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The 10 Best World Cup Songs of All-Time

Shh! Don't tell these fans, but the USA (probably) isn't on this list.
Shh! Don't tell these fans, but the USA (probably) isn't on this list.
Nick Rallo

After four years of waiting, the world's biggest soccer party kicks off on June 12. Usually most parties consist of good music. This year's official World Cup song, "We Are One," performed by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, is terrible. Yes, the music gets catchy after you repeatedly listen to it, but it takes effort. And that's not to mention that Leitte, who should logically play a prominent role in the song given that her country is hosting the Cup, only gets a measly 14 seconds in the spotlight.

All is not lost, though. The World Cup has a long, proud tradition of frankly badass anthems. To help get you pumped as the tournament gears up, here are the ten best songs from over the years.

10. "Put 'Em Under Pressure" (Italy 1990 unofficial) U2's Larry Mullen produced and arranged this song for Ireland's soccer team. The vocals came from fans recorded at matches and by Jack Charlton, Ireland's soccer coach.

9. "Heroes" by Kasabian (Germany 2006 unofficial) David Bowie originally wrote and performed this song. This English rock band made Bowie's tune a bit more upbeat, making it more World Cup appropriate.

8. "World in Motion" by New Order (Italy 1990 unofficial) Produced for England's soccer team in 1990. This was New Order's first and only song to reach number one in the UK top 40 but it's still better than this year's official World Cup song.

7. "Anthem" by Vangelis (South Korea and Japan 2002 official) Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, also known as Vangelis, is a Greek electronic composer. Who doesn't like an exciting and energetic instrumental piece like this one?

6. "Rock Del Mundial" by Los Ramblers (Chile 1962 official) This was the first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) official World Cup song. This song started it all.  

5. "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan (South Africa 2010 unofficial)

Originally the song's lyrics talked about growing up in war torn Somalia and hoping for freedom. The lyrics still felt genuine after Coca-Cola chose "Wavin' Flag" for their World Cup 2010 campaign. The tune is catchy but doesn't feel fake.

4. "Papa Essa Brasil" by Aerobanda (Italy 1990 unofficial) The '90s had some nice unofficial songs. Was this not Brazilian enough to recreate, or to translate into English or Spanish this year?

3. "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" by Shakira (South Africa 2010 official) Shakira's song received the same negative reaction four years ago just like Pitbull's song "We are One." The song has positive lyrics making it a happy and passionate song compared to this year's official song. The video is also colorful and vivid. You can sing along to this tune while doing the "Waka Waka" dance!

2. "Samba E Gol" by Bellini (France 1998 unofficial) Originally titled Samba de Janeiro. We live in world where artists modernize older versions of songs. Did it not come across anyone's mind to recreate this song for this year's World Cup? This would have been genius.

1. ""La Copa Da La Vida (The Cup of Life)" by Ricky Martin (France 1998 unofficial) A Classic, and forever timeless World Cup tune. What more do you need to know?


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