Football and music, those star-crossed lovers, have brought their share of romance, excitement and, at times, tragedy to the world. Look back over the last 30 years of their tempestuous affair and you'll find cringeworthy FA Cup songs featuring the likes of Suggs and Status Quo, and Gazza babbling on about sausage rolls, John Barnes and Andy "Andrew" Cole trying to rap, and Waddle & Hoddle doing an awful impression of new romantics on Top Of The Pops.
Thankfully, that relationship has been less embarrassing of late, largely due to the fact that musicians who love football (rather than footballers who think that they're musicians) have started to take the reins.
Mogwai showed the way with their mesmerising score to Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno's 2006 film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which fixed the gaze of the world's best camera men on the Frenchman as he played for Real Madrid against Villareal. At last, football-related music had risen above the level of a jokey knockabout to convey the nuances and heightened emotions of the top-level modern game.
The Argentinean and former Villarreal midfielder Juan Román Riquelme had a cameo in the Zidane film. Late last year he inspired his own serious musical tribute when electronica producer Lukid (AKA Luke Blair) released his album Lonely At The Top, featuring a track named after the mercurial playmaker. Luke then teamed up with his film-maker brother Sam Blair – the pair had previously worked together on Sam's 2012 documentary Personal Best, which followed the lives of promising British sprinters over four years – to create a video for the track made up of YouTube clips from Riquelme's career.
YouTube homages to players are common, but they're either hastily compiled efforts set to pounding Euro-trance or ridiculously over-produced videos full of gratutious slo-mo, underpinned by Evanescence or something seen as equally "epic". The Blairs used such videos as a starting point but managed to create a three-and-a-half-minute clip that captured not only Riquelme's effortless talent but also his flawed personality, including flashes of his temper and, at times, selfish disposition.
Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor has also paid homage to a cult footballer with his latest EP, Nayim From The Halfway Line, which takes its title from a notorious goal scored by the Spanish delantero (and former Spurs hero) for Real Zaragoza in the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup Final against Arsenal. Hot Chip themselves recently added another entry to the football/music canon with their Peter Serafinowicz-directed video for Don't Deny Your Heart at the end of last year, which didn't focus on a particular player, but instead paid tribute to clunky late 90s/early noughties videogames such This Is Football, complete with nonsense commentary and jerky polygon graphics.
The video's climax comes when a pair of combative players stop fighting and start getting off with each other before uniting with the other players and fans to create a kind of giant, homoerotic, footballing Transformer. A little more love like this from both sides, and football and music could really take their relationship to the next level.