Iceland (ISL)

Iceland were one of the big stories of the EHF EURO 2022, as they came close to clinching one of the semi-final places, only just missing out after a headline-grabbing campaign up to that point.

Iceland topped a competitive preliminary round group that included co-hosts Hungary, Portugal, and Netherlands — against all of whom Iceland won. The Nordic team finished third in the main round group that included back-to-back Olympic finalists Denmark and France. Iceland’s record in that stage included their first ever EHF EURO victory against France, which was also their first win in an official encounter against the side since the London 2012 Olympics and France’s biggest EURO defeat.

Iceland were exceptionally strong during the EHF EURO 2022 and took sixth place after three straight finishes outside the top 10, from 2016 to 2020. Iceland are looking to replicate their biggest EHF EURO successes — two semi-finals, in 2002 and 2010, with the latter ending in the bronze medal — and seem poised to do it. They only just missed out on the top four in 2022 and were impacted by a number of Covid-19 cases — a fact that proves their strength, as Iceland kept recording big results even as key players were sidelined and less experienced players stepped up.

On an individual level, Iceland’s players have grabbed the spotlight in the last year. Three of them play for EHF Champions League title holders Magdeburg: Gísli Kristjánsson, Janus Smarason and Ómar Ingi Magnússon. Kristjánsson was MVP of the EHF FINAL4 2023 as Magdeburg took the title. Although Smarason transferred after the title-winning season, he was part of the 2023 IHF Super Globe victory alongside his two compatriots.

Following a period sidelined with injury, Kristjánsson is expected to be back fully fit for the EHF EURO 2024.

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Player Cumulative Statistics Roster
# Player MP Goals Shots % 7m YC RC 2 Min TP
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# Goalkeeper MP Saves Shots % 7m
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EHF competition history

Top Results

European Championship
2010 - 3rd place

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Key Players

Ómar Ingi Magnusson)
Ómar Ingi Magnusson
Right Back

Ómar Ingi Magnusson has swiftly become one of the outstanding players of the new Icelandic handball generation. The 26-year-old was top scorer at EHF EURO 2022 with 59 goals, after missing the 2020 edition due to concussion - in particular, he helped Iceland to an impressive 29:21 win against France, scoring 10 times. Magnusson spent four years in Denmark with Aarhus and Aalborg, before signing with Magdeburg in 2020. He was key to Magdeburg's progression to the TruckScout24 EHF FINAL4 2023, scoring 61 goals through the season, but missed the final weekend due to injury. Magnusson was named Icelandic Sportsperson of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

Aron Pálmarsson)
Aron Pálmarsson
Left Back

Aron Palmarsson is set to play in his eighth EHF EURO after his 2010 debut, when he scored 33 goals to help Iceland to bronze. At the age of 33 Palmarsson is now one of the older members of the Icelandic squad, but his ability to read the game and his leadership skills remain key for Iceland. Palmarsson won the EHF Champions League with Kiel in 2010 and 2012 and with Barça in 2021, and holds the record for the most EHF FINAL4 participations, playing his 10th in 2021. He was MVP of the EHF FINAL4 in 2014 and again in 2016 as well as the youngest-ever male All-star Team member at the age of 21 at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Palmarsson returned to Iceland in 2023 after two years with Aalborg, and now plays his club handball for FH in Hafnarfjarðar.

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Head Coach

Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson)
Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson

Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson took over as head coach of the Icelandic national team in the summer of 2023, replacing Gudmundur Gudmundsson. After a successful career as a centre back for clubs such as Rhein-Neckar Löwen in Germany and GOG in Denmark, as well as silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and bronze at the EHF EURO 2010, Guðjónsson returned to his first club, Valur, as its coach. The Men's EHF EURO 2024 will be his first tournament as the national team head coach.

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