Jun 10

Pop World Cup 2010: The Final! Nigeria vs Germany

FT/25 comments • 6,076 views

Here we are, at last.

Here we stand at the summit of Pop Football achievement, looking back at 63 matches: some wonderful, some perplexing, some illuminating, very few boring. We’ve heard so much pop, enjoyed so many marvellous moments, and we have 30 losing managers to thank for all their research and taste.

Never mind all that, though. Here at the summit we can also look forward, forward to the Big One. Two teams remain, two managers giving it one last best shot each.  Matt DC’s Nigeria have powered through round after round; a drawn game in a tough group mars an otherwise-100% record, but they accelerated through the knockout stages and stand confident and consistent in the biggest game of all. Andrew W’s Germany have plotted an altogether mazier path to today; second to Ghana in their group, they found some form in beating the USA in the round of 16, then enjoyed winning two of the closest games in the tournament.

This match and this Championship close at midnight on Monday 14th June

NIGERIA: General Pype – “Champion” The Manager Says: “I couldn’t resist. Over the last few months I’ve come across so many terrific tracks that have sounded perfect for the Pop World Cup, but none that sound like they were written for the Pop World Cup Final itself. After all, what do you want from the final? You want a rousing brass anthem for your players to line up to. You want the crowd jumping on their seats, waving their flags. You want a touch of class, and a storming fanfare-driven dancehall banger to go with it. This isn’t premature triumphalism – win or lose, these players are all my champions. GREEN WHITE GREEN!”

GERMANY: DJ Hell – “U Can Dance (Radio Edit)” The Manager Says: “I’m hoping no-one knocks points off for the Geordie vocalist here, as the rest of the track is unimpeachably German, and it’s DJ Hell who really makes the track. I’m also hoping that my continued strategy of going for tracks that sound totally different from each other will pay off here, as we play for the cup and glory.

Either way, we’ve done better than I ever imagined. The lads have given it 110%, and at the end of the day that’s what matters.”

The Final! Which track do you prefer?

  • NIGERIA - General Pype 67%
  • GERMANY - DJ Hell 33%

Total Voters: 79

Poll closes: 14 Jun 2010 @ 23:59

Loading ... Loading ...

Commentary Box Analysis Here’s something we’ve learned in the tournament: the pop pundits here in the commentary box have as much chance of getting it right as our football-commentating colleagues: more than no chance, but not much more. Which is to say, no one cares what we think.

Anyway. Our collective chins bear the scars inflicted when they hit the floors the moment we saw the teamsheets – we certainly weren’t expecting Germany to draft in a veteran striker like this one, on today of all days! It’s a good tune, though, and Germany are setting out their team to soak up Nigerian pressure, to keep their shape and slowly impose themselves on the game, maybe hitting their opponents with a sly break when the opportunity presents. Nigeria, as expected, go at it hard for the full 90 minutes, inspired by a chunky great brass section set up to keep possession in midfield. A fitting Final, then, but which manager will step up to receive the Winner’s Medal from the President of the Federation of International Pop Football?

Ultimately, Pop Football will be the winner.

Coming up Some small matter of an actual football tournament. Then, well, it’s back to our national leagues and start scheming for Euro 2012…


  1. 1
    swanstep on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Nigeria just want it more, don’t they? 2 thoughts. ‘Champion’ actually could work as a World Cup 2010 Theme. (Well-played manager.) And it reminded me a little of Kurt and Mercedes on Glee doing a brass arrangement of Madonna’s 4 minutes (a song I’d never cared for) to very good effect. (That’s a good thing.) So a goal in each half for the Super Eagles, I reckon. And the Germans? Geordie imports I can live with, but the Ferry-esque lizard lost me at the ‘it was the mambo talking’, but won me back with ‘zig-zag by the Seine’, but lost me again with ‘the tango never knows’… Things improved again near the end, but I still don’t see the Huns potting more than a single goal in total. So Nigeria takes it 2-1 (although that score perhaps makes the game seem closer than it really was).

  2. 2
    Tom on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Without even playing the tracks, how good a name is General Pype??

  3. 3
    Pete on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Once you’ll play it you will realise it is as good as the track. Perhaps a touch lower key than some of Matt’s previous tracks but even with its second verse leaning heavily on R Kelly’s Snake it is really a fabulous Pop World Cup winner in my opinion.

    Germany, Germany, Germany. Possibly hoping to squeak through on penalties, this is a fine DJ Hell track, but there is a reason why Beckenbauer isn’t lining up for the Germany’s this year, and its the same reason why Germany are losing this final. That and the Nigerian track being hands down class.

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 8 Jun 2010 #

    “‘Champion’ actually could work as a World Cup 2010 Theme”

    Hah, rumbled finally. My tactic throughout the whole tournament has been “play songs that sound like the soundtrack to a montage of goals going in/mad footballing skills”. After a subdued Europop 2008 final I also wanted to play a track that sounded like it belonged in the final.

    I was a big fan of the DJ Hell album from last time, but always through Ferry dragged this track down rather than added to it (ie it gets good after he stops singing). Still, sigh of relief that we’re not facing the fantastic Electronic Germany or The DJ off the same album.

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jun 2010 #

    A disappointing team selection from Germany after the variety and idiosyncrasy of their earlier performances. The heat seems to have got to their striker and his languorous shots will not trouble the opponent’s goal keeper. Germany’s defence is solid however so it isn’t all one way traffic. Nevertheless the ability of Nigeria’s front men to switch play so nimbly sees them weave a way through on goal and to make this a convincing win.

  6. 6
    Steve Mannion on 8 Jun 2010 #

    I’m working on the winners trophy btw

  7. 7
    mm on 8 Jun 2010 #

    As the tournament comes to an end, one track (Germany) which sounds decidedly anti-climactic, in that it could’ve been played against any opposition, at any point, though not at all being a poor track, while the other (Nigeria) goes for the “we’re here, this is the now” X Factor winner’s song anthem gig. I’ve enjoyed Nigeria more frequently and for the final I _want_ something with a message and a grandose quality to it. So Nigeria it is.

  8. 8
    Tom on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Germany have got their *tactics* just right I think – Nigeria play an expansive game so the Germans keep it very controlled, put the pressure on, and build. But that striker! It’s not his adopted nationality that’s the issue – he is simply past it. The manager throws on a winger near the end to put some big electro crosses into the box but the poor frontman can’t seem to reach them.

    Wonder if the Nigerian manager had Honduras in mind when he put this formation through its paces? They’re playing well as a unit, always attacking, but in the end it’s a couple of individual goals – from the synthiflute and faux-brass – which do for Germany.

  9. 9
    koganbot on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Feared a blowout of Bears-Patriots proportions, with Germany hardly able to get it over the midline until garbage time at the end. Instead, the Germans arrive and fight, creating an air of late-night mystery and style, an unrelenting fusillade of dark bullets. That said, the Nigerians are just as unrelenting, a nonstop pulse, a not-quite-explicable combo of pomp and eye-level ease, of dynamic heads and deft kicks, smooth as a chocolate swirl. A vote for Nigeria here. I suspect a final score overwhelmingly in Nigeria’s favor, not fairly reflecting the quality of the German effort.

  10. 10
    Matt DC on 8 Jun 2010 #

    “Wonder if the Nigerian manager had Honduras in mind when he put this formation through its paces?”

    The good General has actually been sitting on the bench for several months just in case I made the final. I couldn’t really play him any earlier but once I got here he had to get on the pitch come what may.

  11. 11
    Andrew Hickey on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Hmm… judging from the comments here, my attempts to be a bit clever and bring a bit of symmetry to the ‘story’ by returning to veteran players like in the beginning, and doing the opposite of my first match (which was a German vocalist with British everything-else), seem to have rebounded somewhat when it comes to gaining the sympathies of the crowd.

    But while it would certainly be no dishonour to lose to such worthy opponents, a week is a long time in Pop Football, and I don’t think the result will be as bad for us as it may appear…

    (And while I’m here, I’d like to thank weej, Geoff and Tilt, all of whom have suggested artists to me).

  12. 12
    thefatgit on 8 Jun 2010 #

    I have enjoyed the output of both nations during this tournament, but here especially in the final we are witness to 2 continents, 2 differing philosophies and my, oh my! What a contrast!

    Firstly Nigeria play with the kind of confidence like they won already and this is the lap of honour. The horns, the relentless dancehall rhythm, the nod of appreciation to English striker Roots Manuva with that “witness the fitness” quote…all the way winners for me.

    Germany also look to This Sceptered Isle and employ veteran, Bryan Ferry. I was expecting him to burst into “Do The Strand” as soon as I heard Bryan mouth “mambo”, but this call to the dancefloor is louche and somewhat lazy in delivery. This is a defeatist selection in comparison to the joyous Nigerians.

  13. 13
    shedders on 8 Jun 2010 #

    Finals are usually cagey, tense affairs but Nigeria play like there’s no pressure. An absolute stormer, a capable but one-paced Germany are just overrun.

  14. 14

    […] I’m through to the FINAL!!! in the Pop World Cup, but unfortunately from the comments it looks like I’m getting thrashed by Nigeria. Please go there and vote for Germany. […]

  15. 15
    Referee on 10 Jun 2010 #

    Just wanted to point out that the main website for the pop world cup final is down and hasn’t been updated since the semifinal. This could be grounds for a rematch.

    Check it out:

  16. 16
    Andrew Hickey on 10 Jun 2010 #

    I wouldn’t call that grounds for a rematch, unless this is *extraordinarily* close, like one vote or something…I suspect most people are getting here via front page, links or feed readers…

  17. 17
    Steve Mannion on 10 Jun 2010 #

    It’s up to date now. Maybe the ref could allow an extra 24-48 hours of added time to compensate.

  18. 18
    Erithian on 11 Jun 2010 #

    The Germans don’t freeze on the big occasion but they’re a bit too chilled, and really they left their best performances in the earlier knockout stages. Plus, the great thing for me about the World Cup over the “Champions League” is the idea of one nation’s players taking on another nation’s without being able to buy in imports (OK, Jack Charlton to thread). I gave Cameroon my vote in the closely-matched semi-final because of the Mozambican guest in the Nigerian side, and the same principle applies here. Geordie imports, I ask you – could you see Alan Shearer turning out for the Germans in the final of Euro 96?

    The Nigerian track doesn’t really take off for me, but it doesn’t have to – a competent performance, solid at the back, and a couple of deserved winners. A slightly disappointing Final, then, but writing 2½ hours before the real thing kicks off, can I just say this has been a fantastic way to build up to the tournament, and well done Nigeria!

  19. 19
    jeff w registered on 13 Jun 2010 #

    Well, Bryan. I mean Brian. Germany are finally adopting a style of play I was expecting (hoping?) they’d use at the start of the tournament. But the manager is obviously far more tactically astute then I’d have been in his shoes – and their consistent wrong-footing tactics have taken them (deservedly) to the PWC final. Even if the team isn’t quite gelling today, their imported striker is not as out of place as comments upthread had led me to believe. An enjoyable track, for sure.

    As for Nigeria: if nobody (save Roger Bozack) is going to use the H word here, then I will. Some solid midfield play from the Super Eagles but the strikers and the goalie have actually wandered off the pitch to sign autographs for their adoring fans. This allows the Germans to hoof a speculative shot from defence, which after three bounces rolls into the unguarded Nigerian net.

  20. 20
    Tim on 14 Jun 2010 #

    YOUR LAST CHANCE! This match ends at midnight tonight (UK time). Listen, enjoy, vote.

  21. 21
    Steve Mannion on 15 Jun 2010 #

    Almost a sell-out crowd there, well done everyone.

  22. 22
    Lindsay on 19 Jun 2010 #

    Did anyone else notice what the abreviations of the two countries spelled when you read them across the screen on the score? NIG for Nigeria and GER for Germany… Someone needed to change that.

  23. 23
    Alan on 19 Jun 2010 #

    it’s NGA for Nigeria

  24. 24
    Erithian on 20 Jun 2010 #

    On a happier note I enjoyed watching CAM-DEN last night.

  25. 25
    Congdon and Coleman on 27 Sep 2021 #

    “‘Champion’ actually could work as a World Cup 2010 Theme”

    Hah, rumbled finally. My tactic throughout the whole tournament has been “play songs that sound like the soundtrack to a montage of goals going in/mad footballing skills”. After a subdued Europop 2008 final I also wanted to play a track that sounded like it belonged in the final.

    I was a big fan of the DJ Hell album from last time, but always through Ferry dragged this track down rather than added to it (ie it gets good after he stops singing). Still, sigh of relief that we’re not facing the fantastic Electronic Germany or The DJ off the same album.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page