Long-term readers may be familiar with our love for the largely-unknown football game Puma World Football ’98 (ancient review here, more recent discussion piece here). At various points during the late 90s/early 00s we occasionally wondered whether the game ever actually existed or was in fact the product of some kind of collective hallucination, such was the scarcity of available information.

In recent years bits and pieces have come to light, including several gameplay videos on YouTube. I was always puzzled that the mighty MobyGames didn’t have an entry for the game though. Or so I thought.

It turns out that the game was released in Germany under the title Sean Dundee’s World Club Football, and not only does MobyGames have an entry under that name, but also a scan of the box art (DIE FUSSBALLSIMULATION!) and some quotes from German reviews.

A search for that name doesn’t bear much more fruit, save for one or two lists of games with unlikely celebrity affiliations. For English football fans, the name Sean Dundee would be one of the last you’d expect to see plastered on a game box: he had a brief and extremely unsuccessful stint with Liverpool FC in the late 90s (his player profile on LFCHistory.net begins thus: “Sean Dundee has become a running joke among Liverpool supporters, considered by many as the worst-ever striker in recent times to wear the red shirt” and finishes with a quote from the manager who bought him, Roy Evans, “One player I do regret signing was Sean Dundee, he was terrible on and off the pitch”).

To be fair, Dundee did have a decent goalscoring record in Germany, so I guess for the German version to have his name on it isn’t that strange. Ubisoft eschewed a celebrity endorsement for the UK release, opting for a tie-in with a sportswear firm instead. *Checks Wikipedia* Oh, Puma is a German company, too! [How interesting! – a reader]

*EDIT* – Stoo pointed out that there’s also an entry on MG for World Football 98, which contains the following fun facts: in some countries, the game bore the name of another real-life footballer – Athletico Madrid striker Kiko Narváez (nope, never heard of him, although he seems to have had a slightly more illustrious career than Sean Dundee), and also at one point (apparently), a version of the game was given away with Danone Yogurts.

My eagle-eyed colleague also noticed that the entry for the Sean Dundee version of the game lists it as a DOS release. Were there two versions of World Football perhaps? I think possibly it might be a mistake – this page for Sean Dundee’s World Club Football, on a different database, has it listed as a Windows game. Ooh – and I just remembered something else – I think there was a patch that allowed you to play with international, rather than club sides, but it never worked with my version of the game.

Anyway, all this poking around for more information led me to revisit a long-held theory, which for reasons of incompetence or laziness I never followed up until now, that a wacky cartoon football game called Action Soccer was in some way related to Puma/Sean (no, I think I’ll stick with Puma). Turns out, I was right!  [Hooray! – a reader]

I’ll write more about Action Soccer soon. For the time being, I guess this is an excuse to dig out a replay of what will forever be known, to a select few, as ‘the Peter goal’: