Iceland's midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (C) and team mates react after the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between France and Iceland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, on July 3, 2016. AFP / MARTIN BUREAU
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Iceland's run to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 showed that a Nordic island known for its volcanoes and pioneering geothermal power has the potential to generate plenty of its own talented footballers too.At the start of the 24-team tournament few would have predicted a nation of just 330,000 people, 100 football professionals and only amateur clubs, would knock out England on their way to the last eight.The country's youth teams have increasingly qualified for top tournaments.As the country starts the next goal of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, some of those younger players will be needed.While Croatia will be favorites to secure top spot, Iceland ran them close in qualifying for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
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