Today is the day that soccer (football) fans around the world have been waiting for since 2010: World Cup kick-off day. It seems as though everyone and their mothers and brothers are soccer fans. Seriously. Everyone is a soccer fan. We’re not complaining over here at Travel Freak, we just wish we could have gone to Brazil ourselves, you know? We have mapped out the best places to eat Brazilian food and get in the spirit around the country. The Village Voice made a map of where you can find specials if you are in NYC. There are even reasons why you should watch the World Cup even if you don’t like soccer (hint: Cristiano Ronaldo.)  However, nothing gets us Travel Freaks into the World Cup spirit like the official World Cup song. We don’t totally agree with the choice of Pitbull this year, to be honest, and we simply don’t think this year’s World Cup song holds up to the songs of the past (it totally should have been the 5 Seconds of Summer Song (just kidding (kind of.))) There have been some seriously iconic songs that have come out of the World Cup. So, in honor of this year’s World Cup we decided to take a look at songs from the days of yore and we rounded up our top five favorite official World Cup songs.

2010: Waka Waka – Shakira feat. Freshlyground

The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa and Ms. Honest-Hips Shakira was chosen to be the official anthem of that year’s games. Do you remember the summer of 2010? The entire summer is just a haze of the sound of vuvuzelas and people running around shouting “waka waka HEY HEY, this time FOR AFRICA.” It is a seriously catchy song, and who doesn’t love Shakira? People we don’t want to know, that’s who. Plus Shakira’s boyfriend and father of her child is professional footballer Gerard Pique. Actually, they met while filming the above video. See? World Cup songs bring LOVE.

1986: Hot Hot Hot – Arrow

You probably know what this song is before you even press play because ever since it was used as the official World Cup song in 1986, it has been a life staple. This song is played at school dances (at least it was in middle school) and weddings (if you’re lucky) and at sporting events. Are you feeling hot hot hot? Of course you are, it is summer and it is World Cup time.

1994: Gloryland – Daryl Hall and Sound of Blackness


1994 is the only time that the United States has hosted the World Cup so of course Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates, but I didn’t need to tell you that) was selected to sing it. The song is very similar to “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” and it is so early ’90s it almost hurts to listen to it in the best way. Just try and listen to this song with out feeling seriously empowered. You can do anything when you listen to this song. There hadn’t been a more empowering sports song since Aerosmith’s “Dream On” (which we know wasn’t written for sports, but was used in the movie Miracle and it was very moving so we are standing by what we said) and there hasn’t been one like “Gloryland” since. The only thing keeping this one from being number one is that Oates wasn’t involved.

1966: World Cup Willie (Where in This World Are We Going) – Lonnie Donegan

Now if this isn’t a rousing, spirit rising ditty than I don’t know what is!

1998: La Copa de la Vida – Ricky Martin

Okay Travel Freaks, do you really want it?

I can’t hear you! DO YOU REALLY WANT IT?

Man. Ricky Martin sure knew how to bring it. And bring it he did for the FIFA World Cup 1998. If you don’t know all the words to this song then you are either: 1) impossibly young 2) lived under a rock in the ’90s 3) a time traveler from the future. Because who doesn’t know this song and who doesn’t feel totally. pumped. after listening to it? Tonight’s the night. Olé, olé, olé!

What is your favorite official World Cup song?

feature image via flipbeans


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