Iceland's soccer team receives hero's welcome and a "Viking thunder clap"

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Thousands of Iceland fans turned out to welcome home the team that unexpectedly reached the Euro 2016 quarter finals and inflicted a shocking defeat on England.

"They did very well. Just - above expectations, so you can't be nothing but happy about their performance," said fan Omar Mar Birgisson.

The squad returned home in triumph Monday despite a five-to-two defeat against France in the tournament's quarter finals.

At the start of the 24-team tournament few would have predicted a nation of just 330-thousand people, 100 soccer professionals and only amateur clubs, would knock out England on their way to the last eight.

"Well getting to the '16 finals, that was the big plan but eighth best team in europe, we can't ask for more," said fan Gisli Freyr Svavarsson.

"No it wasn't disappointment, we were so glad to be in the eight finals so it was crazy," said fan Viggi Thorsson.

As the squad arrived back in Reykjavik they got a warm reception from thousands of fans - and the coach expressed his gratitude.

"As I said, it is a pretty good group of players and it is a pretty good group of staff but what I 've seen here today is maybe more impressive than 80,000 in paris so you are absolutely fantastic, the support you have given us," said Iceland coach Lars Lagerbåck.

The fans will be needed to boost the team's morale as they attempt to reach the 2018 world cup finals.

Qualification will be tougher than the euros with Europe having just 13 spots allocated instead of the 24 for this tournament.



 
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