The Euros are coming, so get in the mood (or not) with the best and worst football anthems ever made
Ben Butler

11:42 6th May 2016

The 2016 Euros are fast approaching, much to the delight or disappointment of a nation. With that in mind we take a look at some of the best and worst anthems that have soundtracked the 'beautiful game'.

This week sees Manic Street Preachers unveil their massive new Euros 2016 anthem for their homeland with 'Together Stronger (C'Mon Wales)' - a brilliantly OTT ode to Welsh potential. 

Here's what they've got to compete with 

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

Most famously adopted by the Italians on their route to winning the 2006 World Cup, 'Seven Nation Army' is perhaps one of the few legitimately good football anthems. With Jack White being equally confused and delighted by the development, “I am honoured that the Italians have adopted this song as their own,” said The White Stripes frontman. “I love that most people who are chanting it have no idea where it came from!” Most Italian fans knew nothing of the song's origins - in fact it was most commonly known as the 'Po po po po po po po' song on accounts of the thudding, iconic guitar riff.

Crazy Frog - We Are The Champions (Ding A Dang Dong)

Jesus Christ, take in that title. If 'Seven Nation Army' represents fans appropriating a great song then this - by the ridiculous spawn, Crazy Frog - is the complete opposite. An easy cash-in thanks to the success of the original hit 'Axel-F', (the god-awful shrill sounds of which only echoed in the days of ringtones) this is a surefire contender for the worst ever football anthem written.

Hoddle and Waddle - Diamond Lights

Arguably brought together purely because their names rhymed, Hoddle and Waddle's ode to 'Diamond Lights' aka floodlights used in footballs stadiums never really caught on in the terraces. Feeling more like an out-of-hand David Brent karaoke session than an anthem, the track, and their subsequent Top Of The Pops performance was a kitsch mess. 

Fat Les - Vindaloo

Co-written by Blur bassist Alex James and part time Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, 'Vindaloo' has actual talent behind it. Released as a single in 1998 and recorded for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the song was originally written as a parody of football chants, but was adopted as one in its own right, and became a cult classic. The song nearly entirely consists of the phrase "nah nah nah" and the word "vindaloo" repeated over and over, occasionally interspersed with lines such as "And we all like vindaloo" and "We're England; we're gonna score one more than you". Still, there's something undeniably great about this one, file under guilty pleasure.

Ant and Dec - We're On The Ball 

Now, this could definitely fit in either category but there's something bizarrely charming about two mates having a half-baked idea for a football song and just going with it. And, a beautiful breakdown featuring a description of England's 5-1 victory against Germany really makes this song. The accompanying video is pretty special, and the track went on to be more successful than their hit "Let's Get Ready to Rhumble" - it was even made the official anthem for England's 2002 World Cup campaign.

New Order - World in Motion

There's a lot to be loved on New Order's synthpop classic, most notably the famous 'Barnsey Rap'. Keith Allen, who co-wrote 'World In Motion' (and also 'Vindaloo'), wanted it to be called 'E for England', with lyrics that ran: "E is for England, England starts with E / We'll all be smiling when we're in Italy". However, the FA vetoed the decision.  

Dizzee Rascal and James Corden - Shout for England

Just how did this get to No.1 in the UK charts? That all the royalties went to Great Ormond Street Hospital is just about the only redeeming feature of this track. It was the summer of 2010, what does everyone love - 'Bonkers' and 'Gavin and Stacey', and so 'Shout for England' was created.

Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone

Personal bias may be coming through here, but 'You'll Never Walk Alone' is a football classic, no matter where your loyalties lie. Undeniably, this emotionally-charged song dominates the culture of football anthems, and rightly so.

Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds - Three Lions

Perhaps, the definitive England football anthem 'Three Lions' is a phenomenon that refuses to die, with a re-recording released in 1998 and 2010. It even reached 27 in the UK charts in 2014 with no promotion, just because it was a World Cup year. The song's most important line beautifully sums up the schizophrenic optimism, and pessimism of a footballing nation, "Three Lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming. Thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming".

Paul Gascoigne & Lindasfarne - Fog on the Tyne

'Fog on the Tyne' was apparently so poorly received that member Roy Jackson quit the band. The single reached number two in the UK charts but largely destroyed the band's reputation. A booming out-of-place house beat, an awful hook, and some questionable lyricism makes this fact far less suprising. 

West Ham United - I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

West Ham's club anthem is astonishingly sad when you think about. With a chorus that describes "pretty bubbles" floating in the air everything seems rosey until, "Then like my dreams / They fade and die". Like parts of 'Three Lions', there is something you have got to love about having the most bleak of songs become your football team's official anthem. 

Del Amitri - Don't Come Home Too Soon

Scotland's 1998 World Cup song is basically a plea from its fans to the players to just not exit the competition right away. And, the top YouTube comment for this one aptly reads, "They have just released a new one, its called: for god's sake just qualify". This earnest song is pretty divisive, but there's a lot to be said for simply admitting you just don't want to be as rubbish as usual. Del Amitri's strained, "Even long shots make it," is a cheesy, nonetheless, classic line after all. 

Chumbawumba - Top of the World (Olé, Olé, Olé) 

If you thought Chumbawumba's only song was 'Tubthumping' then you are dead wrong. 'Top of the World' is a confusing mix of genres with a video that has not dated well, at all. There is something uniquely charming about this 'marmite' song that is equally hated and loved. It is however, trying too honestly to be considered genuinely awful.

Barry Stoller - Match of the Day

Nothing says football like hearing the bouncing theme of 'Match of the Day', a tune that has become synonymous with the sport. Stoller was simply tasked with "writing something good", which is fair to see that he achieved. The theme now soundtracks millions of football fans refusal to go out on a Saturday night and see an actual band, instead sitting on the sofa and watching some solid highlights.