Sven Sven Sven - Bell & Spurling

In honour of English football's favourite Swede, we go back in time to 2001 ...

Other nations treat songs about international football as occasional diversions, but England are one of the few that seemed to have turned them into a cottage industry. There are what seem like thousands of the things, from which we've plucked this minor classic, released in the wake of Germany 1-5 England, a qualifier for the 2002 World Cup.

It's difficult to choose a favourite part. Perhaps it's "David Seaman" doing ballet, because he has a ponytail and so looks like a girl, and girls do ballet. Or the nifty rhyming of "Oliver Kahn" and "autobahn". Maybe it's the peculiar overhead crowd-goes-wild shots, treating the viewer to what looks like nothing so much as a collection of England fans masturbating in a lift.

No, none of that. It's this line: "He's a lovely geezer, but don't forget that he's from Sweden." There, friends, is the entire social history of this peculiar, rain-sodden country on this peculiar, rain-sodden island, boiled down into eleven words. Whatever you do, and whatever he might do for you, don't forget that the foreign man is foreign.

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