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Blog - The Toe Poke

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 By Chris Wright

The 10 worst World Cup anthems

Here at the Toe Poke, we abso-bloody-lutely love the World Cup, no question. That, dear friends, is a given.

However, every tournament seems to bring with it a singularly awful soundtrack -- just take 2014's official song for example. Truly risible.

Anyway, we thought we'd collate some of the very worst World Cup "anthems" (never has that word been used more inappropriately!) for your listening pleasure (again: so very inappropriate).

No need to thank us, you're welcome ...

10. "Boom" -- Anastacia

Despite plainly being a forgotten B-side salvaged from one of Anastacia's previous albums with no obvious link to football, save for a few swatches of stock footage cut-and-pasted into the video, this vague, limp, lukewarm ditty was selected as the official FIFA song for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

9. "On The Ball" -- Ant & Dec (Official England World Cup Song, 2002)

In which British television's preeminent botched cloning experiment gormlessly parp away relentlessly while larking around pretending to be Sven Goran Eriksson and his assistant Tord Grip.

Safe to say, lads, if you're making Anastacia's aforementioned efforts look positively stirring by comparison, then you're probably doing it wrong.

8. "To Be Number One" -- Edoardo Bennato & Gianna Nannini

It's little wonder that The Three Tenors' "Nessun Dorma" was so readily adopted as the unofficial soundtrack to Italia '90 once you consider that this Euro-schlock mess, sung by a man who looks like he'd finish third in any given Kenny G lookalike contest, was supposed to be the official anthem of the tournament.

7. "Grab A Stella, Nelson Mandela" -- England United feat. Spike

A fitting testament to Madiba's legacy if ever there was one ...

6. "Re-Sepp-Ten" -- Dodo & The Dodos feat. 1986 Denmark World Cup squad

The title is a reference to then-Denmark coach Sepp Piontek and is also a play on the Danish word for "prescription" -- as in "Sepp is the prescription."

Geddit?

The less said about the song, the better. Here's a sample of the lyrics: "Mother Denmark loves all Danish boys who can bang...*pause for maximum innuendo*...the ball."

5. "England's On The Way" -- Neil Morrissey & England's Pride 

Borrowing heavily -- almost entirely, in fact -- from "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", this unofficial World Cup 2010 anthem sunk without trace, and that's despite the input of the voice of 'Bob the Builder'.

4. "Mexico Mi Amor" -- Peter Alexander feat. 1986 German World Cup squad

Come for Lothar Matthaus looking thoroughly uncomfortable in a sombrero, stay for Lothar Matthaus looking thoroughly uncomfortable in a sombrero.

3. "Together Now" -- Jean Michel Jarre

Featuring Japanese vocalist Tetsuya Komuro on shrieking duties, here's the needlessly aggressive-sounding late 90s techno racket that, for reasons we can't quite fathom, was chosen as one of several official World Cup anthems for France '98.

It stinks. To high heaven.

2. "Far Away In America" -- The Village People feat. 1994 German World Cup squad

Lothar Matthaus, once again, is absolutely in his element here ...

1. "Victory" -- USA 1990 World Cup squad feat. Def Jef and DJ Eric Vaughn

Nobody quite does "so chintzy it's almost brilliant" like the good ol' Yoo Ess Ay, and the Yanks' choice of diet Hip-Hop-lite anthem for their 1990 World Cup tilt is a textbook case in point.