Gudmundsson: Iceland's golden generation could see off England again at the World Cup

Icelandic international Johann Berg Gudmundsson believes that he's part of a golden generation and the winger is hopeful of a second meeting with England at the World Cup next summer.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th October 2017, 11:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:21 pm
Winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson in action for the Clarets against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup
Winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson in action for the Clarets against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup

The 26-year-old is more than open to a repeat of the Euro 2016 clash which saw the Icelanders cause the shock of the tournament as Ragnar Sigurdsson and and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson cancelled out Wayne Rooney's early penalty at the Allianz Riviera.

Gudmundsson booked his place on the plane to Russia ;when scoring in qualifiers against Turkey and Kosovo to help his nation top Group I ahead of Croatia.

And he's looking forward to silencing the roar of the Three Lions once again should they meet at the tournament.

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Asked if he'd like to face them, he said: "Hopefully yes - hopefully we'll get them in the group phase. It was a great game for us last time and I believe we could beat them again. You read it in the media - they always come back to that game - the Iceland humiliation.

"They should be doing a bit better but they won the group comfortably so you can't be too hard on them. It's about what they do in Russia - when it matters on the big stage.

"That's when you have to do well. I'm not expecting - and hopefully you're not - for England to win the World Cup. Maybe you are?

"I think they should be doing a bit better and hopefully they can do it in the next World Cup - as long as they don't meet us."

The former Addick, born in Reykjavik, dreamt of playing in the World Cup and the Premier League as a youngster and now he's overwhelmed that they've both come true.

Having become the smallest nation to ever qualify for the finals of the most prestigious competition on the planet, setting the precedent for the country's future internationals, Gudmundsson said: "It is a golden generation. It's going to be tough for the next teams who come after us to do the same.

"You can't expect Iceland to be in every major tournament from now on but at the moment we are doing really well and hopefully we can do it for a number of years - but it's going to be really tough.

“it was absolutely unbelievable to do it, especially at home, it is special. For Iceland to be at a World Cup is quite magnificent.

“We are the smallest nation ever to qualify, we are in the history books. It's a great moment. It was a tough group to go through. We've done a really good job.

“I think a lot of people after the Euros thought that was it for us. Only one team goes straight to the World Cup and the play-offs are tough.

"With us, Croatia, Turkey, was the only group that had four team from the Euros. We knew it was going to be tough but I don't think we lost a game at home so that was really important for us.

"It was a dream but it was a dream you thought it was tough to make. It is hard to get in the World Cup...being at the Euros was an amazing achievement and the World Cup is even bigger.

“As a kid I watched PL, Euros, WC and I've played two of them...hopefully summer I'll play in the third.

“It's massive for a young kid obviously, to think this might happen. I'm grateful.”