Today, as the first cleat grazes that synthetic leather orb of hope, a deluge of sound will flood the neatly cropped pitch of Soccer City Stadium. Fans of Mexico and South Africa, will begin belting out their national chants, lavishing their athletes in patriotic pride. But what will they be singing?
In South Africa, “Shosholoza” is the traditional sporting anthem, derived from a call and response folk song sung by manual laborers, it means “go forward” or “make the way for the next man."
“Cielto Lindo” will likely be heard echoing from the Mexican side, a popular Ranchera song written in 1882. Over the years, the song has traveled around with mariachi bands and studio artists, but in recent decades has become best known as a theme song for the Mexican people.
So as the game transpires listen closely for these unofficial anthems, as they will have to compete with the deafening blare of an army of plastic horns.