Spurs midfielder Sigurdsson hopes to make history with Iceland
PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:10 12 November 2013
Gylfi Sigurdsson is gearing up for the biggest week in the history of Icelandic football as he and his team-mates bid to qualify for a major international tournament for the first time ever.
Having secured a place in the World Cup play-offs, Iceland host Croatia in Reykjavik on Friday evening before the return leg in Zagreb next Tuesday – and Sigurdsson is fully aware of the stakes.
“It’s the first time we’ve been in the play-offs for the World Cup finals or the European finals, so it’s fantastic for us,” said the Tottenham midfielder.
“With a population of 350,000, to qualify for the World Cup would be unbelievable. We’ve got a young squad so hopefully we can stay calm and do the job.
“I think over the course of the last 10 years or so there’s been a lot of change in the facilities in Iceland, and that’s helped to develop young players.
“I think you can see the results of it now, there are a lot of young players – even younger than a few of the players who are in the first team now. There are some good players there in the Under-21s and hopefully in the future we keep producing players.
“There’s a lot of interest [in us], people asking about it [the play-offs] and asking if we’re going to make it. But I think there will be a lot more people wanting to see Luka Modric and [Mario] Mandzukic on TV than some of the Icelandic players!”
Hugo Lloris is expected to captain France in their showdowns with Ukraine, having missed Tottenham’s last two games following the head injury that he sustained in the goalless draw at Everton.
However, Romania skipper Vlad Chiriches has been forced to pull out of his country’s clashes with Greece, having fractured his nose during Spurs’ defeat to Newcastle on Sunday.