“When I meet a European, the first thing I say is, “I’d much rather watch football than football.” But I’m just teasing them, and they know I’d really rather watch football than football.”
If there is one characteristic all Europeans share across the continent, it is certainly their love for football! But by “football” Europeans don’t mean American football, that you actually play with a rather suspect ball, using your hands and not foot. No! European football! The one that shakes the whole continent every two years and more, either for the World Championship or the European Championship, and that gathers thousands of supporters in giant Stadiums. And what do those European supporters do when they are in Stadiums? They sing of course! So that we have now an entire collection of supporters’ football chant with sometimes really creative rhythms, and sometimes other more… let’s say… rough. Discover below those chants and songs and do not hesitate to share yours…
Portuguese supporters have their idol, and this is of course Ronaldo. You can hear Portuguese sing Olé Ronaldo Olé out and loud in Stadium to encourage the most famous player of the Selecção. As you may know, Olé is mostly associated with the bullfighting of last centuries, but also with other sports after the 19th century. It was chanted when individuals seemed to rise above themselves in performance. Another song easy to remember is Portugal Allez! which just means Go Portugal! Last, but not least, you can just repeat “Portugal” indefinitely – it will be the perfect chant to support your favourite team!
Spain has a lot to cheer about when it comes to football, and their favorite chant is always back in full force during international matches. ¡Yo soy Español, Español, Español! the yell goes, letting everyone near you know that you are – indeed – Spanish. Heck, even Niall of One Direction knows the song. Let him and tens of thousands of screaming fans teach you how it’s done! If you are bored supporting the Roja with this chorus, change it for ¡A por Ellos! and ¡Que Viva España!
In 1998, France won the finale of the World Cup against Brazil with 3 goals to 0. Supporters in the Stadium started singing the now famous song Et un ! Et deux ! Et trois – zé-ro ! and continued with the refrain On est les champions (We are the Champions). The song is now sung every time France wins 3 to 0 which is, of course, not always the case… Otherwise, French supporters only repeat the chant Allez les Bleus ! (Go Blue!) inspired by the team’s blue jerseys. In 1998, supporters also adopted the famous song of Gloria Gaynor I will survive to celebrate their victory. It is still sung every time France wins a match.
Green is the colour of the Emerald Isle – then logically the most appropriate supporters’ chant is about the boys in Green. The name of the song Come On You Boys In Green! is also the name of a very active supporters’ association in Ireland. You can also try to sing a quite a similar song Stand Up For the Boys In Green!. And if you don’t feel like singing, you can just repeat Ole Ole Ole indefinitely until you can’t breath any longer! So nice these Irish supporters… Did you know that the FIFA awarded its 1997 Fair Play Award to the Irish supporters “for their exemplary behaviour at Ireland team matches, especially the FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs against Belgium”?
You thought that Brits where charming, polite and peaceful? Not in football! One of England’s favorite chants is the song version of Two World Wars and One World Cup (which also inspired this funny add). The lyrics go to the tune of :: races and is pretty straightforward: “Two World Wars and one World Cup, England, England. Two World Wars and one World Cup, England all the way…” English supporters can also count on their Great Escape – and it has nothing to do with escaping from a lost game – and England till I die to support their national team.
Supporters in Norway may support their national team with Alt for Norge “we give everything, everything for Norway, sacrifices if we have to. We are red white, blue! We’ll make it through the whole battle! For Norway, our fatherland!”. The theme song of the show TV reality show “Heia Tufte!” (Go Tufte!), is also used as a taunting chant by Norwegian football fans against opposition when their team is winning big. But it is rather for the Tufyr Il team.
Swedish supporters showed up first during the 1912 Summer Olympics, where they chanted “Heja Sverige Friskt humör, det är det som susen gör” (roughly meaning “Go Sweden, being in good spirits is what does the trick!”). But former Vikings can be much more tribal! Some of their supporting chants are just loud interjections, such as “Oi Oi Oi”, or the repetition of “Sweden” in Swedish: “Sverige”. An alternative is also to repeat many times “Oj Vad Vi Är Bra Alla Svenska Vänner Oj” which directly means in English “We are all Swedish fans”. Just note that Swedish fans were voted the best fans during the 2006 World Cup, due to their massive numbers, friendly attitude and love for the game.
Suomi Meidän Kotimaa is one of the most sung (yelled?) football chant in Finland. In English, it only means “Finland, Our Country”. Another common football song is “Taistele Suomi”, which means “Fight Finland Fight“. But if you have difficulties to speak Finnish (and nobody’s perfect, we can’t blame you) just repeat indefinitely “Suomi” and it will be fine as well…
“We are red, We are white, We stand together, Side by side…” These are the lyrics in English of Vi er røde, vi er hvide, maybe one of the most famous Danish football chant, red and white being the two colors of Denmark. The song, recorded by members of the Danish national football team, became a huge hit in Denmark in 1986 and an iconic song sung at almost all the Danish national games. The single also became a hit in Norway and in Sweden in 1986 reaching #3 in Singles Charts. Danes also have other football chants, such as Lalala Denmark sung on the same theme as German’s Allee Allee or Og det var Danmark which means “And it was Denmark”…
Of course, Dutch supporters dressed in orange like to sing one of their most famous supporter chant Wij houden van Oranje (We love Orange). It was originally performed by the Dutch singer André Hazes based on the melody of the well-known Scottish song Auld Lang Syne. The song was first interpreted in 1988 during the European football championships. Dutch supporters also sing Hup Holland Hup (Go ! Holland Hup!), the oldest football song, written in 1950. The lyrics are weird and refer to the Dutch lion. It says “Go Holland Go / Don’t let yourself be stripped of your vest / Go Holland Go /Don’t put slippers on the beast / Go Holland Go /Stay undaunted /Because a lion on football boots /Can beat the whole world”…
The french-speaking Belgian supporter chant is as simple as Allez La Belgique where supporters just repeat both in French and English “Come on the Belgians, Come on Belgians, Come on, Come on, Come on !”. Belgian also support their Red devils with the adaptation of the song “oh when the saints” but with “oh when the Reds”, just as for Liverpool supporters. Flemish speakers sing for their part Waar Is Dat Feestje (Where is the party?). And speaking about party, there is the 2014 official World Cup song from the famous singer Stromae Ta fête which you should listen…
It’s been a long time that German football fans exhort Germany to score a goal (Deutschland schieß ein Tor!) but in 2014 Germans even translated this famous football chant into their official World Cup song. The singer is Melanie Müller, the same name as one of the most talented football player of the German team. German supporters can also sing the famous chant “Allee Allee” whose lyrics say : “a pathway, a pathway, a street, many trees, yes ! This a pathway”. Why those crazy words ? Only because they make fun of the French expression “Allez” which they heard so many times in Stadiums…
In Austrian Stadiums, you can actually hear the drinking song Das schäumende Bier as a football chant. Well… the lyrics are rather… poetic : “we drink the foaming beer and shit on the counter/ give the economic one give one give one we all want to be drunk…”. The rest of the song is even worst. For a more “sophisticated” chant, Austrian football supporters support their national team by repeating indefinitely Österreich. Otherwise Austrians also created in 2008 their own song to support Josef Hickersberger, their football star and former coach of the Austria national football team. Germans will recognize between lines the rhythm of the famous animation movie Hey Vicky.
Stand up if you’re Swiss! This is the easy-to-learn lyrics of the swiss most famous football chant Steht Auf Wenn Ihr Schweize Seid. Swiss supporters can also alternate with the repetitive Schwiizer Nati Ole which is the swiss equivalent to the German “Allee Allee” ! And last, but not least, there is also the football chant Hopp Schwiiz which is also the slogan to support Swiss athletes and national teams for all sport events.
On the night of July 9, 2006, it was impossible to go anywhere in Italy without hearing delirious football fans chanting Campioni del Mondo (Po Po Po) to the tune of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes. The song had become the Azzurri’s unofficial anthem and there was no escaping it after the country’s World Cup final win over France in Berlin. Italian supporters also sing Ole Ole Ole which is easy to sing for everyone.
In Slovenia, the easiest way to support the national team is actually singing Kdor ne skače ni slovenec which means “He who is not jumping is not Slovenian, hey hey hey!”. If you are not in the mood to jump, you can just shout your love to Slovenia! The football chant Ljubim Slovenijo means “we love Slovenia”. It is rather easy, but effective. , you can also sing along Dajte Gol. It means “score a goal” and is actually the Slovenian version of the German chant Deutschland schieß ein Tor!
My Chceme Gol may be hard to pronounce, but you shall learn it if you have one day to support the Czech national team, because it is the supporters’ favorite football chant in Czech Republic and translates to “give us a goal”. Another quite famous football chant in Czech Republic is Pojďme Hoši, Pojďme Do Toho. It means in English “Come On Guys Let’s Do It”. And last of course, and as in many countries, you can support the Czech national team by saying český and clapping in your hands…
Slovakia participated in the FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history as an independent nation after finishing in first place in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification ahead of Slovenia, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, and Poland. At this time, supporters were encouraging their team with the football chant Slovakia. The rhythm of the chant is taken from the song Guantanamera. Another quick manner to support Slovakia is simply to repeat — just as in Czech Republic and elsewhere- Slovensko while clapping in your hands!
The Poles’ favourite football chant is Polska, Bialoczerwoni. Sung to the tune of the 1979 hit “Go West” by Village People – a song already adopted and adapted by fans around the world. It simply means “Poland, the White and Reds”, in a nod to the national colours. Another standard is Nic sie nie stalo, sung to the tune of “Guantanamera” and pronounced like “nits she nee star-wo”. Halfway between an encouragement and a reproach, it literally means “nothing has happened”, and is deployed to prod a team into making an effort. Among the other regulars is a question-and-answer chant often led by stadium announcers: “Who’ll win the match? Poland! Who? Poland! Who? Poland, Poland, Poland, fight, fight, Poles!”
The most sung Estonian football chant is probably Eesti Eesti. But if you want to be a tad naughty, you can also opt for: “football is better than sex”. No kidding, the Estonian football song Jalgpall On Parem Kui Seks, – not exactly a chant – is affirmative: “This makes the soul troubled/and every man knows it/It‘s not a cliché/ football is better than sex!”… Raffiné, isn’t it? Another Estonian football song is Kas Tunned Maad which means “Do you know the land?”. It says “Do you know the land that reaches from the coasts of Lake Peipus / To the coast of the Baltic Sea / And from the forests and fields of Egg Hill / To the Gulf of Finland?” The lyrics are actually based on the poem by Estonian poet Mihkel Veske.
Slava Ukrayini!, translated into English as “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” is a Ukrainian greeting slogan and popular unofficial motto, that first appeared during the Ukrainian War for Independence. Recently, the slogan also became popular as a refreshing exclamation during mass sporting events – especially in the western and central Ukraine. It was widely used in Ukraine in the years 2013-2014 during Euromaidan. Another chant, Chervona Ruta is a popular Ukrainian song written by Volodymyr Ivasyuk in 1968 and performed by many singers, and can be heard in Stadiums. It says poetically “You said to me, Why you have that goblets Without you I remain all days, In trap of sadness”. Last, you can always support Ukraine with more traditional chants, such as Viva Ukraina!
Romanian football songs are often very violent and racist so that it is not easy to find nice supporters’ chants that really convey the true spirit of sport. If you are Romanian and know nice football chants, please do not hesitate to send them to me! But speaking about football, did you know that Romania was one of only four national teams from Europe, that took part in the first World Cup (the other three being Yugoslavia, France, and Belgium)? After that performance, Romania only qualified for the 1970, 1990, 1994 and 1998 editions. Their finest hour came at the 1994 World Cup where Romania, led by playmaker Gheorghe Hagi, reached the quarter-finals.
The first Croatian football chant may be a bit rude. Malo vas je malo vas je pičkice! means “there’s too few of you, there’s too few of you, pu*ies!” We didn’t say supporters were well-brought-up after all ! A similar one is “Kolko nas ima, kolko nas ima, kolko nas ima, jebote kolko nas ima!” which is sung over the tune of “Guantanamera”. It means something like “so many of us are here, so many of us are here, so many of us are here, wow hell, so many of us are here!”. And then there is “Ale aleee ale aleee (etc) … Bježite Ljudi bježite iz grada, stiže ekipa pijana, bježite ljudi dok postoji nada jer ovdje igra hrvatska!” for “Ale aleee… Run people, run from the city, cos the drunk gang is coming, run people while there’s still chance, cos Croatia is playing here!”
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a nation of footballers and supporters, so that they have a whole set of football chants, such as Dajte Gol Da Slavimo, which means “[Give us] a Goal To Celebrate”. “Jedna si jedina” (You Are the One and Only) was the national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1998, but it is still considered by most of the population to be the real anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And supporters therefore continue to sing it. It says “Land of a Thousand Summers/Loyalty to you I swear/From sea to save from the Drina to Una/You Are the One and Only/You are Bosnia and Herzegovina/May God preserve you/For the generations/Country of my dreams/My forefathers…”. Bosnian supporters also have easy chants such as Volim Te Bosni which means “I love you Bosnia” or even simplier Bosnia Champion.
Magyar Csapat, Magyar Szív, one of the most famous Hungarian football chant says: “Our beloved team! You hear we’re here again! We are supporting with full heart! We’re chasing you into victory! Hungarian team, Hungarian heart! The stands are calling again”. In Gyerünk! Magyar!, Hungarian football supporters also shout at each other from one side of a stadium to another with one side yelling “Come on!” and the other side “Hungarians”! Otherwise, Magyar supporters love cheering with the simpler Gyerünk Magyarok or Hungary Ole.
“It’s so good, to be Albanian!” – or, at least, that’s what the energetic chant O Sa Mirë Me Qenë Shqiptar! says. Another song, Këndoj për ty shqipëri is also quite beautiful. It says: “I’m singing for you Albania and without love /As long as I live! /I love you Albania…”. Finally, the easiest way to support the Albanian national team may simply be to repeat “Albania, Albania” indefintely and clap your hands! (Shqipëri)
The Greek football chant Παντα Τηα Σ’ακολοθτηο is actually quite enjoyable! It says: “I’ll Always Follow You, I’ll always follow you, Ooooh and I live only for you, Ooooh Greece, Madness in my mind…”. And what would supporters be if they did not believe their team is great? That’s probably why the Greeks would tend to sing Ομαδαρα meaning “Great team eh oh, Greece Greece I love you…”. Last but not least, note that, surprisingly, Greeks share with Germans the same song! Ελλαδαρα vαλε ενα γοαλ is the equivalent to Deutschland schieß ein Tor! with the same lyrics but of course adapted to Greece: “Greece, score a goal, score a goal, score a goooAAAl”!
The chant Türkiyem Benim is like a love letter: “My dear Turkey/You are the one/Tell me that I’ve got/Nobody but you/I cry with you/I laugh with you/Tell me that I’ve got/Nobody but you”. Beautiful isn’t it? But Turkish supporters can also attack in their chant, such as in Saldır, Türkiye! which means “Turkey,Turkey,Attack! Attack! Turkey!”. The same spirit can be found in Vur! Kır! Parçala! which can be translated in English as “Kick! Smash! Shred! Win this match!”. Last, Turkish supporters simply call on their team to score a goal with Türkiye Gol, Gol, Gol!
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