In Tryggvi Hlinason’s experience, there’s only one event that can cause a traffic jam in his native country of Iceland: when the men’s soccer team plays.
“You should just see Iceland when we score a goal,” Hlinsason said. “You can’t even imagine the people. It’s insane. It’s insane.”
Hlinason grew up in the Nordic island nation of about 330,000 people. He was raised on a farm in a remote province called Þingeyjarsveit. He knows first-hand what a powerful force the sport can be.
Hlinason will be watching when Iceland kicks off World Cup group play against Argentina on Saturday. The 20-year-old is attempting to carve out a career as a professional athlete himself, only not in the sport his compatriots are hooked on. The 7-foot-1, 260-pound big man is improbably trying to climb the rungs of professional basketball.