It’s here! The opening game of the Pop World Cup finds the four teams of Group A raising the curtain on the tournament. Pop football veterans Russia and Uruguay meet two Arab states – Egypt and Saudi Arabia – with less of a record at this level. Who will prevail? You decide. Spotify playlist and YouTube links below the cut with the team talks – go listen and vote for your favourite TWO tracks.

Pop World Cup 2018 Group A Match 1: Pick TWO tracks [ballot]

  • SAUDI ARABIA: Majed Al Esa 39%
  • RUSSIA: Oligarkh 25%
  • URUGUAY: Luciano Supervielle 24%
  • EGYPT: Moustafa Elshoaiby 13%

Total Voters: 57

Poll closes: 24 Jun 2018 @ 11:00

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RUSSIA (Manager: Sarah): Oligarkh – “Rechka”

“We meean it, maan! Eastern orthodoxy meets the banger with our serious-faced young squad chomping at the bit to take Group A to church. The Russian manager has been delving deeply into the Russian charts with super interest to see: what influences and differences are arise in the Russian charts (or is it just Calvin Harris stomping on your face forever?) Is there such a thing as a concept of a distinctly Russian feel or identity in pop which isn’t a/ stereotyping b/ horribly nationalistic? Oligarkh have a go with prayer chants, orthodox church bells and traditional music samples (if anyone has the SOURCE material for the sample in Rechka, let me know!) which is definitely an interesting place for our team to kick off in the PWC!”

SAUDI ARABIA (Manager: Tom): Majed Al Esa – “Hwages”

“For the avoidance of doubt and the establishment of harmony in the Saudi camp, the management would like to note that reports of talented midfielder Majed Al Esa’s criticism of the regime are based on pure misunderstanding, that the nimble strikeforce this playmaker has assembled are certainly not chanting “Men should be extinct”, and that any resemblance of a character in the video to a certain prominent friend of Saudi Arabia is purely coincidental. Thankyou and enjoy the game.”

EGYPT (Manager: Kat): Moustafa Elshoaby – “Ya Qloub”

“The Egyptian management is proud to present its starting line up! Moustafa Elshoaby takes us smoothly and confidently to “Ya Qloub”, but there’s more to his slick yacht-rock moves than meets the eye: vocals, strings and guitar weaving around the opposition’s defences in a triple attack, and before they know it they’re two goals down. It’s going to be a long hot summer, Brian, and this squad are ready to go all the way!”

URUGUAY (Manager: Lucazm): Luciano Supervielle – “Sublimacion”

“Starting with an instrumental song is probably a risky move, but let’s face it, Uruguay won’t win by playing it safe. Luciano Supervielle is a DJ, producer and pianist from electronic tango project Bajofondo, and this is the opener on his latest solo album, starting very piano-heavy and slowly lettting the electronica sweep in.”

Good luck to all competitors – and voters, you have until next Sunday morning (24th) to make your picks.