Iceland releases list of 23 players for FIFA World Cup


The Icelandic national team have announced the list of 23 players that will travel to Russia for the World Cup. The Strákarnir Okkar otherwise known as the “Our Boys” in English will make their debut against Argentina on the 16th of June at the Otkritie Arena in Moscow.

In addition to 23 players, 12 other players have also been selected as the reserve and will be on standby.

By the way, the Football Association of Iceland has also produced this interesting video to announced the squad for Russia on their YouTube channel. Do have a look at it.


  1. I see here lot of guys criticizing Sampoali for taking Mascherano but we truly need him for his leadership skill. Yes he may not be the player he was before but we need people who drive others to perform better or lead the line. If you watch Roma game vs Barcelona in second leg in UCL, i can assure that with Mascherano, Barca would have never lost 3-0. He may not be better than umtiti, but he would have yell at other players and sort out the defense. In this site, i dont understand the constant criticizing of our coach and players. However i do agree that Huigain should be dropped.

    • I have no problem with Sampa taking mascherano, but not as a player but rather as a part of the coaching staff. As a player Mascherano is nothing but a liability, he’s too slow and sadly his decision making has taken a serious nose dive since last year, hence why Barca let him go.

  2. I saw Iceland playing during Euro 2016, their defense is quite slow and they usually play with 6-7 very defensive players, their wingers have very important role, they have to defend with the midfielders for putting the opposite team under pressure and launch the counter attack. This kind of team play usually quite well against fast European teams but quite badly against South American ones. With all my respect to this Iceland team, I really don’t think it’s a problem for Argentina.

    For sure, it’s so important to win the 1st one but Samp should think about the whole plan if we want to go far. There is absolutely no need to be at the peak on the first game and smash Iceland by a 6-0 if we can only do a draw against Croatia. He should prepare his players to progress physically game after game in order to make the 6 points on the 1st 2 games and finish as the 1st of the group. Then we can use the substitutes for the game against Nigeria. It’s essential for the key players to recover. Most of the previous world cup winners arrive at their peak only at quarter finals. In 98 and 2006 we arrived at the peak too early and I see a serious performance draw down during the quarter finals.

  3. You guys talked a lot on players A, B, C not selected. What’s most frustrated me with this generation is the team look like they never fight to their bone. We need this spirit to win, especially in the WC where all team desperately want to win or at least not to loose. Look at how Maradona and Cannigia took us to the final WC’90 with under strength squad:

    It was a pity Cannigia not playing in that final.

  4. To quote freely after the late Johan Cruyff: Iceland cannot beat Argentina, but Argentina can still lose.

    The difference in quality is simply too big, but an own goal, red card (s) or penalty can determine the outcome.

  5. never under estimate opponents..all teams are well prepared and ready to play while we are still struggling even to select the 35 players list.

    Iceland played effective football with their lethal counter attack. Defense is rock. Croatia with their mid strenght will create a trouble to us. Nigeria with their counter and speedy attack. It is not an easy group for us. There will be no walk on the park.

    Main concern is our defense and hitman. Injury is our most headache problem as well the players selections.

    • Defense is rock? Did you watch Iceland vs Peru and Mexico? You people tend to overblown and over react to everything that move on a football pitch. I doubt you can even name three players on Iceland. Nobody is saying the group is easy but Argentina should comfortable qualify out of their group.

    • three of their starting defenders are over 30. If argentina has such a line up we would call them old horses and called for their replacement with younger lot.

  6. Messi told Sampaoli that ‘World Cup experience matters more than current form’ that is why the ‘failed tried generation’ are getting a chance in their good old age. Di Maria can be the only exception along with Lionel.

    Sampaoli had to agree even though Beccache was against this ‘old setup’.

    • Man Chalz you love the conspiracy theories. Yes, this generation has “fail” like all the others in the past 20 plus years. The only difference is that this current generation is the only Argentina national team to make a World Cup final since the 1990 World Cup. What’s not good is that this newer Argentina generation is the worse I have seen in a long time. And even if Messi said all what you wrote, what is wrong with taking experience players to the World Cup? Germany, Spain and Brazil are taking players to the 2018 World Cup that have been around going back to the 2006 World Cup. Take out Messi and all the so call “oldies” and Argentina odds of winning the 2018 World Cup would be 20-1 or 30-1. Please man, get over these conspiracy theories. Do you think Argentina national players who have one or two international caps and zero trophies under their names at any level of world football is going to some how do better than teams whose sides are loaded with champions and experience players all over the pitch? Argentinean football is a JOKE right now, it’s a blessing the country currently have these players, when they all retire Argentina will be mediocre team even in CONMEBOL where I don’t see the team qualifying for the next World Cup with the players they have to replace this current generation. Enjoy while it last, everything is a down hill spiral for the Argentina national team after the World Cup.

    • Papu Gomez, what a player! Similar to Lavezzi, he is a very generous player and he’s much more creative. For sure he has his added value to this team. The only issue is too much competition in his position. Assume that Argentina plays with 2 attacking midfielders + 1 fwd in attack, you have already Messi and Dybala on the right, Di Maria, Lanzini or Meza on the left, Pavon, Aguero and eventually Higuain or Lautaro or Icardi as fwd, so where can he be positioned? There are already so many talented players probably dropped from the list like Cervi, Joaquin Correa, Angel Correa, …etc.

      • Yeah I know many options in attacking positions. Personally I would take Papu and Perotti on the left. Messi and Dybala on the right and Aguero and Icardi through the middle. I would also include Lanzini in the squad, his comfortable playing on the wings, as a second forward and also in a deeper central midfield position.

  7. Why on Earth Sampaoli would pick Rojo and Mori when he has the option of going for Pezzella and Ansaldi!! Also Didn’t Garay want to come back ?
    With the lack of good defensive mids we have to have rock solid defenders and who else than Pezzalla who is also a leader and versatile Ansaldi. Rojo had a very good last season but after that injury he could never find his form back and Mourino has lost his faith on Rojo for good… Funes Mori was always an average defender.. Good back up but with lack of playing time he and Rojo should automatically disqualify..

    • Yes Bro, can’t understand at all on why someone would choose a Rojo and Mori when inform Garay and Pezzella are waiting. Horrendous.
      Im silently praying that Sampaoli & Beccache would surprise Messi by dropping Higuain, Biglia, Mascherano, Aguero, Banega and call up the exciting young players who really deserve a spot. Messi will not be able to say anything after the final 23 is read out.
      Messi will not say i’m not going to play this world cup because my friends are not selected’… he will carry on and play… because his primary goal is to win the world cup.

      • Even though we all want fit and in form players we know its not going to happen. Especially Macherano , Biglia , Aguero , Rojo and Mori are going no matter what!

        • Mori will not be selected.rumored 35 man squad has pezella we don’t know what squad sampaoli will actually take to Russia

          • I agree with you. Mascherano is needed for leadership skills. Barca vs Roma 0-3 would have never happened if Mascherano was there. He may not be better than Umtiti but he would have provided that extra when nothing is going right.

  8. Panini Argentina squad from the stricker album: Romero, Mercado, Fazio, Mascherano, Otamendi, Rojo, Funes Mori, Biglia, Enzo Perez, Di Maria, Acuna, Banega, Salvio, Icardi, Messi, Dybala, Aguero, Higuain 😀

  9. No coach leaves it this late to settle on his list of players. Sampa would even have his starting 11 ready by now let alone the 23. He should announce the 23 straight away and put a few players in reserves to cover for late injuries.

      • imo the Iceland match will be the toughest (like the Iran or Switzerland match), a real park the bus team, but defending is not in Croatias DNS, a lot of good names in the midfield, but big underperformers too, imo that will be a surprisingly easy game, and i don’t fear from Nigeria neither

  10. Mercado, Rojo will be red carded any time. Easily provoked. But really what Sampaoli or all our coaches try to say to younger generation. To things happen.. don’t work hard.. just suck hard..Rojo, Mori, Romero, Biglia almost never played a year. They enter without competition. Those who really work hard to enter just taken away. Agueros, Marias and Higuains given 100 matches to prove. If they fail they will be given another 100 matches. If really Messi is also responsible for this then we don’t deserve to win.

  11. People like to talk about Argentina group while Brazil group is easily tougher than ours. Switzerland since pre 2014 world cup up until today have been better than Croatia, and the FIFA ranking and the country being a ceded team at the 2014 world cup proves my point. Since 2014 (and even pre 2014) Switzerland have consistently ranked in the top 10 on the FIFA men national team ranking. Croatia on the other hand is only talk about because of Modric and Rakitic; two good players, but not game changers.

    Serbia and Montenegro >>> Iceland.

    Some of Montenegro players:

    Aleksandar Kolarov
    Branislav Ivanovic
    Matija Nastasic
    Nemanja Matic

    Plus, they won the U20 world cup back in 2015 against Brazil. Several of these players have already been integrated in the Serbia senior national team.

    Costa Rica >>> Nigeria.

    I don’t think Brazil will have it all their way in this group and they will find it hard to out run teams like Serbia and Switzerland especially on the flanks.

    • Brazil does not lose by 6 goals to Spain, instead they beat everybody in their way in the qualifiers and beat Germany without Neymar. You can’t compare teams player to player, but by how they are doing as a team currently. We are doing horribly as a team but we can be hopeful that the team will get together once the tournament starts, that is our only hope, otherwise we haven’t had a team that played one decent match since the 2016 Copa.

      We can get humiliated like Spain in 2014 and that will be very understandable considering our poor form over the last two years.

  12. Argentina list of 35 is Sampaoli selling smoke to the public. There is only a list of 23, and as far as things are right now, almost 97% of the 2018 World Cup roster have already been confirmed. Nobody take 35 players to the World Cup, so why are people even excited about a 35 list of players?

    • Kid, with your intelligence you should understand that we hope that Sampa will see in training that there are better options for various positions, especially in defense.

      • So Richard you really believe training is going to change the coach mind? What is a player going to do in training that will change Sampaoli mind when the coach already told several of these players that they won’t be making the final 23-man squad? So Sampaoli is going to change his mind on a player in training base on rondo drills, scrimmage drills and playing against Argentina U15/U17/U19 youth reserve players? I don’t think so, and I get where you’re coming from, but I don’t see Sampaoli axing and selecting players in a camp that will last maybe ten days before selecting his final world cup 23-man squad.

        • Actually yes. I think he will notice that e.g Ansaldi is fitter and better in tackles than Rojo and Pezzela is a better option than Funes Mori.

          I don’t no for sure that’s why I wrote: “we hope”.

        • • that’s where you are wrong “kidulthood “, things like that does happen in training, even “Leo messi ” admitted in a interview that was also on mundo a couple of weeks ago that Barcelona liked what they saw in him in training, so that makes your argument wrong.

  13. List of 35 Players from Ole:

    GK’s: Sergio Romero, Wilfredo Caballero, Franco Armani and Nahuel Guzman

    Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolás Otamendi, Ramiro Funes Mori, Germán Pezzella, Nicolás Tagliafico, Cristian Ansaldi / Fabricio Bustos

    Midfielders: Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Marcos Acuña, Leandro Paredes, Pablo Perez, Rodrigo Battaglia / Matias Kranevitter, Ever Banega, Enzo Perez, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Giovani Lo Celso, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Diego Perotti / Papu Gomez, Guido Pizarro, Ricardo Centurion

    Strikers: Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín, Lautaro Martínez, Cristian Pavón, Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala

    This looks very good; Right mix of youth and experience;
    Need to pick 23 among these who are 100% fit and in great form;

    • Are all of the 35 going to the training camp after 5/20?
      If so, Sampaoli has another chance to re-evaluate those players!

    • ugh picking 23 out of the this rumored 35 players will be tough. There will definitely be some tough omissions for sure. Sadly, I think Mascherano is already guaranteed a spot based on his shear WC experience. I think historically, WC player by position breakdown is 3 GKs …8 MFs….5 FWs (correct me if I am wrong)

      I am predicting the following 23 to make the cut:

      GK’s: Sergio Romero, Wilfredo Caballero, Franco Armani (3)

      Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo (?), Nicolás Otamendi, Germán Pezzella, Nicolás Tagliafico, Fabricio Bustos (7) …..Comes down to: Rojo vs Funes and Ansaldi vs Bustos

      Midfielders: Javier Mascherano, Marcos Acuña, Ever Banega, Enzo Perez, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Giovani Lo Celso, Angel Di Maria (8)……… Comes down to: Acuna vs (Salvio & Perotti & Centurion & Meza) and E Perez vs (Pablo & Rodrigo & Guido & Paredes).. Unless Acuna is being considered as a (LB) defender, then he would just replace Bustos, which would open another MF spot for someone else like Meza.

      Strikers: Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín, Cristian Pavón and Paulo Dybala (5)… Easy enough to determine based on the rumors..

      Selecting the best combo of 8 MFs out of 16 will be the hardest part honestly… I tried my best because I am now questioning my own selections especially when I have no idea what’s going through Sampaoli’s head and how he views certain players. A month ago, I would have bet on Meza making the cut but over who? Those 8 MFs are always featured under Samp, with the exception Lanzini, who I am certain will make it. This is too frustrating I give up. Please keep in mind, my selections are based on what I think Samp will do and not necessarily what I would like to see.

      • My 23 #Arg#squad


        1 Cabellero


        1Rojo 2Tagliafico 3Otamendi 4Fazio 5Masche 6Ansaldi 7Mercado


        2 Biglia
        3Lo Celso
        6 Lanzini
        7 Meza(Perotti)
        8 Battaglia(Enzo perez)

        4 Icardi

  14. I think Iceland and Croatia will be tough.Nigeria somewhat weak even if we lost to them in friendlies

    • You guys always say that until Argentina win the games then people dismiss them as just easy teams, and that the real test will be in the knockouts. This was the same argument playing against Serbia Monte during the 2006 World Cup, everyone was saying Serbia will be a tough team, we all know what happen. Argentina have unprecedented history at the World Cup, I’m not trying to underestimate any team, but I don’t see Iceland and Croatia being difficult test for Argentina. Everything Croatia and Iceland bring to the game Argentina will respond with 10x their ammunition. Well, the Nigeria friendly game was weird, as far as the overall game Nigeria did not exist in the first half against Argentina who should have score atleast 2-4 goals before high time, then for some reason Aguero physically collapse in the locker room and then some how the rest of the Argentib team collapse on the pitch in the second half against Nigeria. Something change during the second half against Nigeria and this is where Sampaoli should have adjust the team, I get the players were probably worried about Aguero condition, but it’s the coach job to settle things down in the locker room.

      • That’s why I’m saying Nigeria is not a big cup is can’t take any team lightly .Iceland played superbly last euro.Iceland will be tough to break down.they are quite disciplined in defense and will try to counter and Croatia always a decent side.they has 4 good players in modric rakitic perisic and mandsukic.Argentina need to be careful.I believe Argentina’s main tough matches will be started from quarters.quarter -> Spain semi->Germany final -> Brazil / France / Belgium

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