Iceland are smallest nation to qualify for World Cup - taking over from . . .

Northern Ireland, who have featured in three World Cups so far, are third on the list

The Northern Ireland team celebrate after a 0-0 draw with England at Wembley Stadium had ensured their qualification for the 1986 World Cup. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

The Northern Ireland team celebrate after a 0-0 draw with England at Wembley Stadium had ensured their qualification for the 1986 World Cup. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

 

Iceland have become the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup after a 2-0 win over Kosovo on Monday.

The northern European country, who knocked England out of Euro 2016, has a population of just over 335,000 people.

Here are the five other smallest nations to have featured on the game’s biggest stage.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (1.37million)

The Soca Warriors made their sole finals appearance in 2006 in Germany, where they featured in the same group as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England. The team featured a number of players familiar to English audiences, including Shaka Hislop, Dwight Yorke and Stern John.

NORTHERN IRELAND (1.85m)

Michael O’Neill’s men are on course to qualify for the first time since 1986. They also featured in Spain in 1982, having made their debut at the 1958 finals in Sweden.

SLOVENIA (2.08m)

They have featured twice at the finals — in 2002 and 2010. They failed to take a point from three group games in their maiden tournament, but came within a whisker of the last 16 in 2010, when a late defeat to England and a victory for the United States over Algeria eliminated them.

JAMAICA (2.89m)

The Reggae Boyz were surprise qualifiers for France 98 and after being beaten by Croatia and Argentina in their first two matches, went home on a high with a 2-1 win over Japan.

WALES (3.1m)

The Principality made their only previous finals appearance in 1958, when they were beaten by eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals.

*Population figures from: worldometer.info, except Northern Ireland and Wales population information, which comes from the Office of National Statistics, 2016.

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