World Cup cameo propels 'cute' Iceland midfielder to viral fame

Iceland midfielder Rurik Gislason winning admirers on social media

A blonde Iceland midfielder has become a social media sensation, attracting more admirers than the population of Iceland after a cameo role in the 1-1 World Cup draw with Argentina.

Rurik Gislason came on as a second-half substitute on Saturday to win admirers worldwide purring over his cool Nordic looks.

Before the 30-year-old was introduced to help hold Lionel Messi and co. at bay, his Instagram account had a respectable 30,000 followers.

By end-Saturday Gislason's following on the social media website had grown to 250,000, topping a half million by Tuesday, well over the 330,000-strong population of Iceland.

"How is it possible to be this cute?" a popular Brazilian actress Gabriela Lopes wondered to her Instagram fans.

On Twitter the hashtag #sexyrurik has been trending, with many of the posts originating from South America.

An Argentinian travel agency shared his picture after the game to advertise trips to the Nordic island.

"Girls, who's in?" it drooled.

Gislason, who plays for German second division outfit Sandhausen and has a side line in clothes modelling, has yet to reply to a request for comment by AFP.