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Iceland’s Soccer Team Returns from Euro 2016 to a Euphoric Reykjavík Welcome

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The Icelandic soccer team, knocked out of the Euro 2016 quarterfinals by hosts France on Sunday, returned home to a hero’s welcome as thousands of jubilant supporters lined the streets of the country’s capital, Reykjavík.

The team was then paraded through the city on an open-top bus, periodically stopping to take pictures and sign autographs with their fans, the BBC reported. The team also joined fans in the trademark slow handclap that has became a familiar sight in Euro 2016.

Iceland’s exploits at its first-ever major international competition captured the 330,000-strong Nordic nation’s imagination, with unexpected results against higher-ranked and heavily favored teams like Portugal, Hungary, Austria and England — the last two of which they defeated and knocked out of the tournament. They also won fans the world over, with the plaudits pouring in even after their departure.

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com