You’ve binged every YouTube compilation that you can possibly think of, you’ve watched Bend it Like Beckham seven times in the past four days and you’ve even considered brushing the cobwebs off your Goal III: Taking on the World 3 DVD because surely it can’t be quite as bad as you remember?
Spoiler alert: it is.
But nothing can give you the football fix that you’re so desperately craving during the beautiful game’s enforced absence.
Still, the very least we at 90min could do is provide a soundtrack of the very best (occasionally playing very fast and loose with that term) football songs for the ultimate quarantine playlist.
New Order – World In Motion
“There’s only one way to beat them; get round the back.”
A genuine banger courtesy of 80s synth-pop icons New Order, World In Motion was England’s anthem for the 1990 World Cup.
Just when you think the song can get no better, up pops John Barnes to show off his rapping talents, which is beautifully recreated in Gavin and Stacey series two.
Nothing to worry about in the current climate, but if you ever have the pleasure of seeing New Order live, they will opt to play their “critically acclaimed proper music” at the expense of World In Motion, no matter how hard you convince yourself that John Barnes is waiting backstage for the encore.
K’naan – Wavin’ Flag
“When I get older, I will be stronger, they’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag.”
A feel-good tune to take you back to the summer of 2010. K’naan’s song was adapted to be the Coca-Cola advert for the World Cup, and became synonymous with the tournament.
Sadly, the Netherlands opted not to listen to the wholesome lyrics before going out and kicking the living crap out of Spain in the World Cup final.
Shakira – Waka Waka
“Pick yourself up and dust yourself off, get back in the saddle.”
Another 2010 throwback courtesy of Shakira, who provided the official 2010 World Cup song.
Castro ft Asamoah Gyan – Odo Pa
One of the breakout stars from the 2010 World Cup was Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan, and his talents weren’t just confined to the football pitch.
He featured on Castro’s song Odo Pa, which went on to claim
From the duo that brought you Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble, the stage names PJ & Duncan were ditched as Ant and Dec provided England with their 2002 World Cup song.
Despite squeezing as many football cliches into three minutes and culminating with a grand finale where they simply list England players, the song was kept off the top of the charts by a pesky Pop Idol one-two of Will Young and Gareth Gates.
The Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger (C’mon Wales)
“But now that France has arrived, it feels so good to be alive.”
Indie rock band the Manic Street Preachers produced a masterpiece ahead of Wales’ famous 2016 European Championships campaign.
Mixing all of the Welsh football heartache, a splash of commentary and of course, the tried and tested formula of reciting the squad – Ant and Dec are clear musical influences for the Manics – the song is the perfect way for Wales fans to relive the magical summer of 2016 (if you’ve only got four minutes to spare and don’t have the time to watch Don’t Take Me Home).
Ian Wright – Do the Right Thing
“Giving up? Easy to do. When the world keeps spinning, And you can’t get through.”
In 1993, when Ian Wright was at the peak of his powers for Arsenal, he collaborated with Chris Lowe – one half of synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys – to produce a disco classic and top 50 hit.
To be fair, Wright has quite the set of lungs on him, and he really looks the part as a pop star.
Is he dressed head to toe in white in the music video with a hat on back to front? Did you even need to ask?
Why the track’s title is written as ‘right’ thing rather than tapping in the pun with ‘wright thing’ is beyond comprehension, however.
Glen & Chris – Diamond Lights
“Darling I love you, my diamond lights, I’ll always want you.”
Had they not continued to pursue those daft football careers of theirs, Glen Hoddle and Chris Waddle could easily have rivalled Pet Shop Boys for the crown of best camp double act of the 1980s.
Hoddle has all the bravado of Neil Tennant, while Waddle has the elusive mystery of Chris Lowe, and it’s a winning combination.
Diamond Lights reached number 12 in the UK charts, but the duo struggled with their tricky second…single, with It’s Goodbye peaking at number 92. Oof.
Bill Martin and Phil Coulter – Back Home
“They’ll see as they’re watching and praying, that we put our hearts in our playing.”
The title of this is a bit on the nose given the current circumstances…but England’s 1970 World Cup song is really rousing stuff.
It’s very ahead of its time, in that it’s only two minutes long, meaning Martin and Coulter clearly either had the Spotify generation in mind when they were penning this banger, or just ran out of rhyming couplets.
It’s a very English song, in that it sounds a little bit like the national anthem, and the overriding theme is that the team promise to try their best.
Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds – Three Lions
“And I still see that tackle by Moore and when Linekar scored, Bobby belting the ball.”
Undoubtedly one of the greatest, hair raising, goosebump-inducing football songs of all time. It perfectly encapsulates all the hope and agonies and trials and tribulations of supporting England.
The song was sung throughout England’s run to the semi-finals on home soil at Euro 96, and enjoyed a resurgence during the 2018 World Cup.
Petr Cech – That’s Football
“Victory, happiness, glory, fame. That’s football.”
A rogue entry from the former Chelsea and Arsenal keeper, whose 2019 hit literally does what it says on the tin by explaining what football is.
Cech, completely deadpan, just lists stuff about football. Before quickly running out of stuff, and listing it all again. “The pitch, the roar, the crowd, the score.”
Tottenham Hotspur, Chaz & Dave – Ossie’s Dream
“Ossie’s going to Wembley, his knees have gone all trembley”
Tottenham’s 1981 FA Cup final song is quite something. Rhyming ‘Wembley’ and ‘trembly’ remains a masterstroke.
Clint Dempsey – Don’t Tread
“Cause I got on my job, and made the game ferocious, I was born with a drive, I got that from no coaches.”
Dempsey (stage name Deuce) teamed up with
To find our full lockdown playlist, head to Spotify
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