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LISTEN: World Cup Songs From Around The Globe In Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City


Of the 32 national soccer teams that made it to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup this year, Germany and Argentina will face off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

KCUR has been covering soccer fans cheering on their teams since the tournament began about a month ago.  (See our recent coverage on how international communities living in Kansas City are rooting for their teams.)

With two only left standing, we thought we’d take a moment to remember some of the songs and chants from local soccer fans supporting teams around the globe. 

United States – “I Believe” 

The “I Believe” chant was first performed at an Army Navy football game in 1999.  But since then, the chant has spread through high schools and colleges around the nation, and was eventually adopted by the MLS and USA national soccer team. 

If you were one of the 10,000-plus people who were at the Kansas City Power & Light District KC Live stage cheering on the U.S. national team, then you know this chant well.

Ghana –"Nyame Osey" or "Ghana Osey" 


Four years ago, Ghana’s Black Stars knocked out the U.S. national team, advancing to the quarter finals before getting knocked out by Uruguay.  This year, they didn’t even make it past the first round.

When the United States and Ghana faced each other this year, fans gathered in downtown Kansas City by the thousands to watch the U.S. team defeat Ghana, 2-1. It was a sea of red, white and blue, but a group of about 20 Ghana supporters stuck out waving red, yellow and green flags. They banged on pots, blew whistles, and sang chants like  "Nyame Osey" which means "give recognition to God."  For soccer chants sometimes they replace "Nyame" which means God to "Ghana" saying "Ghana Osey" translating to "give recognition to Ghana." 

Brazil – “Eu Sou Brasileiro”


David dos Santos says every Brazilian boy gets a soccer ball from his father when he’s born, and he learns to kick it before he can walk.  His 3- year-old daughter, Ariana is learning how to play fútbol, and loves to sing the popular Brazilian soccer song “Eu Sou Brasileiro.” The song was also sung in the protests leading up to the World Cup, in which Brazilians were frustrated at the amount of money spent preparing for the sporting event.

Brazil lost in the semi-finals to Germany 7 - 1. 

South Korea – “Dae han min guk” 


There are about 7,000 Koreans in the Kansas City area. Sejun Song and his daughter watched South Korea compete in a strip mall in Overland Park, where there are a lot of Korean owned businesses; the closest thing to a ‘Little Korea’ in Kansas City.

The lyrics, "Daehan min guk" means “Korea.” The soccer song essentially translates to, "Go Korea!"

Italy – “Po po po po po po po”


When Italy beat France, winning the World Cup in 2006, soccer fans screamed "Campioni del mondo" and "Po popopopopopo" in excitement. They adapted this chant to the popular song "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. 

Giorgio Antongirolami, the associate head coach of men’s soccer at Rockhurst University and general manager at Bella Napoli in Brookside — where Italian fans have gathered throughout the World Cup to watch games — is from Rome. He says Italians take soccer very seriously, in many cases, more seriously than religion.  

Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a community storyteller taking a new look at local history, I aim to provide that context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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