UK shirt sales for Iceland have overtaken England as the most popular of Euro 2016, with Swansea star Gylfi Sigurdsson the most in-demand player.
Whatever the result of Monday’s clash with England, there is little doubt that Iceland have been the surprise package of Euro 2016, and figures from UKSoccershop suggest the minnows have made a big impression on the Great British public.
After watching them hold a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal and shock Austria with a 2-1 win to qualify for the knockout stages, it seems fans across the UK have warmed to Lars Lagerback’s men, so much so in fact that the British-based retailer has sold more Iceland shirts than any other team.
Pre-tournament sales of England shirts exceeded those for all of the three major international competitions, but some uninspiring performances have had a negative impact on the enthusiasm towards Roy Hodgson’s men.
In comparison, there has been a significant surge in demand for Iceland shirts, making them the most popular of all the 24 teams to have appeared in France, accounting for 15 per cent of Euro 2016 shirts sold. Unsurprisingly, Premier League star Gylfi Sigurdsson is the most popular player with British buyers.
The strong demand has not come as a surprise to UKSoccershop owner Simon Pretswell, who commented: “Every tournament throws up a nation that the public falls in love with. At the last World Cup it was Colombia, in 2010 it was Uruguay.
“To be honest, even before they [Iceland] were drawn against England, they were up there amongst our top sellers, but since the victory over Austria, sales have just gone crazy.”
The full top 10 list of sales for the period following the second round of group games were as follows:
1. Iceland (15 per cent)
2. England (12 per cent)
3. France (10 per cent)
4. Germany (10 per cent)
5. Croatia (9 per cent)
6. Poland (7 per cent)
7. Ireland (7 per cent)
8. Belgium (7 per cent)
9. Spain (6 per cent)
10. Italy (6 per cent)
Note: Wales and Northern Ireland excluded due to limited availability of stock for sale.