Sigurdsson cools Iceland 'golden generation' talk

Gylfi Sigurdsson has moved to cool talk that Iceland's current crop of players are a 'golden generation'.

Having come agonisingly close to qualifying for this year's World Cup and going on to make a flying start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, the Nordic nation have understandably drawn plenty of plaudits.

Midfielder Sigurdsson has been one of the leading lights for his country and has rediscovered his club form since a close-season move to Swansea City from Tottenham, with only Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas having provided more assists in the Premier League this term.

But the 25-year-old believes a 'golden generation' tag could be somewhat premature, particularly when compared to a side like Belgium, who currently boast a wealth of top-class talent and face Iceland in a friendly on Wednesday.

"If you look at the Belgium team, they've got probably a lot of the best players in the world at the moment," he told Perform. "I think it's a little different [to us], but we're having a lot of success with the Icelandic national team.

"Of course there's pressure on us, we do it ourselves, we put pressure on us to win every game and I think that's been one of the things that has been helping us for the last two and half, three years."

Sigurdsson was, nevertheless, disappointed by his country's failure to make it to Brazil earlier this year - reaching the play-offs only to suffer a 2-0 aggregate defeat at the hands of Croatia 12 months ago.

"Very disappointing," he continued. "It was the first time Iceland has been all the way to the play-offs.

"It was a good experience and I think it was good for a young team like we have now that they experienced something like that and we were very close to going all the way to Brazil. 

"But we're determined now to go all the way to France and hopefully we can make it."

And Iceland have certainly made a promising start to their Euro 2016 qualifiers - sitting top of Group A on goal difference from the Czech Republic having won all of their opening three matches.

Among those triumphs was a 2-0 upset of Netherlands last month in which Sigurdsson scored both goals - his third and fourth of the campaign.

However, Sigurdsson insists it would be foolish to write off Netherlands, and believes Iceland will be battling the Czechs - their next group opponents on Sunday - for second spot.

"If you look at it now, we're joint top with the Czech Republic, but I think Holland are still the favourites to go all the way through," he added. "We're going to be fighting maybe for second with the Czech Republic, but it's down to us.

"If we're strong enough then we're going to win our games and hopefully we can go all the way."

Speaking about the victory over Netherlands, Sigurdsson said: "Beating one of the better nations in world football was very important for us, but it was good to continue the good work we've been doing for the last two and a half years.

"We've got nine points now for the first three games in the group, so I mean hopefully we can just push on and go all the way to France."