(Above) Iceland’s starting eleven for a recent international game.
(Below) Iceland’s 2018 World Cup team [source], of which each player is profiled below and classified by anthropological-racial type.
Iceland’s FIFA World Ranking in 2018: 22nd
Iceland national football (soccer) team at World Cup 2018
Racial stock of the Iceland-2018 World Cup team:
— 100% European ancestry [23.0/23.0 players]
—– 98% Icelandic ancestry [22.5/23.0]
—– 2% Danish ancestry [0.5/23.0]
—– by racial-anthropology: est. 55% Nordid, 40% Cro-Magnid stock
For an in-depth, player-by-player racial-ancestry analysis, see below. For an analysis of the racial-anthropological elements in Iceland’s 2018 World Cup team (with the most common type being the Tronder but with several classic Nordid types), see here (below).
Race and Europe’s ‘National’ Teams, World Cup 2018
Introduction to Series of World Cup Posts
This year’s World Cup (June-July 2018), as a politicized sporting event, gives us the opportunity to reflect on the racial situation in Europe as it stands, as it has evolved over the past twenty years (using World Cup teams as fixed comparison points). The trajectory of changes in the racial stock of teams may point to wider racial prospects for the 2020s, 2030s, and beyond.
Rarely discussed in its own terms, but on millions (perhaps billions) of minds, is the fact that Western Europe’s World Cup squads of recent years have not been very European but are largely multi-racial teams, sometimes White-minority teams, and thus symbolically in line with Europe’s shakily reigning “Multicultacracy” ideology.
The goal of these posts is to quantify this year’s Western European national teams’ racial-ancestral(-cultural) origins in some depth. Which European teams are the ‘least’ and which are the ‘most’ European?
Are there political implications to the racial balance of World Cup national teams? I would propose that there are, as follows:
Some countries, notably France, have received criticism for being top-heavy with non-European ‘mercenary’ players, men of recognized individual talent but with oftentimes less-than-solid ties to, and often being resentful of, the country they are representing. Will such racial ‘mercenary’ teams overperform in 2018, as they would presumably be expected to if team play is a summation of individual talents, or underperform, perhaps due to a relative lack of national-patriotic feeling?
Under the assumption of a role for ‘national-patriotic feeling’, Iceland should be assumed to overperform given its strong ancestral connection to the homeland it is representing; it very much has overperformed in recent years, amazingly reaching a FIFA rank of 22nd in the world this year, comparable in rank to some countries with tens to hundreds (!) of times as many people. (The United States, with literally one-thousand times the population of Iceland, is ranked 25th in the world, several slots below Iceland; the United States also failed to qualify for World Cup 2018 despite being in an easier qualifying group).
Europe’s World Cup 2018 teams analyzed so far:
— Belgium: 70% White, 22% Black, 17% Muslim
— Croatia: 100% White, no Muslims (with racial-anthropology analysis)
— Denmark: 90% White/Scandinavian
— England: 63% White, No Muslims
— France: 33% White, Black-African Majority
— Germany: 83% White, 11% Muslim
— Iceland: 100% White, including 70%+ of Tronder and Nordid racial types (This Post)
— Poland: 100% White, disproportionately from western Poland
— Portugal: 77% White, heavy African-colonial element
— Russia: 84% White with the remainder from the Caucuses and Central Asian/Turkic
— Serbia: 94% White, 4% Muslim, 4% Gypsy
— Spain: 92% White
— Switzerland: 70% White, but only 44% White-Christian
— Sweden: 91% White, No Muslims
Player-by-Player Racial-Ancestral-Cultural Origins
(Method of classification: The twenty-three men on the ICELAND World Cup 2018 squad are all White and all of Icelandic origin, but individually are evaluated by anthropological type..)
(Thoughts, opinions, corrections, or additional information is welcome in the comments.)
Iceland players‘ years of birth range from 1982 to 1997.
Note on this section: Unlike other West European teams, all Iceland players are full-“White,” and therefore it makes little sense to classify based on amount of White ancestry (which is 100%); instead, I will try to classify players based on their racial-anthropological type, on which, see the Society for Nordish Physical Anthropology (SNPA).
See below for summary totals of the racial-anthropological types by position and for the team as a whole.
[Nordid 2.05, Tronder 0.75, Dinarid(Norid) 0.2]
— Hannes Þór Halldórsson (born in Reykjavik; see picture; highly dolichocephalic and probably of the ‘Tronder‘ anthropological type but leans towards classic Nordid in many pictures) [0.75 Tronder, 0.25 Nordid]
— Frederik Schram (born in Greater Copenhagen to a Danish father and an Icelandic mother and has apparently lived his life mainly in Denmark, playing for several Danish clubs; of primarily Nordid type [see picture] but may have something akin to Dinaric influence [see Norid type], evident in some pictures [e.g., here] in eyes, nose, mouth) [Nordid 0.8, Dinarid 0.2; cf. Norid]
— Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson (born in Reykjavik to a professional-footballer father; classic Nordid type, see picture) [=Nordid 1.0]
[Nordid 3.25; Tronder 2.0; Borreby 1.0; general Cro-Magnid, Alpinid, and Paleo-Atlantid at 0.25 each]
— Birkir Már Sævarsson (born in Iceland; classic Tronder type, see picture; ‘Birkir’ means “birch tree” in Icelandic) [=Tronder 1.0]
— Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Icelandic origin; Borreby racial type; see picture) [=Borreby 1.0]
— Ragnar Sigurðsson (born in Reykjavik; classic Nordid; see picture) [=Nordid 1.0]
— Kári Árnason (born in Sweden to apparently Icelandic parents; see picture; primarily Nordid ancestry; some pictures [e.g., here] seem to reveal possible exotic ancestry but more likely reflects a degree of Cro-Magnid distinct influence [McCulloch implies that about half to two thirds of Icelandic racial stock is Cro-Magnid, and the remainder Nordid]; Kari was born to Icelandic parents studying in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1982; studied and played at Gonzaga University [Spokane, Washington] and Adelphi University [Nassau County, New York]) [=Nordid 0.75, Cro-Magnid 0.25]
— Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson (born in Iceland; father a professional player for a German club; see picture; likely Tronder type with Cro-Magnid and Nordid influences present) [Tronder 1.0]
— Hörður Björgvin Magnússon (born in Reykjavik; a textbook Halstatt Nordid type down to the platinum-blonde hair; see picture) [Nordid 1.0]
— Ari Freyr Skúlason (born in Reykjavik; see picture; Nordid influence predominant with a darker strain evident, perhaps of Paleo-Atlantid type [on which, see North Atlantid]; other pictures suggest distinct Alpinic influence; father of three children [see here] with presumably-Icelandic wife of Nordid type [see here; with three children born circa 2013 to 2016, Ari’s family stands against the trend of Iceland’s once-highest-in-Europe Total Fertility Rate, recently declined from its steady level around 2.0-2.2 from the mid-1980s to early-2010s to its current 1.7 [see here], a slow decline which began in 2010-11 following the Icelandic banking crisis) [=Nordid 0.5, Paleo-Atlantid 0.25, Alpinid 0.25]
[Tronder at 5.4, Nordid at 1.9, Borreby at 1.45, Brunn at 0.85, Alpinid at 0.4]
— Samúel Friðjónsson (born in Iceland; Nordid and Borreby influences; see picture) [=Nordid 0.5, Borreby 0.5]
— Albert Guðmundsson (born in Iceland; likely of the Tronder type; see picture) [=Tronder 1.0]
— Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (born in Iceland; of Tronder type but Borreby influence on nose; see picture) [=0.8 Tronder, 0.2 Borreby]
— Birkir Bjarnason (born in Iceland; see picture; Tronder with possible Alpinic inflence; has been referred to as “Iceland’s midfielder Thor” by media due to similar appearance to the character Thor in the recent movies [played by Chris Hemsworth]) [=Tronder 0.85, Alpinid 0.15]
— Gylfi Sigurðsson (born in Iceland; predominantly Nordid [on which, see picture] with Alpinic influnce [on which, see picture], perhaps of the Strandid type) [=Nordid 0.75, Alpinid 0.25]
— Ólafur Ingi Skúlason (born in Iceland; Brunn anthropological type with [probably inevitably in Iceland] Nordid influence; see picture) [=Brunn 0.85, Nordid 0.15]
— Aron Gunnarsson (born in Iceland; Nordid influence present [see picture] but Borreby influence may predominate [on which, see picture]) [=Borreby 0.75, Nordid 0.25]
— Rúrik Gíslason (born in Reykjavik; Tronder or Nordid type; see picture; candidate for the conservative Independence Party in Icelandic elections) [=Tronder 0.75, Nordid 0.25]
— Emil Hallfreðsson (born in Iceland; robust Tronder type; see picture) [=Tronder 1.0]
— Arnór Ingvi Traustason (born in Iceland; likely Tronder type, with a similar but more gracile overall phenotype to that of teammate Kari Arnason; see picture) [=Tronder 1.0]
[Nordid 1.2, Borreby 1.0, general Cro-Magnid 0.8]
— Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson (born in Iceland, Borreby type; see picture) [=Borreby 1.0]
— Alfreð Finnbogason (born in Iceland; see picture; Cro-Magnid element dominant, perhaps still in the Tronder range with Nordid influence visible in some pictures while in others he appears to be a fuller Cro-Magnid type, in some pictures even something approaching a robust Faelid) [=Cro-Magnid 0.8, Nordid 0.2] (Note: Alfred scored Iceland’s equalizing goal against Argentina in its first game of the World Cup; final score, 1:1)
— Jón Daði Böðvarsson (born in Iceland; Nordid type; see picture; phenotype would fit in Scotland, a testament to the partial Celtic origins of the Icelandic founding population) [=Nordid 1.0]
Digression of interest to the wider, distant-historical racial discussions in this post
On the case of the ‘Scottish-looking’ Iceland player Jón Daði Böðvarsson: Iceland was settled between the 870s and 920s AD, primarily by men from Western Norway, some of whom took British Isles women (Scotland and Ireland) to make up for the dearth of pioneer Viking women willing to endure “frontier” life; British-Isles ancestry did not really alter the racial balance of Iceland as most of these British-Isles women would have been of quite comparable racial-types; ‘British Isles ancestry’, anyway, appears to constitute 20-35% of total Icelandic ancestry (on which, see Helgason 2009, using 95% CI), the higher-end estimates tend to clash with anthropological realities, i.e., observed physical types are dominantly Scandinavian; nevertheless, the Celtic British Isles ancestral-element is there, and (all else equal) in a group of twenty-three randomly selected Icelanders as on the World Cup national team, two or three may be expected to be have a distinctly “British Isles appearance” due to the occasional reemergence of this population-ancestral element; besides Jón Daði Böðvarsson, other such ‘British-looking’ players on Iceland-2018 may include: Birkir Már Sævarsson and Albert Guðmundsson.
Comparison with past ICELAND squads
This year (2018)’s is Iceland’s first-ever World Cup appearance. The Iceland national team has previously appeared in Euro 2016 to some acclaim, where it finished 8th of 24 teams. This was its national team’s first-ever qualification for the UEFA European Championship (Euro 2016). It beat England 2-1 in the Round of 16, and lost to France 5-2 in the Quarter Final round.
The starting eleven of the Iceland National Team in a 2016 game
Iceland is a very small country with fewer than 300,000 citizens, and famously homogeneous; 22.5 of its 23 national team players for World Cup 2018 appear to be of full-Icelandic ancestry, with only one player of half-Danish origin; hardly out of place in Iceland. The Iceland team’s local origin contrasts in stark terms with some other European national teams’ rosters; fully-European-origin players on France, most strikingly, are only a small minority in 2018.
As far as physical(/racial)-anthropological classification of the “all-White” Iceland team: As expected, there is a mix of subracial types, with a strong degree of Nordid ancestry; Nordid-proper ancestry, though, is hardly monolithic and certainly not even the majority element; there are also many signs of Cro-Magnid ancestry, as sometimes expressed in Borreby influence but more often as expressed in the long-stable Tronder type, which itself may constitute a majority of the Icelandic racial stock (as McCulloch believes).
I see no clear signs of Lappid ancestry in any player, though trace amounts of Lappid ancestry do likely exist in Iceland (as in the case of the singer Bjork).
While sample sizes are small, and while these anthropological classifications are my own and necessarily subject to possible variation in opinion, I find the anthropological-racial stock of the Iceland team players to be 55% Nordid and 40% Cro-Magnid, often producing individuals of the Tronder type. Tronder is a long-stable blend of Nordid and Cro-Magnid racial elements (see SNPA, which concludes its entry on the Tronder type with “On the whole, Trønder types give the impression of more robust, powerful and masculine Nordid”; perhaps said in more straightforward terms, the Viking type?).
Given the Tronder type’s origins, to calculate the total share of “Nordid ancestry,” I assigned Tronders a 50% Nordid and 50% Cro-Magnid share. The combination of [Nordid]+(0.5)*[Tronder] is a figure I will call “Nordid stock”.
Iceland World Cup Team, Aggregate, Racial-Anthropological Types
— % : Racial-Type [Number of Players]
— 37% : Nordid [8.4]
— 35% : Tronder [8.15]
— 15% : Borreby [3.45]
— 5% : n.o.c. Cro-Magnid [1.05]
— 4% : Brunn [0.85]
— 3% : Alpinid [0.65]
— 1% : Paleo-Atlantid [0.25]
— 1% : Dinarid [0.2]
55%: “Nordid stock” ([Nordid]+(0.5)*[Tronder]) figure for the team.
Racial stock sorted by position, overall
— Goalkeepers: 68% Nordid, 25% Tronder; implying 80%+ “Nordid stock”
— Defenders: 46% Nordid, 29% Tronder, 14% Borreby; implying 60%+ “Nordid stock”
— Midfielders: 54% Tronder, 19% Nordid, 15% Borreby, 9% Brunn; implying 46% “Nordid stock”
— Strikers: 40% Nordid, 33% Borreby, 27% Cro-Magnid; =40% “Nordid stock”
Commentary on relative Nordid racial-stock by position
— For goalkeepers and defenders, a total of ten players, I calculate a collective 53% Nordid and 28% Tronder, for a 67% “Nordid stock”;
— For midfielders and strikers collectively, a total of thirteen players, I calculate only 24% Nordid and 42% Tronder, of 45% “Nordid stock”;
— Backfield players are a lot more Nordid than more forward-oriented players (at least on this n=23 team).
— The calculated figure of “Nordid stock” decreases with each position moving from rear to forward, from 80%+ for the goalkeepers, 60%+ for the defenders, 45% for the midfielders, and down to to 40% for the strikers (sample size of three). Borreby type, meanwhile, is much closer to being evenly distributed throughout all the field positions.
— The hypothesis suggested by the inadequate-sample-size data here — i.e., that among a homogeneous White population, Nordids do better in the backfield while more robust Cro-Magnids do better in attacking positions — would be interesting to test with a much larger sample.
Racially-mixed teams tend have a much higher share of West African ancestry at Striker and relatively little Black ancestry in the backfield, usually none at all at goalkeeper; might a similar dynamic may exist among all-White, teams with Cro-Magnid ancestry correlated with the position Striker? Anecdotally, we have former England striker Wayne Rooney as a very distinct Cro-Magnid; on the other hand, the two White strikers on England’s 2018 World Cup squad (Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy) are heavily Nordid. Of Germany’s three strikers in 2018, two are predominantly Cro-Magnid (Werner and Gomez) while one is a Nordid (Reus).
As a final remark on this highly detailed post and deep-anthropological evaluation of the twenty-three-man Iceland national team, I would again step back and stress the homogeneity of the team in recent terms; i.e., 22.5/23.0 of the players have very long roots in Iceland, it is possible that 90%+ of the total ancestral stock of the Iceland team included people in Iceland a thousand years ago.
If the assumption that unified ‘national-patriotic feeling’ plays a role in team performance in the World Cup is valid, Iceland should be assumed to overperform given its strong ancestral connection to the homeland it is representing.
Performance: Iceland held mighty Argentina (FIFA rank: 5th in the world) to a 1:1 draw in its first game, with a goal by striker Alfred Finnbogason.
Iceland’s next two games are against Nigeria (FIFA rank: 48th) and then Croatia (FIFA rank: 20th). If it manages to place second in its group behind Argentina, it will then face either France or Denmark (or Australia or Peru, if they can succeed in advancing against the odds). Iceland lost its next two hard-fought games and a repeat of its 2016-European-Champsion “Cinderella” story will not be repeated.