This is Europe: KR Reykjavik

Ben Gilmour

KR Reykjavik or Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur are Iceland’s most successful football club with an incredible 26 Urvalsdeild (Top division of Iceland) trophies in a sensational 119 years. KR is a club full of history as well as success.

Established in 1899, KR is the oldest and first football club to appear from the small isolated island of Iceland. They spent a decade being the only football team from the nation before others started appearing and in 1912 the first Icelandic Championship was held with KR lifting the trophy, beating Fram.

The boys in black and white put colour into the league with vibrant play, making them one of Iceland’s best teams. KR found themselves winning many trophies including the Icelandic Championship and the first ever Icelandic Cup in 1960. This meant that KR Reykjavik were to embark into the world of European Football and were given an inaugural draw against European heavyweights Liverpool,  they were humbled 11-1 on aggregate.

It took only until 1968 for KR to pick up their 20th Icelandic Championship (nowadays Urvaldeild) trophy and came close many other times in the years after but replicating that success became very difficult and a trophy drought ensued.

That all ended in 1994 when KR won the Icelandic Cup back-to-back in a resurgence of the clubs history as one of the best clubs in Iceland. Since that moment KR have went on to win 6 more Urvalsdeild titles bringing the overall total up to 26, making them the most successful team in Iceland.

KR have kept with their European roots with the club playing in black in white in a tribute to Newcastle United who had won the English League that year KR was formed. Playing Liverpool in the European Cup may seem like the height of their history however since then KR has went on to play such clubs as Everton, Torino, Feyenoord, Olympiakos and Celtic.

KR has an incredibly loyal fanbase with an average attendance of 2,501 which is 0.75% of the entire population of Iceland. KR have played in their own ground for the club to use since 1984 known as ‘KR Field’ in English and have built up a solid foundation of history and community within the club.

KR has also expanded out into Basketball among other sports enjoying success in that region as well, however KR is mostly known for their success in Football which they have built up over the 100 years since foundation in the 1800s.

KR has everything great that Football has to offer. A unique history, loyal fan base and success that all the community can enjoy, KR are a great example of how football can prosper in any region of Europe.


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