Unless you’ve been living under digital blackout conditions, you can’t have failed to notice that the World Cup is in full swing.
Football and music have always felt like natural bedfellows – and we’re not just talking about the Lightning Seeds in ’96 or John Barns’ rap. There’s something about the passion that football inspires, the heightened emotions and unwavering loyalty that feels of a piece with music fandom. There’s certainly no shortage of musicians who have worn their team colours loud and proud.
What better way, then, to celebrate the World Cup that to ask some of our favourite artists and creatives to let us in on their favourite World Cup moments – and reveal who they’re rooting for this tournament. From Zidane’s notorious headbutt to a last minute free kick from Beckham that guaranteed England’s qualification to the Japan and South Korea World Cup in 2002, these are the moments that continue to inspire and infuriate.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs’ John-Michael Hedley
It’s a close call. Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina at France ’98 jumps out, as does Joe Cole’s screamer against Sweden in 2006, but I’m going to have to go with a Japan and South Korea World Cup qualifier between England and Greece in 2001.
David Beckham’s last minute goal from a free kick at Old Trafford. The goal made the score 2-2 and with Germany drawing their last qualifier, England automatically qualified for the World Cup on goal difference. The stadium absolutely erupted when that ball hit the back of the net.
I was lucky enough to be at the game! My dad is crazy about football and started taking me to matches from the age of 7. It was such a tense match, so much rode on the result going our way. We should have won easily really, but England never make things easy for themselves. I was sitting behind the goal that Beckham’s equaliser went into, the whole team celebrated in front of where we were sitting too. It really felt like I’d witnessed a historical sporting moment in the flesh. A funny thing I remember was a bloke and his son sitting next to me. The bloke was clearly getting a little annoyed at his son, who really didn’t care that much about football. When the goal went in, he hugged me, not his son! Poor lad.
Emma Townley, Editor, 'This Fan Girl'
OK I’m obviously going to go for Lucy Bronze’s goal from the Women’s World Cup. I mean, just have a watch of it. She couldn’t have struck that ball any better.
Going back to the Men’s World Cup now. This again might be controversial but you can’t beat a bit of Zidane’s final act in football. But for goals and atmosphere: let’s say that free kick Ronaldino took against England in 2002 that looked impossible from every angle and still sailed into the back of the net and had Seaman absolutely beaten. What a player Ronaldino was. I think 2002 was also probably the first year that my mates and I snuck into the local boozer (underage) at home to watch games. So I associate the whole of that tournament with drinking my first pints and generally having a good time.
This year I obviously want England to do well. I think we’ll reach the quarter finals. I’m thinking positively (and possibly a bit unrealistically). I’ve got South Korea in the office sweepstake (and I’m a Spurs fan) so I’m OK with cheering Son Hueng-min on!
My favourite moment was when Lampard scored but the goal wasn’t allowed! My entire block was screaming at the exact same time and it reminded me of how emotional football can make people. My whole, entire block was watching the England game at the same time.
Every time the World Cup comes around, everyone is just so invested in the football world for a month and it’s sick – people that don’t even care about things like the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League etc., are just so gassed up about the beautiful game, even people like my mum will be there asking me who’s who and talking about predictions and stuff.
This year I’m supporting England and I’m praying that the boys bring it home but I know it’s not easy. Honestly I think it’s between Belgium, France and Brazil, but it if I had to choose one, I reckon France have got it this year. Their squad depth is unreal and the young talent they have in their team is worth billions, it’s very mad and I wouldn’t want us to face them.
Big Zuu’s single, Visions, is out now.
The Zidane headbutt was iconic. Either that or I remember when Michael Owen scored against Brazil, we watched it on a big screen in primary school, that’s one of my first memories!
I just remember everybody going wild when he scored. We lost that game I think, but scoring against the Brazil team was like winning. We’re just too good.
My money is on Germany this year. I think the Germans are just built for tournaments like this, they are so difficult to break down. But I do have a sneaky feeling about France for some reason…
So many, I nearly went for Beckham’s 2002 pen against Argentina – a classic. And Zidane’s performance against Brazil in the 2006 World Cup was one of the best I’ve seen for sure.
In the end I have to go for 7-1 Germany v Brazil in the 2014 semi-final. Nothing can match that for me. It kind of felt like a dream, even if you weren’t supporting either of the teams involved, something about the whole thing was kind of like psychedelic. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse Germany would score again. I remember Kroos scoring and kind of looking embarrassed. The stadium was almost silent and every time the cameras panned the crowd a Brazilian kid would be weepy. So bizarre.
I was in New York watching it with a friend. We were in shock. I remember him saying to me “They are gonna have to stop the game soon, this is too much.”
Well, apart from England this year, I will be supporting Senegal, Peru and Egypt. All underdogs who could impress if they get a bit of luck. I want to see Salah v Ramos in round two. I think Spain or Brazil will win this year.