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Is Lars Lagerback the best international coach in Europe?

The Guardian did a story on Iceland's national football team coach, Swedish Lars Lagerback. The article was titled: "How Lars Lagerback took Iceland to the brink of the World Cup finals".

A coach with one of the most successful records in international football is a play-off against Croatia away from his greatest achievement. Read more here.

Lars Lagerback took Sweden to five consecutive major tournaments and is now on the verge of taking tiny Iceland to the World Cup.

Lagerback is an understated character. He does not have a high profile and neither does he seek one. Yet he must arguably be the best international coach in Europe over the past 15 years, The Guardian wrote.

So what did the Iceland FA say to him when he took on the job, The Guardian asked Lagerback. Did it have the aim of reaching the play-offs? "They didn't have any set targets when they appointed me actually, so there was never any talk of me having to reach the play-offs or any other result," he says. "But I would never have taken the job if I didn't think we could do that."

The fact that he does not speak Icelandic has not been a problem, according to Lagerback: "We do speak a lot of English. There are quite a few players who understand a "Nordic" language [and therefore Swedish]. Individually I can speak Swedish to the players but when we are in a group I always speak English", he told The Guardian.

Lagerback also talkes about two players that have been instrumental in Iceland's successful campaign, Eidur Gudjohnsen, the 35-year-old who spent two years at Bolton and six at Chelsea and now plays for Club Brugge, and Tottenham Hotspur's Gylfi Sigurdsson.

About Gylfi he said for example: "He is an extreme team player and can work very, very hard for the entire 90 minutes so for Iceland he is worth his weight in gold."

Click here to read the full article on The Guardian

The second and final play-off match against Croatia will take place in Zagreb next Tuesday.

It's now enough for Iceland to draw against Croatia in Zagreb, with an away goal. If it goes to penalties we obviously have to win - to get a ticket to the World Cup in Brazil next year.

 

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Last modified on Monday, 18 November 2013 15:33

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