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A winning tune for Sweden

Published: Thursday 7 June 2012, 11.29CET
What has a cheesy 1980s Eurovision-winning pop song got to do with the fortunes of Erik Hamrén's Sweden team? Quite a lot, according to team reporter Sujay Dutt.
by Sujay Dutt
from Kyiv
 
Published: Thursday 7 June 2012, 11.29CET

A winning tune for Sweden

What has a cheesy 1980s Eurovision-winning pop song got to do with the fortunes of Erik Hamrén's Sweden team? Quite a lot, according to team reporter Sujay Dutt.

'Diggiloo-diggiley'. Sound familiar? It might if you're a) a fanatical follower of the Eurovision Song Contest, or b) simply Swedish.

The words (if they can be called that) were the title of Sweden's entry in 1984. Three clean-cut brothers called the Herreys sang it and performed a choreographed dance remembered by all Swedes who saw it. Suddenly, in Kyiv 28 years later, the number came to my mind again.

"Lightning and thunder" starts the song – and that's what I started humming to myself at the sight of the skies that welcomed Erik Hamrén and his men when they landed in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday evening. Because of the thunderstorm, the Swedish plane had to circle above Kyiv for half an hour before getting clearance to land.

The wait gave me time to think back on the rest of the lines to the old Herreys hit. "Imagine an obstacle – you'll fly over it," the song went as I hummed along. Looking up at a black Kyiv sky, I got to "Oh, what a wonderful dream" and realised that this trivial piece of 80s pop was more profound than it seemed.

In fact, it could have been penned by Hamrén himself. The Swedish coach often speaks fondly of the power of dreams and keeps telling his players how he wants them to see possibilities where others see obstacles.

©Getty Images

Zlatan will need his shooting boots on to emulate the Herreys

To top it all, the Herrey brothers sang about – and did their famous dance, wearing – golden boots. Obviously a not-so-veiled reference to what Zlatan Ibrahimović might claim at the end of this tournament.

Oh, for those who don't remember, 'Diggiloo-diggiley' won the European pop crown for Sweden in 1984. Who knew it would be a footballing prophecy in 2012? Powerful stuff, don't you agree?

Last updated: 26/06/12 4.12CET

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