CLARETS ace Johann Berg Gudmundsson described watching Iceland in the World Cup draw as ‘surreal’ after seeing his history-making moment inch closer.

Iceland will face Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D next summer and Gudmundsson watched the draw while travelling to Leicester with Burnley.

Iceland became the smallest nation in history to qualify for the World Cup but their reward is a daunting group, not that it’s put any fear into into the in-form Gudmundsson, who is set to be become the first Claret to play in a World Cup since Billy Hamilton and Tommy Cassidy represented Northern Ireland in 1982.

Gudmundsson said the draw brought home the reality of what he had achieved with Iceland.

“It was a bit weird before the draw that we were actually going to be in there, that was a bit surreal,” he said.

“It’s still far away, we need to concentrate on club football, but it got a bit more realistic that we were going to be at the World Cup when the draw was made.

“It’s the biggest (tournament) in the world.

“For a nation like Iceland, the smallest nation by far to reach the World Cup, it’s special. We’re always going to be in the history books, which is nice.”

He added: “It’s a tough draw. They’re really good teams, but I’m looking forward to the first game, Argentina are a great team.

“In the last Euro’s we played Portugal and Ronaldo first, now it’s Argentina and Messi, it’s going to be fun.

“We’ve got Croatia again, not really happy about that, we played them in the World Cup play-off last time and they were in our group this time, but we know we can beat them.

“Nigeria from the fourth pot, that’s one of the toughest opponents there, but anything can happen in a big tournament like the World Cup.

“We’ve done some good things over the last few years and we’ll go out there, enjoy it and try and do good things again.”

Iceland will get their toughest fixture out of the way first, facing Lionel Messi and Argentina on the first Saturday of the tournament, but it’s a test Gudmundsson is relishing.

“You want to play against teams you normally don’t play against. It’s going to be unbelievable experience, first time at the World Cup playing one of the best teams in the world,” the 27-year-old said.

“Messi is one of the best, if not the best, who ever touched the ball, so it’s going to be really nice to test yourself against him.

“We know it’s going to be tough, we’re going to be defending 95 per cent of the time but that five per cent when we play a little bit of football we may nick a goal and surprise a few people.”

Gudmundsson watched the draw alongside Burnley’s other likely representative in Russia, Steven Defour, with Belgium drawn in the same group as England.

A number of the Clarets could yet force their way into Gareth Southgate’s plans, but Gudmundsson revealed Defour was happy to be drawn alongside the Three Lions.

“Me and Steven watched it on the bus travelling here. He was quite happy to get England,” he said.