Who Joins Portugal, Germany and Wales?
As Wales dare to dream following their defeat of Belgium, fellow debutants Iceland could be forgiven for thinking that 2016 really is the year of the underdog. The Wales camp said Iceland’s shock win over England in the last 16 inspired them – so could the remarkable Welsh victory on Friday have a similar impact on the Nordic minnows?
Iceland joint-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson hopes his team will follow the example of Leicester City, this year’s shock Premier League winners. “I would like it to end like it ended with Leicester,” he said.
“They played to their strengths and we are trying to play to our strengths. There is the same team spirit in both teams. We are willing to work for each other.”
France have been respectful in the build-up to this game. Captain Hugo Lloris stresses that “we realise that being a big nation and playing nice football is not enough to make it to the last four.”
“The best teams playing the best football are no longer here,” he added.
“It shows that we’re back to values such as the importance of a collective effort. It’s mental strength that makes the difference and that’s what we will need to qualify.
“There will be no surprises for us. If we go out there just telling ourselves that we’re the best and have more talent, we won’t go through.”