9 World Cup songs to get you ready for Brazil


The World Cup is here, which means all your friends will pretend to care about soccer again.

But we all know the best part of the FIFA World Cup is the music. Here is a not-so-definitive list of World Cup songs and anthems (because apparently there is enough of a difference that FIFA had to make the distinction).

“World Cup Willie” by Lonnie Donegan

“World Cup Willie” was the official anthem of the 1966 World Cup in England. In 2010, Donegan’s son, Lonnie Donegan Jr., recorded an updated version of the song. #stillbetterthanpitbull

“The Time of Our Lives” by Il Divo and Toni Braxton

Warning: This is not a cover of the classic Bill Medley song made popular in “Dirty Dancing.” Perhaps the slowest song on the list, this song was the official anthem of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Simon Cowell probably had something to do with this.

“Sign of Victory” by R. Kelly

The long list of artists with FIFA World Cup anthems is varied to say the least, so not surprisingly, R. Kelly makes an appearance.

“Zeitt, Dass Sich Was Dreht (Celebrate the Day)” by Herbert Grönemeyer, featuring Amadou and Mariam

This song incorporates the required chanting chorus of every World Cup song, and it’s a good one. “Celebrate the Day” was the official song of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“Hot Hot Hot” by Arrow

You’ve almost certainly heard this song, but did you know it was the official anthem of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico?

“La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life)” by Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin was a big deal in 1998, which is when this song was the official song of the World Cup in France.

“Anthem” by Vangelis

It may not have any words, but the dance beat could get anyone excited for some soccer. This was the anthem of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan.

“We Are One (Ole Ola)” by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez

This year’s official song features more chanting, a staple in any successful World Cup song. Only time will tell if this song can outdo the song from 2010.

“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” by Shakira

I think we can all agree this is the pinnacle of World Cup songs. Although it peaked at No. 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100, it reached No. 1 on the charts in 19 countries. Despite her Columbian roots, Shakira did a pretty good job doing it for Africa.

This song did so well Shakira didn’t want to miss out on another World Cup and recently released “La La La (Brazil 2014)” to try to recreate the success.

For these songs and more official and unofficial anthems of past World Cups, check out this Spotify playlist:

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