This international break proved to be an excellent one for Gylfi Sigurdsson and Iceland in general as the tiny nation qualified for its first ever World Cup competition, to be held next year in Russia.
The attacking midfielder scored once and assisted in another as Iceland beat Kosovo 2-0 to seal their automatic berth to the global competition by topping Group I.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo ahead of Everton’s game on Sunday at Brighton and Hove Albion, Sigurdsson talked about the need for all the players to step up their game to prevent the Toffees’ season spiraling out of control.
“We need to get back to winning ways. It was a disappointing result against Burnley last time out, so it’s very important for us to start picking up points and it would be nice to do that on Sunday.
“It’s a big week for us. We’ve got three games now in the space of eight days or so, so it is important for us to start well and get a good result against Brighton.
“That will then take us into the next couple of games on Thursday and Sunday. It’s just football at the end of the day, if you’re playing for your country or your club, so I think it’s quite easy for us to switch back into club football. We’re used to it and I think all the players will be ready on Sunday.”
On the incredible achievement of leading Iceland to the World Cup soon after a wildly successful Euro 2016 campaign, he added -
“I’m very excited. It’s been a really good week for us, we had the celebrations on Monday night and we’re obviously delighted we’ve made it to the World Cup.
“It’s something we’ve all been waiting to see happen to Icelandic football - to actually go to the World Cup.
“It’s happening now so it’s just an outstanding feeling and I think all of the players and the people of Iceland are really proud of it. We’ll be looking forward to going to Russia.
“Leading up to the game you were hoping and wishing you could help the team with a goal, so it was a nice feeling to score in such an important game. It’s two major tournaments in a row now and that’s a great achievement for the country.”
Everton desperately need Sigurdsson hitting peak form for the Blues starting this weekend with three critical games coming up in the next week or so, but it starts with the manager in putting his best players in positions to succeed. We’ll see on Sunday if Ronald Koeman has learned anything at all so far.