Amid the tumult of the Brexit vote and the roiling toll of the migrant crisis, it's been a rough summer for Europe. So spare a thought for the region's best story: Iceland's soccer team.

On Sunday, Iceland's unlikely side of journeymen lost in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament to host nation France. The result didn't quite feel like a defeat, though.

That Iceland was even at the tournament, let alone at such an advanced stage, was tantamount to a miracle. The country is one of the smallest in Europe, with a population of just over 320,000 people, and had pulled off an astonishing upset last week, trouncing a much-fancied English team. In France, roughly a 10th of Iceland's population followed around their soccer stars.

And so it was a spectacle to behold when the squad returned home Monday to a rapturous reception. At a square in the capital Reykjavik, where a third of the country lives, a large chunk of the city's population turned out to greet their heroes. They did so with the simple chant that has turned into something of a meme in France: the Viking clap, a slow, rhythmic call-and-response that builds into a crescendo of noise.

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