The music of rapper Drake, ABBA and a healthy dose of new and old Australian rock have given the Socceroos a mental boost during this year’s World Cup as the side prepares for the do-or-die clash with Argentina on Sunday morning.
While most of the focus in Australia’s preparations for this World Cup has focused on their fitness and skills on the pitch, music has also played a key role in Qatar – both for the players as individuals and as a team bonding exercise – encouraged by Socceroos officials.
After the team defeated Denmark 1-0 in Qatar, progressing to the knockout round, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said he encouraged the players to “have a laugh before you go to sleep, listen to popular music that you like … which is Australian music, and make yourself happy” as a post-match conclusion. Something the players have taken to heart.
On Wednesday night, as cameras surrounded the elated players in their locker rooms, they danced to ABBA’s Give me! Give me! Give me! (A man after midnight) swirling towels and shirts over their heads before gathering in a group to sing Neil Diamond’s Dear Caroline.
According to Peter Filopoulos, Head of Marketing, Communications and Corporate Affairs for Football Australia, when the players listened to music together, the go-to tracks were from iconic Australian rockers AC/DC, Men at Work and Cold Chisel.
“Essentially the players play a playlist of Aussie classics before the game,” he said.
But the players also listen to their own songs before matches and gave this masthead a peek into their playlists.
Forward Jason Cummings gave Arnold his best John Travolta impersonation greased lightning, later shared on social media, when Arnold called to say the striker had made the World Cup squad.