We’ve had some really great ageless songs, courtesy of the FIFA World Cup. This year’s edition is the first of its kind winter World Cup, starting on Sunday, November 20 in the oil-rich nation of Qatar. For years, music curated for the global football fiesta has brought football and non-football fans together; and in this article, we rank our top 5 FIFA World Cup songs.
#5 Sign of A Victory — R. Kelly & Soweto Choir — South Africa 2010
In his prime, and before his diabolic ways caught up with him, R. Kelly was a global icon. The American singer was an expert at making affectionate anthems like Sign of A Victory which he performed with the Soweto Choir, and was selected as the official anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The song’s low beat allows their vocals to shine, and in the spirit of the sports and victory, you feel the passion whenever this song comes on.
#4 We Are One (Ole Ola) — Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez — Brazil 2014
You will find several songs from South Africa 2010 in this list; that edition feels like the golden age of World Cup songs. But Ole Ola by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, curated for Brazil 2014 is probably one of a few good World Cup songs since Africa hosted the world. Its Latino theme, tempo, and boisterous Pop instrumental, matched the emotions of fans inside Brazil’s temperate and Coliseum-like soccer domes.
#3 Boom — Anastacia — Japan/Korea 2002
Only Baby Boomers and the generations before them would have fully grasped what it meant for the world to have two countries host the World Cup, let alone two Asian countries. Asia had been doing well in technology and manufacturing, but the 2022 World Cup announced the rich continent to the world of entertainment. Vangelis’ anthem for the tournament was befitting. The electronic beat sonically catches Japan’s and Korea’s emergence as modern liberal nations.
#2 Wavin’ Flag — K’Naan — South Africa 2010
K’Naan’s Waving Flag is everything we love about competition, football, sports. It’s no wonder it’s the song most fans who watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup turn to every time the tournament beckons. In partnership with CocaCola, the Somalian born Canadian musician gave us an anthem for football that will continue being synonymous with the sports for years and many World Cups to come.
#1 Waka Waka — Shakira — South Africa 2010
That’s 3/5 for South Africa 2010. It’s no coincidence, Africa has got that much poignant themes to tap. Today, as well as a World Cup song, Waka Waka is a global anthem. Surprisingly, there’s nothing too African about the song, apart from the occasional background Zulu chants. The beat is mostly Caribbean, but the lyrics are sharp, and Shakira’s voice… we can go on about that voice.
Which FIFA World Cup song are you removing or adding to this list? Remember Qatar 2022 starts on Sunday, November 20.