There have been good and bad World Cup songs, but mostly bad ones…we all remember the Pitbull one from 2014, right?
That one didn't make the list, sorry Mr.Worldwide. No World Cup song is a lyrical masterpiece but let's be honest, some of them really hype us up and make us a little emotional about the fact that this tournament literally brings the world together. Grown men with perfectly sculpted butts kicking a ball around makes people from nearly every country lose their minds. It's a beautiful thing. So, we weeded through the list of official songs and came up with five that will get you in the zone for kickoff on Thursday. Some might even inspire you to try out for the U.S. National Team...they could use a little help.
New Order – "World in Motion" – 1990
This New Order track from the 1990 World Cup is extra special because some of the footballers actually took part in the song…very rare. If you're from England, you might consider this the best World Cup song of all time. And if you aren't, when they start chanting "EN-GER-LAND" you might be inspired to cheer for England anyways, since the U.S. squad sadly didn't make the cut. If you're just a New Order fan (I'm talking to you, nerdy dads) this song definitely has a special place in your heart. The video features some brilliant editing…Bernard Sumner's head softly fading into the corner of the frame is exquisitely awkward.
Shakira – "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" -2010
Soccer fan or not, if this song wasn't stuck in your head for months after the 2010 World Cup…then you were probably seeking shelter from thousands of vuvuzelas and hiding under a rock. We've all spent some alone time practicing our Shakira impression, right? With that iconic voice and those honest hips, Shakira inspired a whole nation and picked up number one spots all over the world with this track. No matter what kind of hips you have, "Waka Waka" makes you want to move them, and the video makes you want to watch endless soccer. It might even make you seriously question why you quit soccer after 8th grade. Don't worry, that's what they made FIFA for.
Knaan – "Wavin Flag" - 2010
If you're a serious soccer fan, you definitely cried to this song after your team lost in 2010. Unless you were a Spanish fan. The video itself might make you a little emotional about how great soccer is. No matter who you are or where you're from, soccer is a common language that brings people together...sappy but true. The video will get you pumped for arguably the best part of soccer, the celebrations. Get ready for grown men awkwardly piling on top of each other...such a magical thing.
X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons – "Jungle" - 2014
This song may or may not make you want to do 500 push-ups and run 3 marathons. Before a game, before an interview, before a first date, even before you eat a 5 lb burrito…this song can prepare you for anything. It's the ultimate pump up song and the song that set off X Ambassadors' career. There's no doubt that this song will get you ready to watch soccer and drink beer. If you're a big soccer nerd then you've probably listened to this with your eyes closed, wearing your favorite jersey, pretending you're in the locker room waiting to go out through the tunnel and onto the pitch. Also, if you're a big soccer nerd you say the world "pitch." And you play FIFA online around the clock with other fellow soccer nerds.
Nicky Jam Ft. Will Smith & Era Istrefi – "Live It Up" - 2018
So we lied, #5 is not a throwback but it only seemed right to end the list with this year's official song. And yes, you're reading that correctly, the one and only Will Smith hopped on the track. I guess Jaden must have been busy? Not sure Will Smith is the best person to pump us up for the World Cup but hey, it's better than Pitbull. So hopefully now you're thoroughly inspired to paint your chest, wear your flag, hit the bar and watch the 2018 World Cup.