Just before the kick-off of Nations League matches, music with a Brabant flavor echoes through the stadium speakers. Musician Franck van der Heijden from Geldrop composed the music. On Sunday, when the Netherlands plays against Belgium, his creation can be heard again. “It’s always nice to hear back.”

    Van der Heijden often composes and arranges music for orchestras. Five years ago, he was asked by UEFA to create a new anthem for the Nations League. Together with producer Giorgio Tuinfort he was allowed to make some proposals. According to Van der Heijden, the music suddenly came to him. “That is very special for me. I was walking the dog and then it was suddenly in my head,” says Van der Heijden in TV program Brabant Today.

    “We had made a few other versions, because you have to give UEFA a choice. But this really hit the spot in one go, everyone immediately thought this should be him.”

    The lyrics of the music are in Latin. According to Van der Heijden, that was a very conscious choice. “We didn’t want partiality in our music and Latin is a dead language and is therefore no longer spoken by anyone. For example, the Champions League anthem is in three languages, also to avoid partiality. Latin also has a heroic, epic charge, that was our goal.”

    “I wouldn’t understand a word of it either.”

    Van der Heijden was proud when he first heard the music at a real match. “Especially when it is new and presented, then you are proud and completely happy. But that fades away quickly for me, then I am already working on the next one. I have many projects, but this is still nice to come back to hear when the broadcast of the match starts. It’s nice that we got that chance.”

    People also hear something different in Van der Heijden’s music. It’s a Mama apple juice. For example, people hear words like whale and squid. The musician can laugh about that. “I understand very well that people have that feeling with this text. It was sung by a large choir, I wouldn’t understand a word of it either.”

    Watch the Mama apple juice on the hymn below:

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