KCKRS’s resident music snob has left us, creating a giant note-shaped void in the offerings of this particular footy culture blog. While I am no connoisseur of the indie rock genre, I do enjoy myself a diddy every now and then. So, in the interest of bringing music back to KCKRS, I’ve decided step up. Rather than foist my tastes upon you, however, I’m going to add a soccer link to the proceedings. These are songs inspired by players.
The obvious place to start is with the two players widely thought to be the best to ever kick a ball: Pelé and Diego. Using the modern wonder of the world that is Spotify (if you don’t use Spotify, what the hell is your god damn problem), I’ve searched high and low for songs about the Brazilian great and the Argentine maestro.
Without a doubt, Diego has inspired the better range of music. Most of the Pelé-focused offerings are Brazilian. That’s not a bad thing, it just means that he didn’t quite have the same broader appeal as a subject as Diego. Which makes sense, since Diego had a much, much more rock n’ roll attitude.
Just a note that we’re limited to what’s on YouTube for the purposes of this post.
First, a song about choosing between Pelé and Maradona by Brazilian duo Caju & Castanha. I don’t understand a word, but I’m guessing they’re laying out the case for each player in an impassioned manner.
“Pelé Ou Maradona” by Caju & Castanha
Here’s a few choice Pelé tracks. Keep in mind that the criteria isn’t necessarily “best.”
“O Rei, Pelé” by Jackson Do Pandeiro
“Pelé” by Palavra Cantada
If you’re looking for more (and why wouldn’t you be) here’s a small Spotify playlist of Pelé songs.
Moving on to the Diego tracks, here’s the aforementioned variety, including a German hip hop song. The first isn’t so much an ode to Maradona as it is a hate song by some angry English punks.
“Maradona” by The Business
“Maradona Shirt” by Marteria
Diego’s legendary status at Napoli also spawned an entire album about him entitled “Maradona è meglio ‘e Pelé” (“Maradona is better than Pelé”). My favorite song from the album is called “Goal”. I like it because they yell “Goal!”.
“Goal” by Antonello Rondi
It’s not all about Pelé and Maradona, though. People have written songs about all sorts of players through the years, including some pretty bad ones.
Not that any of the below are about bad players. Just saying.
First, a song about Gordon Strachan.
“Strachan” by The Hitchers
This is a personal favorite, mostly because the idea of an American band recording a song about a player—any player—is still very strange. Even better that the song is about one legendary performance, Kasey Keller’s shutout of Brazil in the 1998 Gold Cup.
“Kasey Keller” by Barcelona
There’s a George Best tribute album, but this song doesn’t come from it. Also, it has a ukulele.
“George Best” by Lloyd United
Spotify has a much larger selection of Best-inspired fare, but it seems like no one thought them worth putting on YouTube. Make of that what you will.
Lastly, here’s the song by Super Furry Animals about free-spirit/footballing genius Robin Friday, the man whose story will soon be a feature film. Language warning.
“The Man Don’t Give A F&*k” by Super Furry Animals