Rotherham United: Millers ace in World Cup bid

Kari Arnason
Kari Arnason
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Rotherham United fans will split their support this weekend and become Iceland fans on Friday night.

Their star defender Kari Arnason is in the Iceland side trying to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, something the Millers defender says is a dream.

They play Croatia tomorrow in the home leg of their two-legged World Cup Play-off qualifier with Arnason having been a regular in the back four.

“I have never known an atmosphere like it in my country as there has been through the group stage,” said Kari.

“They have been right behind us all the way through because we have never done so well before. Everyone in the country was on cloud nine when we actually qualified for the play-offs.

“Then the place has gone crazy and 10,000 tickets for this home were snapped up in just three hours even though it was 4am when they went on sale.”

“There is no doubt at all it would our greatest achievement if we could get to Brazil.

“When we started out, Brazil was a dream and a distant one at that.

“We’re massive underdogs against Croatia but Scotland beat them twice.”

Arnason joined Rotherham as a midfielder but this season has been centre back, his position for Iceland, and shown real class and composure.

“I could not get in my country’s midfield because of the quality - players like Gylfi Sigurdsson of Spurs and there’s Aron Einar Gunnarson of Cardiff - so I play at the back. The manager, Lars Lagerback has us so organised as a team and generally we have been solid but we create a lot of chances as well.

“It’s huge getting to this stage and would be remarkable to go to Brazil next year - and you never know.”

Arnason, 31, was actually born in Sweden but his Icelandic parents were in the country at the time for a few years due to work and study and he was only ever going to play for Iceland.