Eurovision is a global phenomenon. As the world’s biggest song contest, it draws audiences of over 190 million viewers annually. Currently in its 68th year, most European families have grown up watching the show, and for many marginalised LGBTQ+ communities, the visual spectacle remains a source of upliftment.

But that’s not all. Eurovision’s impact is broader. Eurovision participants have conquered the world’s music stage over the decades. From ABBA to Måneskin, Eurovision personalities have shaped popular culture. This week marks another milestone. Norway’s 2009 winning entry, “Fairytale” has become the theme tune for the Turkish national football team — and we are celebrating!

“Fairytale” — Alexander Rybak

Football anthems lean into the power of most Eurovision songs by stirring up great patriotism and uniting people by music. In most cases, the anthems most beloved by football fans stand the test of time. Whilst it is regrettable that Turkey bowed out of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, its national broadcaster Turkey Radio and Television (TRT) remains a member of the EBU. Despite their absence from Eurovision, their national football team has embraced “Fairytale”, one of the contest’s most loved entries as their own.

The Turkish take on “Fairytale”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 🎻 ALEXANDER RYBAK 🎻 (@rybakofficial)

The legacy of “Fairytale”

Back in 2009 when Alexander Rybak performed his self-composed entry at Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix, the song received half a million votes more than his closest competitor, and marked the widest gap in the contest’s history.

It went on to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 where additional records were broken. “Fairytale” became Norway’s third and most recent victory, as well as scoring the highest recorded score with 387 points — out of a maximum possible of 492. It held this record all the way until 2016 when the contest’s scoring system was changed.

Additionally, It held the number one music chart position in Norway for 8 consecutive weeks and became a radio hit for several months in all major European music markets. In Russia for example, the song shifted over half a million copies, and it peaked within the Top 3 in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Speaking exclusively to wiwibloggs, Rybak explains:

“Hakan Sukur (who doesn’t play anymore) was one of the players who really made me fall in love with football as a child. I’ve always liked the passionate approach that Turkish footballers have to soccer. That’s why I really really want them to come back to ESC, because they bring that same passionate football energy to Eurovision.”

A look at Euro 2024

Euro 2024 — or the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship — is the 17th edition of the international football competition which brings 24 teams together once every four years to compete for continental footballing glory.

This year’s edition is taking place in Germany, across ten different cities. The host venues include Berlin’s Olympiastadion and the Düsseldorf Arena in Düsseldorf. The latter was also the venue which hosted Eurovision in 2011, the last time the contest took place in Germany.

Germany kicked things off with an emphatic 5-1 win against Scotland in the competition’s first game on 14 June in Munich. Since then, the likes of Spain, Italy, France and England have all registered victories in their first games.

Germany and Spain are the most successful teams in the competition’s history, with 3 wins each. Italy are the defending champions, having tasted success in Euro 2020, which was actually held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Türkiye at Euro 2024

Türkiye will commence their campaign at Euro 2024 on Tuesday 18 June — that’s later today — with “Fairytale” ringing in their ears. They have been drawn to play in Group F and play their first game against Georgia, who are making their debut after qualifying for the tournament for the first time in their history. The match will take place at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, home of recent Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Türkiye will then play Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on 22 June — also in Dortmund — before concluding their group stage campaign against the Czech Republic on 26 June in Hamburg. The Turkish team features Inter Milan star Hakan Çalhanoğlu and talented Real Madrid teenager Arda Güler.

Two out of four teams from each of the six groups will qualify for the Round of 16, alongside the four best-ranked third-placed teams.

What do you think of the Turkish take on “Fairytale”? Have you been watching Euro 2024? Which team are you supporting and who do you think will win the competition? Let us know in the comments below!

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Purple Mask
Purple Mask
22 days ago

Meanwhile, just to confirm: The BBC has withdrawn from JESC 2024 (Junior Eurovision). Apparently this was a “difficult” decision driven by viewing figures that were lower than their target. (There could be other factors I’m not aware of.)

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
21 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I think another, if not a main factor, is that Junior Eurovision is airing on a Saturday this year and it clashes with Strictly Come Dancing, which is a major ratings magnet for the BBC. No way are they going to shunt it off for a program that is very niche ratings wise.

Ern
Ern
24 days ago

It’s maddening to me how people want Israel and Russia out of Eurovision, yet they want Turkey in. It shows how ignorant people are.

Ozzie
Ozzie
25 days ago

I still don’t understand why people are spelling the English name of Turkey with strange accents and pronunciations. There is no ü or ? in the English language. It will always be Turkey to me

Karl
Karl
25 days ago
Reply to  Ozzie

Because that’s the official name in English now too. The same way the country Eswatini is now called that in English instead of Swaziland.

Fatima
Fatima
23 days ago
Reply to  Karl

No, Swaziland was renamed. And it’s eSwatini. But if we are going to use native spellings like Türkiye then it’s Hrvatska, not Croatia.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
25 days ago
Reply to  Ozzie

Turkiye is their name, not Turkey

you loser

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
15 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

It’s Turkey. What planet are you on? We are all on planet Earth.

Tino
Tino
25 days ago
Reply to  Ozzie

Just a question of respect for me. It’s the official name of the country now, in English too so I respect that. What I don’t understand is how people can have a problem with a change of name 😐 Writing Türkiye instead of Turkey is not that hard, is it?

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
15 days ago
Reply to  Tino

It is actually. Any word that uses accents is hard as my keyboards don’t have them.

Evan
Evan
22 days ago
Reply to  Ozzie

How about Czechia being used as the official name now instead of Czech Republic? Or North Macedonia making their change from FYR Macedonia?

Countries change their names more often than you think.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
15 days ago
Reply to  Ozzie

As American I’ll always say Turkey and Czech Republic.

Vivian
Vivian
26 days ago

Hehehe… Turkish people always manage to give fans false hope of a potential return, only to say no anyway once the time comes to actually make a decision.

Türkiye, you tease xD

Ingólfur
Ingólfur
26 days ago

Turkish men are simply hot looking at their national team. When’s the eurovision comeback?

Marlinken
Marlinken
25 days ago
Reply to  Ingólfur

Hot and huge in all the right places.

esc_fl
esc_fl
25 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

GURL LOL

Darren
24 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

I can confirm this is accurate

Kristian
Kristian
26 days ago

Please somebody tell Alexander Rybak to take back his words about the Turkish player Hakan Sukur. Turkish president and his party calls Sukur a “terrorist” and “traitor”. There is an arrest warrant for Sukur who has been living in USA for many years now. Sorry, Rybak :))

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
26 days ago
Reply to  Kristian

an enemy to erdogan can be a considered a friend for everyone of us honestly

NickC
NickC
25 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

As A Turkish citizen who is completely against Erdogan, I can assure you that Hakan Sukur is not any better.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
25 days ago
Reply to  NickC

Hakan Sukur is a Legend though, no nastiness about him

same goes for Iran’s Ali Daei, also a legend, on the level of Pelé

Fatima
Fatima
26 days ago

Never really liked Fairytale but this is a super development. You don’t win the Eurovision Song Contest without a memorable song.

Alex
Alex
27 days ago

Say what you want but Fairytale Turkish version actually slaps.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
27 days ago

don’t let Erdogan hear this, he hates anything related to eurovision

btw Turkiye hopefully losing today’s first match vs the amazing Georgian Sheni’s

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
27 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Kvaratskhelia will clutch a win for the Georgians.