romantic feeling to play Argentina in the first game,” Hallgrimsson said of Iceland’s debut match in Moscow on 16 June 2018. “Hopefully, we show our best side, both the players and the fans in the opening game.”

The smallest country by population ever to qualify for a World Cup, Iceland will then face African qualifiers Nigeria in Volgograd on 22 June 2018 before concluding their group campaign against a familiar foe in Croatia in Rostov-On-Don four days later. It was in qualifying for Russia 2018 that Iceland edged their Balkan opponents to top spot in European zone Group I.

“We know a lot about Croatia,” Hallgrimsson said. “They have been the kind of hurdle that we have needed to step to achieve something. Obviously, we know less about Nigeria, but we know their past history, so it’s another tough opponent.”