Since they reached their first EHF EURO semifinal in 2002, Iceland have been among the top handball nations, with silver at the 2008 Olympic Games and bronze at the EHF EURO 2010. Iceland only narrowly missed the semi-finals at the EHF EURO 2014, and after a weak start to the 2016 qualification, pulled themselves together to eventually finish top of Group 4.
Coach Aron Kristjansson has a highly experienced squad at his disposal, which still includes some Beijing silver medallists such as Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, Robert Gunnarsson and goalkeeper Björgvin Gustavsson.
At almost every tournament an Icelandic player is named part of the all-star team, as was the case for Aron Palmarsson at the 2012 Olympic Games.
25-year-old Aron Palmarsson is Iceland's centre back. His great talent for the game was discovered early in his life when he played for FH in the town of Hafnarfirði near Reykjavik, which many regard as the cradle of Icelandic handball.
At 18 years of age, Palmarsson made his debut for the national team. He then became part of the squad that won bronze at the EHF EURO 2010 in Austria. In the 2009/10 season he joined German powerhouse THW Kiel, winning the EHF Champions League in 2010 and 2012. At the beginning of the 2015/16 season he joined MVM Veszprem.
His role and responsibility within the national team has increased over the years and he became one the leading players already at the World Championship 2011 as well as at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia. The EHF EURO 2016 in Poland will be his fourth consecutive appearance at an EHF EURO event.
Palmarsson was voted 2012 Athlete of Year by the Icelandic Sports Journalists' Association.
Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson
Left wing Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (34) is Iceland's team captain and has been one of the key players for more than a decade. Going into his ninth European Championship, he played his first EHF EURO match at the 2000 final tournament in Croatia at which Iceland finished 11th.
Iceland took to the court at European Championships a combined 50 times and Sigurdsson has played in 48 of these matches - a figure that no other Icelandic player reaches.
Sigurdsson began his career with Grotta in Seltjarnarnes, close to Reykjavík. Later he played for KA in Akureyri before he went to Germany in 2001. Since then he has played for Tusem Essen, VfL Gummersbach, Rhein-Neckar Löwen, AG Kobenhavn. THW Kiel. In 2014 he joined FC Barcelona with whom he won the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2015.
He was voted Athlete of the Year in 2006 in Iceland, the same year he became the German Bundesliga top scorer. With Iceland he won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games and bronze at the EHF EURO 2010.
Aron Kristjansson (42) took over as coach of Iceland's men's national team in September 2012, succeeding Gudmundur Gudmundsson.
While being a player, Kristjansson played 85 internationals for Iceland as centre back. He was part of the team that reached the semi-finals at the EHF EURO 2002 in Sweden. Earlier in his career he won bronze with Iceland's under-21 team at the 1993 Men's Junior World Championship, scoring the decisive goal in the 21:20-win against Russia in the match for third place.
An injury forced him to stop playing handball in 2004 and he took over as coach at Danish club Skjern until 2007. He then moved back to his home country where started training Haukar, winning the Icelandic national championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Following a short stint with German side Hannover-Burgdorf in the 2010/11 season, he returned to Haukar, coaching them until spring 2013 and again winning the national championship on two occasions. Between February 2014 and the end of the 2014/15 season he also coached KIF kolding Kobenhavn.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events