Hits better forgotten – Bundesliga stars singing

A number of Bundesliga players have tried to entertain the German public off the pitch as well by recording their own songs. Here is a brief history of the musical history of German football.

Visitors to the annual Oktoberfest in Munich may have heard a strange folksy kind of song in one of the beer tents about an easy-going goalkeeper; well, provided they are in a frame of mind that allows them to take in the music surrounding them. The song in question is named Bin I Radi, bin I König, a hit single from 1965 performed by none other than 1860 München legend Petar Radenković.

The single was a massive hit when it arrived, selling more than 400,000 copies and reaching the 6th spot of the German charts. Radenković’s single outsold even The Beatles hit single Ticket to ride in Bavaria. The Yugoslavian goalkeeper was the first proper entertain of the Bundesliga, entertaining the spectators with runs down to the oppositions corner flags and heated arguments with the referees, as well as singing his somewhat simple songs off the pitch.

Hits from Bavaria

Radenković’s single sparked the unfortunate trend of footballers trying to impress the public with their singing skills. Franz Beckenbauer’s first single Gute Freunde kann niemand trennen hit the stores in 1966 and reached number 31 in the German charts.


Beckenbauer recorded another single titled Du bist das Glück – 1:0 für die Liebe. This over-the-top sweet love song is about as pleasant to listen to as cozying up with a shark in a small aquarium. The vocal skills of the Kaiser didn’t exactly match his footballing talents.

However, the legendary sweeper is far from the worst musical performer amongst the Bundesliga greats. Bayern München legendary striker Gerd Müller’s 1968 effort, Das gibt ein Schützenfest, is truly amongst the most abysmal songs ever published. Had his efforts of trying to hit the right notes resembled his effectiveness in front of goal, this piece of music would have been something truly special…

Sepp Maier and a number of Bundesliga players from the 60s and 70s have also taken their -let’s be honest- often limited singing talents to the recording studio. Fitting all those songs in this post would potentially traumatize readers’ ears for a considerable amount of time – maybe even life.

World Cup songs – The national team delights the nation
The undisputed kings of combining football and music, however, were the DFB. The German national team recorded a song ahead of every World Cup from 1970 until 1994. Amongst the musicians working with the national team were TV entertainer Michael Schanze and Eurovision Song Contest winner Nicole. All songs included a reference to the host nation of the World Cup that particular year and many of them have actually reached cult status among certain sections of German football fans. Fortunately. the footballers were only used as back up vocals on those songs.

Here’s Michael Schanze’s effort from 1982.

The fans of the national team who have been hoping for a new musical gem from the DFB stars were probably bitterly disappointed when Oliver Bierhoff told 11Freunde ahead of Euro 2012 that the current group of players weren’t at all keen on the idea of recording an official song for the national team.

Modern times – The entrance of rap

Whilst the national team stopped singing their obligatory World Cup songs after the 1994 tournament in the United States, some Bundesliga stars chose to keep the trend of players recording hit singles alive. Most notable were the efforts of Toni Polster and Jay-Jay Okocha.

Austrian striker Polster teamed up with a group of women who called themselves Die Fabulösen Thekenschlampen (The Fabulous  Bar Skanks) and recorded a song about his goalscoring exploits called Toni, lass es Polstern.

Polster’s song reaks of the 90s, which in all honesty was probably one of the worst decades in terms of music, style and fashion. However, Jay-Jay Okocha tried to market his goal of the season from 1993 with a song which was a strange mixture of many different genres, producing one of the most meaningless songs ever to be published.


Header courtesy of n-tv.de

Are there any musical gems which should have been featured in this article, but didn’t make it? Tell us in the comment section below!

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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