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Iceland fired up for World Cup thunderclap

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - An inhospitable climate and the smallest population of any World Cup nation have failed to dampen Iceland's burning desire to make history at this month's tournament in Russia in their own unique way.

What other national team coach, for instance, addresses the fans in a local bar before a home international, as Heimir Hallgrimsson did before Iceland's recent game against Norway?

For good measure, Norway coach Lars Lagerback, who led Iceland on their glorious Euro 2016 odyssey that ended in a quarter-final defeat by hosts France after knocking out England, also turned up to assist in continuing the tradition.

Despite sub-zero temperatures that make it virtually impossible to grow grass on pitches for much of the year, the game is thriving in the Nordic island nation.

The club also offers basketball, handball, skiing, karate and chess, but football is fast becoming the dominant sport, especially with widespread investment in full-size indoor pitches and outdoor astroturf surfaces.

It wasn't just the footballers that put themselves on the map in France - the "thunderclap" performed by Iceland's fans provided some of the most memorable moments in the stands.

With their faces painted in the red, white and blue tones of the Icelandic flag and plenty of Viking imagery, they provide loud and colourful support to a team punching way above its weight on the international stage.

Set to face Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia, Iceland have a tough task to make it out of Group D in their debut World Cup.

But, regardless of the results, the tiny nation and its colourful fans are guaranteed to make an impact in Russia. For more information W88

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