An American Hero

"Kasey Keller"
Barcelona
2000

If ever there was a performance by one player in one game that deserved its own song, it was American keeper Kasey Keller's miraculous game against Brazil in the semifinals of the 1998 Gold Cup. Luckily, Virginia synth-pop band Barcelona has given it one. Read more about An American Hero

Not So Great Expectations

Official World Cup team songs have been staples in England since the 1980s, to the point where it made news when coach Fabio Capello and the England FA decided not to have one for 2010. England World Cup songs, official or unofficial, tend to follow a certain pattern. They're upbeat. They're patriotic. They start with a clip of game commentary. 1966 is mentioned. And at the end, of course, England wins it all.

When Glasgow pop band Del Amitri set out to write an official anthem for the Scotland team in the 1998 World Cup, they threw that pattern out the window. The result is one of the most unusual, and one of the most controversial, official team songs ever written. Read more about Not So Great Expectations

The Bad and the Ugly

"Anfield Rap"
Derek B. and Liverpool F.C.
1988
"Anfield Rap '96"
Brize-E and the Anfield Posse
1996

There are a lot of genuinely good, catchy, enjoyable songs about soccer out there, in just about every style. But if we're really going to explore the universe of soccer songs, it's impossible to ignore the fact that there a lot of jaw-droppingly bad ones. And if you asked me to pick the worst soccer song of all time, it could well be "Anfield Rap '96." Read more about The Bad and the Ugly

1996's Other Anthem

"England's Irie"
Black Grape feat. Joe Strummer and Keith Allen
1996

Even if it hadn't caught on, England's Irie would have been noteworthy as one of the few recordings Joe Strummer made between the Clash's last album (Cut the Crap) in 1985 and the first Mescaleros album, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, in 1999. Luckily, the song was popular enough in its own right to survive as a low-key but memorable alternative to England's official Euro '96 anthem, The Lightning Seeds' "Three Lions." Read more about 1996's Other Anthem

Stadium Hits of the 1880s

"Football Crazy"
Robin Hall & Jimmy MacGregor
1960

If I ask what comes to mind when I say "soccer songs," you may think of bomabastic official team anthems, or terrace songs shouted by supporters at games, or Top 40 World Cup tie-ins. But ask English fans of a certain age about "football songs" and they might also think of this novelty dialect song, the surprisingly enduring "Football Crazy," or as it's sometimes written, "Fitba' Crazy." Read more about Stadium Hits of the 1880s

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