The Canadian striker, who is Icelandic and “humble” to be with Benfica – The Athletic


With all the trimmings of professional sport, a footballer probably never expects to land in a remote archipelago off the south coast of Iceland.

But this is where the Canadian footballer Cloe Lacasse landed in 2015 – more precisely on Vestmannaeyjar with its around 4,000 inhabitants, to play for IBV-ithrottarfelag.

Lacasse grew up in Sudbury, Ontario and started playing soccer when he was three. Her mother hated the cold interiors of ice hockey arenas, so she dodged the national sport and sent her to soccer and taekwondo sessions. She made the national taekwondo team before focusing entirely on football at the age of 12.

In 2011 she moved to the US elite college system and after four strenuous years at the University of Iowa she was looking for a new challenge and playing in the middle of nowhere would surely give her that.

“I only knew that Iceland was such a small country … but there are really talented players there and the league is strong,” said 28-year-old The Athletic on Zoom from Lisbon, where she now plays for Benfica at the Campeonato Nacional Feminino. “So that amazed me a little, but it was good for me.

“I wanted to go to a European team to get a better technical and tactical aspect in my football game. I thought I could really develop here. It was a different style of play, it was very physical, but also technical. Iceland is a very small country, but it does very well in both women’s and men’s football. It was a surprise. You were very passionate about sport. “

Lacasse took up Icelandic life and quickly became a local. She was familiar with the breathtaking scenery, rural surroundings, and cold climate, even if she wasn’t prepared for how extreme the weather could be. “The weather is way crazier,” she says.

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