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For Danish singer-songwriter Bryan Rice the forthcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship provides a unique opportunity to reach out to a continent-wide audience.
Rice has seized the chance to fly the flag for his country by recording the official song of the U21 finals in Denmark – For the Love of the Game. The 32-year-old will perform the track at the championship's opening ceremony in Aalborg on 11 June, at the beginning of the eight-team tournament taking place in Jutland.
If his involvement in the event is reward for his own hard work and dedication, Rice expects to see a similar striving for success on the pitches of Aalborg, Aarhus, Herning and Viborg until the championship's conclusion on 25 June.
"In life as in sport, I go for as many victories as possible and aim at the goal when the opportunity presents itself. This is exactly what the song and the tournament is about – to seize opportunities, go all the way, but also to have respect for team-mates, opponents, the game and its rules," said Rice, who co-wrote the U21 anthem with Theis Andersen, Søren Ohrt-Nissen and Jesper Vestergaard.
"My philosophy is that if you follow the rules and go wholeheartedly and passionately after the victory, through thick and thin, you will end up with what you wish for."
With For the Love of the Game, balladeer Rice – who has released three albums since 2005/06 – bridges the gap between his familiar pop and a more clubby sound. "It will definitely help to get the football spirit up and cooking," said the voice behind hit singles No Promises, Homeless Heart and Breathing.
It was with the last of those tracks that Rice got down to the last two in the Eurovision selection process in 2010. Now he has his own European stage to stand on.
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