World Cup countdown: Ranking the best ever World Cup songs | OneFootball

World Cup countdown: Ranking the best ever World Cup songs

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Lewis Ambrose

The first official World Cup song landed in 1962, with Los Ramblers’ The World Cup Rock acting as the theme to the tournament in Chile.

Ever since, each tournament has had its own theme tune and we have ranked all of them so you don’t have to.

#15: El Mundial by the Buenos Aires Municipal Symphony (1978)

This has something of a Monday morning feel about it, what an awful way to begin.

#14: Boom by Anastacia (2002)

Basically just a nice song. We’re not really sure what it has to do with football, let alone the 2002 tournament. The song made the top 10 of the charts in various countries at the time but doesn’t make it in our rankings.

#13: Mundial ’82 by Placido Domingo (1982)

It starts with so much potential and then just fails to deliver. Something it had in common with the Spanish national team up until 2008.

#12: Fútbol México 70 by Los Hermanos Zavala (1970)

Well, there is no prize for a creative title but the song isn’t bad. Some harmony, unexpected changes of tempo and in the end everyone singing together a bit longer than necessary – it reminds us of the last Onefootball Christmas party.

#11: Gloryland by Daryl Hall and the Sounds of Blackness (1994)

There is so much to talk about here. Gospel, solo work, a choir. A musical melting pot that fits the host country perfectly. For us it just lacks a little momentum that would make it an ideal World Cup anthem.

#10: Futbol by Maryla Rodowicz (1974)

The song for the first World Cup in Germany combines Polish lyrics with some German, English and Spanish. Coloirful and diverse, just as a World Cup should be.

#9 We Are One (Ole Ola) by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte (2014)

Mr. Worldwide and J-Lo working with one of the most well-known Brazilian singers – it could only be a hit, right? The song made its way around the stadiums, fitting the host country well in a musical sense and thematic one.  A well-rounded rounded tune suitable for the now so styled glossy World Cup product that Fifa hold so dear.

#8: FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 by Polina Gagarina, Egor Creed und DJ SMASH (2018)

Electronics and a rap in the native language? Anyone wanting to learn Russian ahead of the tournament can just check out the subtitles on the official anthem. Unfortunately, there is no “One beer, please …” line, so the average Onefootball editor is left feeling a bit short-changed by our one-stop Russian lesson.

#7: Hot, Hot, Hot by Arrow (1986)

Rhythm, good vibes – this song conveys much of what you associate with Mexico. Incidentally, there are some nice shots of the host country in the video along with images of the teams from the tournament. Grandiose hairstyles and eye-opening suits included …

#6: World Cup Willie (Where in this World are We Going) by Lonnie Donegan (1966)

Rarely has a mascot been sung with so much passion as the very first World Cup mascot. World Cup Willie roaring England on to their only ever World Cup win on home soil: what’s not to like?

#5: Waka Waka by Shakira (2010)

“This time for Africa!” – a memorable song, which everyone had stuck in their heads during the tournament in South Africa. Ghana caused a sensation and made Africa proud, but the trophy was finally grabbed by Spanish … including Shakira’s husband Gerard Piqué. Waka, waka.

#4: Un’estate italiana (To Be Number One) by Edoardo Bennato & Gianna Nannini (1990)

The video for this song is so nineties that you just have to love it. We revel in nostalgia and dry our tears on our colourful tracksuit jackets.

#3: El Rock del Mundial by The Ramblers (1962)

Rock’n Roll! The anthem for Chile ’62 still stands up to scrutiny today!

#2: Celebrate the Day by Herbert Grönemeyer (2006)

The happy, optimistic sounds suited a tournament that seemed to change a lot in Germany – not just on the pitch. If you look at the development of the German national team since then, Grönemeyer’s anthem almost looks prophetic.

#1: The Cup of Life by Ricky Martin (1998)

Diverse, rousing, sounds. A highly memorable chorus. A video with more hip swing than the Brazilian Seleção at their very best. Enjoy!

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