Aberdeen boss McInnes delighted to see defender Arnason go to World Cup with Iceland

Kari Arnason at Euro 2016 with Iceland.

Dons boss Derek McInnes expressed his pleasure at seeing Kari Arnason qualify for the 2018 World Cup with Iceland.

The Aberdeen centre-back played in both of Iceland’s qualifiers during the international break.

He scored in their 3-0 victory over Turkey and started the 2-0 win against Kosovo which secured their place at football’s most prestigious tournament.

The 34-year-old’s club manager McInnes is thrilled to see Arnason help them qualify and also praised Iceland – a country with a population of just 334,252 – for reaching the World Cup.

He said: “I’m delighted for Arnason to get qualification.

“I think it’s a fantastic achievement and you see the celebrations and what it means to him, the players and the country.

“For a nation of their size they’ve done extremely well of late and Arnie has been a big part of that.

“He’s been a mainstay of the team and he has taken his form over the last couple of games into the international set-up.”

McInnes also revealed that playing regularly was something Arnason wanted when the Reds re-signed him in summer from Cypriot team AC Omonia Nicosia, so that he could remain in contention to play for Iceland.

The Pittodrie boss also believes, with next year’s tournament in Russia on the horizon, it provides Arnason with great motivation to produce his best form for Aberdeen and ensure his place in the Icelandic squad.

“Playing for his country even from the outset when we spoke to Arnie was always very important to him,” McInnes added. “He’s always had one eye on that World Cup and he knows he has to be playing well and playing regularly for him to be in with a chance of being a main player there.

“What a brilliant motivation for him.”

McInnes also thinks it will be good for the Dons’ Red Army to see one of their favourites playing on football’s grandest stage after Scotland’s failure to qualify.

He said: “There is that interest from supporters to see one of our players there involved.” in a World Cup.”