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? [ballot]

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

Total Voters: 79

Poll closes: 14 Jun 2010 @ 23:59

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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…