John Barnes is Deezer’s most-streamed footballer

When footballers try their hand at music…

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On the eve of Euro 2016 someone at music streaming service Deezer has a good look at their streaming data to find out if any footballers have managed to do well in the music industry – and found enough of them to pick a full team, with one still a current player.

Sadly it’s not the best selection of songs, on the whole, with former Liverpool, Hamburg and Newcastle forward Kevin Keegan giving everyone the opportunity to tell him they’d “love it” if he stayed well away from any recording studios. His effort, ‘Head Over Heels in Love’ is at No.4 in Deezer’s chart. Somehow.

Top of the chart is another ex-Red and this time it’s probably the best of the lot by some distance. No, not his efforts on Craig Johnston’s ‘Anfield Rap’ with the rest of the LFC squad from 1988 but his well-loved rap along with New Order on ‘World in Motion’, England’s World Cup song for Italia ’90. The difference ‘Digger’ made was enough for it to be New Order’s only UK No.1 and it’s now Deezer’s most streamed song by a footballer.

Although John has now retired from playing he is still rapping and can often be heard doing so on tour with 5Times, the Liverpool Former Players Association, although more often than not it tends to be ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by the Sugar Hill Gang and it’s well worth a listen if you ever get chance to go to one of his shows.

Real Madrid’s Jesé Rodríguez is the current player who’s had a dabble in the music industry and the Deezer list also includes actor Vinnie Jones, who used to dabble in the football industry.

Explaining their chart, Deezer say: “By examining the long-standing relationship between football and music – from renowned chants to rousing championship raps – the line-up is composed of European players past and present who have tackled the music industry, and have been ranked according to the frequency of their music streams on the platform over the last 12 months.”

Of Barnes and New Order’s efforts Deezer say: “It comes as no surprise that England midfielder John Barnes takes the coveted title of the most streamed footballer in the ‘Deezer 11’ with his 90s smash hit and team up with New Order, World In Motion – perhaps the only thing England will win this year.

“Receiving almost five times as many streams as his closest rival Jesé Rodríguez, World in Motion is almost as synonymous with John Barnes as his powerful left foot.”

The Rodríguez number is Spanish hit, ‘Yo Sabía’, which pips the effort by the sadly recently departed Dutch soccer maestro Johan Cruyff. His hit was ‘Oei, Oei, Oei (Dat Was Me Weer Een Loei)’, one we’re sure everyone reading this is familiar with.

The ‘Starting 11’, ranked in order of streams, is:

John Barnes – World In Motion
Jesé Rodriguez (Jey M) – Yo Sabía
Johan Cruyff – Oei, Oei, Oei (Dat Was Me Weer Een Loei)
Kevin Keegan – Head Over Heels in Love
Vinnie Jones – Big Bad Leroy Brown
Andy Cole – Outstanding
Slaven Bilic – Vatreno ludilo
Franz Beckenbauer – Gute Freunde Kann Niemand Trennen
Ruud Gullit – Not The Dancing Kid
Peter Schmeichel – We Can Do It**
Youri Djorkaeff – Vivre Dans ta Lumière**

*For this activity Deezer analysed songs from 30th May 2015 to 30th May 2016

**Note: Peter Schmeichel’s and Youri Djorkaeff’s hits are not listed on Deezer

Deezer 11 (high res)

Christian Harris, Deezer UK & Ireland Managing Director says: “While the odds on England winning Euro 2016 may be slim, we know with certainty that England would definitely take home the trophy for the most iconic football song. Who doesn’t remember John Barnes’ World In Motion summing up the 1990 World Cup?”

Deezer don’t just stream music they also stream sport and this summer that includes Euro 2016 coverage. Harris said: “With more live football on Deezer than ever before including all of Euro 2016, we wanted to celebrate some of our favourite football songs from across Europe through the ages with our ‘Deezer 11’.”

Quite why they ignored ‘Liverpool (We’re Never Gonna Stop)’ by the Liverpool FC 1983 Squad is something we’ve not asked them, but it’s track nine on this album of, er, masterpieces.

At least they didn’t mention ‘Diamond Lights’ by Hoddle and Waddle.

Competition: Win a personalised Ireland shirt in time for Euro 2016

To celebrate Ireland’s involvement in this summer’s European Championships we are giving away a personalised replica Ireland shirt in a free-to-enter competition.

ROI Shirt

The domestic season is now over and done with but fans don’t have to wait long for the return of competitive football with Euro 2016 right around the corner. One of the nations involved this summer is Ireland and memories of slightly older supporters are flooding back from the 1988 tournament when the Irish lads upset another of this summer’s qualifiers, England.

Read on for details of how to enter our competition.

Wales and Northern Ireland are also involved this summer and whether there will be any upsets this time remains to be seen, but if you think there might be one or two red faces you can always Bet on the Euros with Paddy Power, whether it’s for individual games or the tournament as a whole.

The 1988 tournament was held in what was still then West Germany with just eight teams qualifying compared to the 24 sides who are involved in the Euro 2016 finals.

The opening game in Group 2 saw Ireland take on England in a match in which both sides had Liverpool players on the pitch, five Liverpool players starting the match in all.

On the England side Reds legends John Barnes and Peter Beardsley started, with future Liverpool defender Mark Wright, then with Derby, also involved. LFC midfielder Steve McMahon was an unused England sub.

Ireland named three Liverpool players in their Euros squad and all three started the group’s curtain raiser against the English, played at the VfB Arena in Stuttgart. John Aldridge, usually seen in Liverpool colours wearing the No.8 shirt – as worn by his boyhood hero Roger Hunt – was handed the No.9 shirt for Ireland, with Reds teammate Ray Houghton wearing the 8.

Also involved for the Boys in Green was Liverpool and Ireland legend Ronnie Whelan, the midfielder wearing the No.6 shirt for the tournament.

The half a dozen Liverpool players involved in the game on and off the pitch would still have fresh memories of the upset at Wembley in the FA Cup final just a few weeks before when Wimbledon broke Reds hearts with their unlikely victory over hot favourites and league champions Liverpool.

Could Ireland pull off what would be seen, at least in England, as a similar upset?

They did.

It took just six minutes for Jack Charlton’s Ireland to take the lead and, try as England might, they were unable to break the Republic down, thanks in large part to goalkeeper Packie Bonner.

The game ended 1-0 and Ireland were in heaven.

The rest of the tournament didn’t go quite so well for Ireland and their adventure was over soon after, but that victory over England remains one of those games that fans will talk about for a long time afterwards. Also at least Ireland, unlike England, went home with some points on the board. Ireland finished third in the group with three points (it was still two points for a win in those days), Bobby Robson’s side losing all three of their games.

To enter our competition just answer the following question. Leave your answer in the comments before the closing date and we’ll pick a winner at random shortly afterwards.

Q. WHO SCORED IRELAND’S GOAL AGAINST ENGLAND IN THE 1988 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS?

As a bonus – just for fun – who got the assist?

Leave your answer in the reply/comments box below.

Please make sure you enter your email address correctly in the space provided – we won’t share this with anyone without your permission, but we will need this to contact you in the event you win the prize! Closing date: 11:59pm (UK & Ireland Time) Monday 30th May 2016. The decision of Anfield Road is final.