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World Cup 2018: Are Rihanna, Kanye West’s music game-changers at the World Cup?

  • Published at 02:02 pm June 22nd, 2018
A collage of Rihanna and Kanye West Photos collected from their respective Instagram accounts

Study suggests playing music by Rihanna or Kanye West before matches in the changing rooms may give FIFA World Cup players a crucial psychological edge over rival teams

The right music can supercharge team spirit among players helping heighten bonding and strengthen teamwork which is essential to winning a match, according to UK researchers.

The study said Kanye and Rihanna's tunes were listed as the favorites by players in the study, but all forms of music can enhance group cohesion, reports Daily Mail.

Scientists have long thought that music has performance boosting powers in sport. For the first time they have studied its pre-match effect in premiership football.

Brunel University researchers tracked 34 academy players from an unnamed Premier League team over the course of a season.

They found listening to upbeat tunes the players already knew before a game gave them the most positive feelings before a match.

Confidence plummets without music

Pre-match preparation without music can put players on the back foot by making them feel underprepared - regardless of how much they have trained.

And the game-changing positive emotions from the right pre-match sounds last long after the players walk out of the tunnel.

“Pour It Up” by Rihanna and “Blood On The Leaves” by Kanye West were rated as two of the favourite tunes by the unidentified players.

The other two songs named by the players, all aged between 16 and 23, were “Post To Be” by Omarion and “The Catch Up” by Drake.

Dr Costas Karageorghis, who led the research, published the findings in the journal Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. 

He said: “The role of music in soccer is perhaps more symbolic, imaginative and figurative than thought.

“Music appears to intersect with the narrative of players' lives and the way in which bonds are formed among players both on and off the pitch.”

Marcelo Bigliassi, a pscyho-physiologist involved in the study, explained how the results serve as sound advice for managers.

He said: “Our study illustrated how music plays a pivotal role in enhancing group cohesion in elite football. 

“Managers could use pre-match music to boost feelings of unity, increase group cohesion and create a positive team atmosphere.”

The same positive effects of musical prep might stretch to other team sports such as basketball, rugby and hockey, the researchers claimed.

Bigliassi said: “I believe that a similar cluster of psychological responses would be identified for players in other team sports.”