I’ve written before about how I came to associate FIFA with Christmas, and following a recent clearout my parents reunited me with my old copy of FIFA 2000, which I think was maybe the last version I received as a present (the following year, I’d discover Pro Evolution Soccer).

While browsing the excellent (but completely non game-related) blog Popular, I was reminded that former/current/former Take That star Robbie Williams wrote a song specifically for the game, It’s Only Us (later plonked on a double-A side single so that people who didn’t play FIFA could buy and enjoy it too). I also recall that he performed some motion-capture for the game itself too – not football moves, but the goal celebrations (presumably, as a professional show-off, this was considered a suitable area of expertise, although he was apparently a handy enough player in his youth).

I’m so delighted to have found a source to verify my hazy memories of this particular fact, I’m going to put it here, but – obviously – non-fans of Williams’ particular brand of knobby antics will find this deliciously irritating.


The intro to the game, featuring the song, is pretty bizarre, with Williams and former England defender Sol Campbell (who appeared on the game box and provided the motion-capture for the actual football-y bits) sharing the spotlight. I don’t really follow the narrative involving the sepia-toned team from the past, who appear either amazed or frightened at the appearance of Campbell, and then greet Robbie’s arrival with a kind of ‘let’s break his legs’ sort of look. (It’s likely to be some kind of reference to the ‘Classic’ mode in the game, which allows you to play in great matches from the past, kind of like Viva Football – but, you know, not quite as bad.)

I doubt we’ll ever get around to covering the game itself: my main recollections involve the rather quirky and stylized player graphics and the beginnings of some rather unusual ball physics which would become an unpleasant characteristic of the series in subsequent editions. Fortunately, our friends over at Just Games Retro have a write-up.

While I’m here, I might as well recommend Popular: it’s basically a look back at all of the UK #1 hit singles – ever – and, as someone with particular nostalgia for the 90s, I’ve enjoyed the blog’s recent coverage of this era. I’m no music expert or a fan of music criticism, particularly, but it’s something I enjoy reading. The comments seem to be a place for reasoned and informed discussion, too – who knew such a thing was possible?