950 years after the end of their reign, the Vikings are rising up again and conquering Europe.
Or at least their lineage is. The Icelandic soccer team is making major noise in the UEFA European Championships, and not just because of their post-game Viking chant.
Things have certainly changed since 1066. Rather than chiseling runes onto wooden planks and sending word of their heroic victories by ship, the battles are televised and watched by a whopping 99.8% of their countrymen.
But the results are similar. Iceland’s boys in blue have ripped through Europe, defeating the Netherlands, Turkey, Czech Republic, Portugal and, most recently, England. They are now in the quarterfinals.
Making the story even more spectacular: the country’s population is a mere 330,000. For comparison, that is 1/200th of England’s 53 million. Iceland is the smallest nation to ever qualify for a major soccer tournament. And their countrymen are behind them, with 8% of Iceland – 27,000 people – traveling to France to watch them play France on Sunday, July 3rd.
Be sure to tune in to ESPN to cheer on the Vikings. Until then, get hyped up with their post-game Viking chant.