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5 footballers who took a shot at music

Benni McCarthy in action for Bafana Bafana at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy in action for Bafana Bafana at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Published Mar 20, 2021


DURBAN - Throughout history there have been a number of footballers who have taken their skills beyond the football pitch and into the music industry.

IOL Sport’s Eshlin Vedan looks at five footballers who not only expressed their skills on the field but also musically.

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Benni McCarthy

The current AmaZulu coach famously appeared in the video of TKZee’s 1998 hit song Shibobo (Final Countdown). The song went on to become a legendary hit in South Africa and was played at parties and football-themed events for well over a decade.

ALSO READ: Benni McCarthy garners praise from former coach Jose Mourinho

Memorably, McCarthy sang a verse in the song. Whilst the song as a whole is pleasing on the ear, the same is questionable with regards to Benni’s verse. It was not surprising to many that he never recorded many songs afterward.

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Clint Dempsey

The former Fulham, Tottenham, and United States star was actually a rapper with the alias “Deuce”. Dempsey’s biggest contribution to the music industry was his rapping in the song “Don’t Tread” alongside late rapper Big Hawk, a song that was used in a Nike campaign in the lead up to the 2006 World Cup.

The video of the song was dedicated to Dempsey’s late sister Jennifer, who passed away when she was 16 due to a brain aneurysm.

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Andy Cole

After winning the treble with Manchester United in 1999, the legendary Premier League star entered the music industry, releasing the track “Outstanding”.

The song was met with mostly poor reviews, though in Cole’s defense, it did enter the British charts, peaking at number 68.

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It’s safe to say that if Cole never had a cult following among Premier League fans at the time, his song would not have been anywhere near the charts.

Julio Iglesias

The former Real Madrid youth goalkeeper is perhaps the footballer who has found the most success in the music industry as he went on to establish himself as a legend in the Latin genre which has led to accolades such as the Grammy Award, Latin Grammy Award, World Music Award, and American Music Award

Julio’s son Enrique also went on to establish himself as a legend of the 2000s music scene, churning out pop hit after hit.

Ian Wright

Wright’s 1993 release of ‘Do the Right Thing’ was met with criticism that was perhaps harsh and undeserved. The song is a catchy dance tune. Though a lot of footballers that tried out music ended up churning out cringe-worthy lyrics and performances, Wright could have had a decent career as a musician if he wished.

He had the charisma, style, uniqueness, and dance moves for the job.

File photo dated 10-05-1990 of Liverpool and England winger John Barnes with his Footballer of the Year trophy, presented to him by the Football Writers Association at their annual dinner in London.

John Barnes

Barnes appeared on two memorable songs. One was the infamous Anfield Rap which thankfully is not played much today. It literally has to be one of the worst songs in the history of music.

The other was a rap New Order’s World in Motion in 1990. Written by Keith Allen, Barnes’ performance in this song was much more pleasing on the ear. You are more likely to hear this song than the Anfield Rap nowadays.


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