Jul 14

The Pop World Cup 2014 Final: England v Nigeria

Pop World Cup 201418 comments • 872 views

worldcup At last! The anthems are sung, the teams are on the pitch, and the Macarena Stadium in Los Del Rio is about to play host to the greatest event in global pop, the Pop World Cup Final. Joining us are.. YOU, in the comment(ary) box and the voting poll – below the cut – and our finalists, England – managed by Ronald, and Nigeria – managed by Cis. Nigeria are the defending champions, England the sleeping giants who may finally have awoken. Only you can decide the outcome.

Below the cut are our two songs and managerial comments, as well as the all-important poll. The match will end on Sunday evening, exactly as that other World Cup final kicks off. Well done both sides for getting here, and may the best team win.


“I was really at a loss as far as what to play for the final match. I had so many songs to choose from. Then I was out this weekend and I heard this and knew this was the one. This song features 2 of England’s best newer female vocalists: Katy B and Jessie Ware. I chose the original version of the song from Katy’s 2012 mixtape rather than the 2014 album version. The album version was just missing something that the mixtape version had. The song is very much in the vein of my own personal taste, which all the songs I’ve chosen for this tournament have been. I didn’t go for anything SUPER OBVIOUS like Adele or One Direction or Coldplay. I’m proud of how far England has come. I was looking at the 2010 tournament and we didn’t even make it out of our group (we came in last). Now here we are at the final. Hopefully we can go all the way and take this home to England. I already feel proud of what we’ve done but this would just be the icing on the cake. Thank you everybody for wishing England well in this. It’s been much appreciated.”

How we got here….: England have selected a youthful squad, mostly playing a stylish pop-dance formation, and it’s consistently brought them results. Playing Disclosure as their first track was a statement of intent, and an even stronger performance by Mutya Keisha Siobhan saw them top Group D in style. They edged past the Ivory Coast in the round of 16 before a thumping win (courtesy of Years & Years) against Croatia in the Quarter-Finals gave them real belief. Finally, they defied a sceptical commentary box by beating Iran in the semis thanks to Foals.


“We’re so happy to be here at the Pop World Cup final! From Group F to the semi-finals the competition has been so fierce and so first-rate: this is truly a banner year for pop football, and we’re proud to have played alongside and against such skilled squads.

Now we face this final with joy and determination in our hearts. All we can do is keep our spirits high and give this pop football game everything we’ve got. And what we’ve got is the huge power and presence of upstart striker Yemi Alade and ace playmaker Selebobo. He keeps the team playing light and deft and sweet so Yemi can drive the full force of her personality toward the goal, then darts forward with his own energetic attack.

We’ve been so honoured by the support of the crowd this Pop World Cup – they are the true heart of this most beautiful of games – and we hope they’ll dance together with us once more. And may the best team win!”

How We Got Here…: Nigeria have played a joyful, uptempo pop game at these finals, qualifying from Group F after two matches thanks to youthful stars Tiwa Savage and Temi Dollface, letting them rest key players for the last one. That let Iran pip them to the top spot, and gave them a tough match against France and a blistering quarter-final against Ghana, with superb performances from a team that seem set on a successful defence of their title. A tricky semi against Chile brought them to the brink of what would be an astonishing achievement.


Pop World Cup Final 2014: England v Nigeria

  • ENGLAND: Katy B x Jessie Ware 54%
  • NIGERIA: Yemi Alade 44%

Total Voters: 97

Poll closes: 13 Jul 2014 @ 19:45

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THANKYOU: Thanks so much to everyone who managed a team and voted (and to the musicians represented, of course!). It’s been a grand Pop World Cup and we’ll see you all again in France for Europop 2016.


  1. 1
    Garry on 9 Jul 2014 #

    England are playing to their strengths but lack variety in their play. There isn’t a lot of room for flair in their play – they stick to the game plan well, keeps the ball moving with probing runs into the opposition half. But there’s a lack of cutting edge and a bit of predictability in their play as the game goes on.

    Meanwhile Nigeria play with all the freedom West Africa have shown at this tournament. There’s even a touch of coupe decale, underpinning a deft flick here, a well-time slide pass there, a sudden synth line running in from defense, some exuberant support on the wings appearing just when needed.

    Nigeria retain their trophy for mine.

  2. 2
    Kat but logged out innit on 9 Jul 2014 #

    What a way to finish the Best Pop World Cup Ever! A joy to watch, with both teams focused on hitting the back of the net, when they so easily could have played defensively. It’s hard to pick a winner but whatever the result, I hope this partnership up front with Katy B is the start of a long and fruitful goal-scoring career for Jessie Ware (who put on a stunning show in the 2013 Glastonbury Shield).

  3. 3
    thefatgit on 9 Jul 2014 #

    In football parlance we have had classic “SAS” partnerships: Sheringham & Shearer and more recently, Sturridge and (bitey) Suarez. England’s latest partnership scans most satisfyingly as “B-Ware”. A subtle warning to Nigeria? I’m going to need to get my lugholes round these two some more before I cast my vote.

  4. 4
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Jul 2014 #

    Two teams that have played mostly in consistent styles throughout this tournament, but I think the underdog just has the lead here…

    Nigeria have been joyous and vivacious throughout, as they are here, but their energy is insufficent to surpass England in full effect. While earlier attempts at this youthful housey still have kind of left me cold, here all the pieces fit together perfectly, lyrically, musically, and in terms of the groove. Seems to me like Pop Football is coming home. No more years of hurt.

  5. 5
    lartsaegis on 10 Jul 2014 #

    Started from the bottom now we here, started from the bottom now there’s two teams flippin’ here. England is a team that definitely has more to gain,not even getting out of group last PWC, and lends more to the aforementioned lyrics than Nigeria does — what does a team that’s won already have to win? Another star on the jersey to savor for the next four years and the world cast in golden hands. Alade is the one in the hole while Selebobo is her back up, but the man of the match is the lad behind the doodley bass programming. There’s a lot of flair on display here and Alade’s attire matches well with both trophies. It looks like the celebration’s already started, and the first track on the DJ’s play list is a remix of Daft Punk’s One More Time in the form of this.

    England have chosen a slicker, emotional route and while the B-Ware connection work the main groove quite well, the excess of it sans any voices more toward the end reveal a weakness Nigeria’s side easily slice through.

  6. 6
    jeff w on 10 Jul 2014 #

    England games have tended to attract a higher than average voter turnout in this tournament and I wonder to what extent that has contributed to their making the final.

    But they’re putting on another solid performance here (though, unlike their manager, I think I prefer the version on “Red” – or at least the mixed version of “Red”).

    Nigeria delightfully wonky at the start before settling down to what they do best by the time we get to the second go round of the chorus. To my ears, I think they’ve done enough to retain their PWC title. But let’s see if the lurking majority agree.

  7. 7
    lonepilgrim on 10 Jul 2014 #

    England put on a solid performance but it lacks the agility and variety of the Nigerian team and it’s the African team who will be lifting the trophy

  8. 8
    dollymix on 12 Jul 2014 #

    As with their best performances this tournament, England play strong defense with a good sense of when to push forward. Nigeria are up for this but are maybe showing some signs of tiredness, as well as the pressure to retain the cup. They never really do enough to threaten England’s goal, and England’s strong possession eventually is rewarded with the winner.

    Just to throw out that this tournament has been great fun, thanks for organizing it!

  9. 9
    Erithian on 13 Jul 2014 #

    Ooh, I’ve got problems with this England performance – the overused piano, the long passages of play where little is happening (it’d be a better track at half the length I fancy!) – but Nigeria, while as sprightly as ever, show signs of a lack of variety in their tactics. It’s a very very close game, but ultimately Nigeria don’t seem to have produced a World Cup-retaining performance and the extra substance to England’s play gets them over the line, albeit in extra time.

    And as others have said, the tournament has been a joy once again.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 13 Jul 2014 #

    Look forward to the reviews of the tournament starting tomorrow!

  11. 11
    Ed on 13 Jul 2014 #

    They say finals are often disappointing matches, but not this time. This is one of the games of the tournament, perhaps shaded by the truly epic Ghana-Nigeria clash mentioned above, but still an absolute cracker.

    England have to soak up a lot of pressure early doors, but once Ware begins to make her presence felt they are hard to resist. The decision to draft Dolly Parton as a tactical coach to work on the lyrics was suprising move, but undeniably effective.

    As for Nigeria, it’s another example of Total Pop, with boundless ingenuity and skill from the reigning champions.

    As we head for extra time, it’s too close to call…

  12. 12
    Tom on 13 Jul 2014 #

    I’m delighted to see two of England’s best young players on the team sheet tonight – that said, this is far from the best I’ve seen Katy B play – her trademark slightly lopsided scansion is too pronounced here and winds up annoying me a bit. So my vote goes to the Nigerians, whose joyful attacking play is – as usual – not quite as straightforward as it looks: that aggressive keyboard line, darting in from midfield, is what nicks the winning goal for me.

    Will the voters agree? We’ll find out in 90 minutes. But this is a great finish to a fine tournament – the defending champions keeping heads high and playing la pop bonito to the end, and England introducing us to a golden generation which looks likely to be at or near the top of world pop for some years to come.

  13. 13
    Tom on 13 Jul 2014 #

    Meanwhile for all the magnificent goals we’ve seen I’m not sure this tournament has given us a managerial team talk to match Cameroon’s in the 2010 Third-Place Match… http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2010/06/pop-world-cup-2010-third-place-play-off-honduras-vs-cameroon/

  14. 14
    admin on 13 Jul 2014 #

    Some of the crowd are on the pitch

  15. 15
    Ronald on 13 Jul 2014 #

    OMG, thank you all for your support! I couldn’t do it without you! Cheryl Cole’s Call My Name is currently playing as my victory song. Yes, just thank you everyone. It was a really great tournament!

  16. 16
    lartsaegis on 13 Jul 2014 #

    Gotta give it up for Ronald and England, I wasn’t too high on all of their play list, but I have to say that the ingenuity of said manager is golden, attention to eminent names and sound without relying on obvious superstars, I feel that he’s given a good rep to the UK vibe in the contemporary. Sorry to Nigeria, I really thought they were going to pull it out, but obviously the score shows that they didn’t have enough. African pop probes deep again. Looking forward to some reviews, I have some awards to give out myself after a bit of revisitation.

  17. 17
    lonepilgrim on 14 Jul 2014 #

    it’s coming home (repeat for next four years)

  18. 18
    cis logged out on 14 Jul 2014 #

    congratulations to England! What a wonderful track to win on, too. (though i think i would have gone for the 5-and-a-half-minute version from the mixtape rather than the seven-and-a-half)

    Thanks, from Team Naija, to everyone who’s supported us and enjoyed our play, and to the other competitors in the Pop World Cup – it’s been a delightful tournament, with so much exciting new music to discover!

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