Against the Elements: The Eruption of Icelandic Football by Football Collective member Matt McGinn is out now.
Against the Elements is part travelogue, part thematic investigation into the factors behind the success of men’s and women’s football in Iceland. It is a book about football that strays from music to weightlifting; from five days on a fishing trawler called Vestmannaey to a volcanic eruption in 1973.
McGinn draws on 50 exclusive interviews with the key protagonists to unpick how it happened. Does an Icelandic “Viking” mentality exist? Can smallness be an advantage? Is there a template for other nations to follow? Photographs by Joseph Fox, an award-winning documentary photographer, capture the brutal beauty of a place that should not be fertile for anything, let alone football.