Adidas ad ‘Hey Jude’ captures England’s Euro hopes after years of heartbreak

Johannes Leonardo spot stars superstar Jude Bellingham, along with iconic England players of the past

Published On
Jun 13, 2024

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England’s national football team, after decades of disappointment, came tantalizingly close to exorcizing its demons at several recent tournaments—making the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and the finals of Euro 2020. Will they finally break through at Euro 2024?

If they do, it may be on the shoulders of Jude Bellingham, the 20-year-old Real Madrid and England midfielder—a generational talent who has raised England’s hopes even higher.

On the eve of Euro 2024’s opening match, Adidas salutes Bellingham as the guy who could end those years of heartbreak—hey, no pressure—in a new two-minute film (above) from Johannes Leonardo. It’s set to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” a ridiculously apt anthem, not just for its title but for the lyrics (“Take a sad song and make it better”).

At the outset, the film lingers on the heartbreak—the audio revisits Paul Gascoigne’s agonizing miss against Germany in extra time of their Euro 1996 semifinal—before striking a more upbeat tone. David Beckham and Frank Lampard, stars of England teams past, make cameos here, as do Stormzy, TV presenter Laura Woods and Ian Wright, another ex-England player (who never made a Euro squad).

Also read: Hamburg broadcast the Euro 2024 draw live with shipping containers in its harbor

The film was directed by Greg Hackett, the British director who said he earliest football memory is watching that Euro 1996 tournament with his father—when England crashed out on penalties against Germany.

“Since then, I've watched every tournament, and there's a lot of emotion when I think of what it means to be an England fan,” he said. “We wanted to channel that in this film, showing that with Jude and the rest of this brilliant young England team, there is something to be hopeful for, something to be proud of.”

“The film captures the hearts and minds of a nation obsessed with football,” said Steve Marks, senior director of brand communications at Adidas. “Sport has the power to rally people together and be optimistic going into the tournament. With this film we wanted to inspire athletes and fans alike to follow the example of Jude and his fellow players, to overcome the pressure and further fuel their love of the beautiful game.” 

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