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Iceland Fans Took Their Famous 'Thunderclap' Chant From Motherwell Supporters

Iceland Fans Took Their Famous 'Thunderclap' Chant From Motherwell Supporters

From Lanarkshire to Reykjavik to Russia.

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

As you've probably noticed, the 2018 World Cup got underway the other day in Russia, and the excitement hasn't let up since then. In fact, this Saturday provides football fans with an opportunity to do literally nothing else all day.

The opening Saturday of the month-long festival of football brings us four games back-to-back, making for a full 11 hours of the greatest game in the world.

The second game of this feast saw plucky minnows Iceland take on the team with arguably the world's best player - Lionel Messi's Argentina (although Cristiano Ronaldo might have something to say about that).

Messi saw a penalty saved and fluffed a late opportunity to better his GOAT rival Ronaldo's free kick heroics from the previous evening, as Alfreð Finnbogason's 23rd minute strike cancelled out Sergio Agüero's opener, earning Iceland a valuable point from the 1-1 draw.

Iceland have qualified for the past two major tournaments despite being the smallest nation in contention, and having a population of about 330,000. They won a lot of people's hearts at Euro 2016 after about 10 percent of their entire population emptied out to France for a party.

One of the things that people love so much about the Icelandic fans is their famous 'Viking thunderclap'.

You know, the one where they all clap really slowly and chant in perfect unison:

However, the Icelandic fans might not have the first claim to have invented that particular piece of fan choreography. That honour is actually contested between a few sets of fans.

Motherwell is a small town in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and they - like Iceland - have a proud footballing tradition. Way back in 2014 they played a Europa League qualifier against Icelandic side Stjarnan.

While only 22 away fans attended the leg in Lanarkshire, and a couple of hundred Scottish fans made the journey to Iceland, it seems as if the Stjarnan fans fell in love with the Motherwell tradition of slow-clapping into their club anthem 'Since I Was Young'.

Motherwell fans representative Dave Wardrope told the Guardian in 2016: "It's been popular here for a few years but I'm not sure quite when it started,

"No one is certain but we don't think our fans took it from another club's supporters. They made it up themselves."

Well, there is certainly footage of it back in 2013 - way before the Icelandic fans were into it.

Hang on though, because the Steelmen aren't the only fans who have been slow clapping since way back when.

In fact, fans of Middlesbrough and Lens have unearthed footage of their own supporters doing the Viking clap back before 2016. Lens reckon their fans have been doing it for nearly 20 years.

Still, with Motherwell, Lens, and Middlesbrough unlikely to ever feature at a World Cup, on the international stage, Iceland definitely do it best.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: SPORT, 2018, Russia 2018, Football, FIFA, Argentina, World Cup

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