Iceland national team gets huge reception after first-ever Euro

Icelandic football fans received the island's national side like conquering heroes, as the team returned home Monday night after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of their first-ever European championships.

Tens of thousands - in a country in the North Atlantic with a population of 330,000 - celebrated the team's underdog performance to survive the group stage and beat England before a 5-2 loss to France.

Crowds gathered at Reykjavik's Arnarholl, a hill where the Supreme Court building is located, and in streets throughout the capital.

Departing co-coach Lars Lagerbaeck called it a magnificent reception, saying the team had only a partial sense while playing at the Euro in France of the excitement back home. Players waved from atop an open double-decker bus.

"But now to see the people waving along the way from the airport to the city centre is simply fantastic," Lagerbaeck said.

Last update: Tue, 05/07/2016 - 01:47

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