The most memorable World Cup anthems of all time: Shakira, Ricky Martin, Nicky Jam, Pitbull and more

Ahead of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, Planet Sport takes a look at the most memorable World Cup anthems of all time.

The official song is one thing that never fails to unify everyone interested in world football's showcase tournament; partially because you'll hear it non-stop for the next few months, partially because FIFA lavishes money on big names to produce semi-respectable pop tunes.

Megan Jones takes a look back at some of the songs inspired by the world's biggest sporting event down the years.

1. Shakira and Freshlyground - "Waka Waka" (South Africa 2010)

Does this song have any competition for the top spot? There's a reason it has received over 1.8billion views on YouTube.

Even after 12 years, it remains a banger that we can't get out of our heads.

This song will be remembered as a World Cup anthem for the rest of time.

No song riles you up like this one, and it's only fitting that it takes the number one spot in the wonderful history of World Cup songs.

2. Ricky Martin - "La Copa De La Vida" (France 1998)

This anthem combines a football-centred message with a fun song that hits upbeat notes without sounding corny.

It went on to become one of Martin's most commercially successful songs, charting in over 60 countries and reaching number one in 30 of them.

It's fitting that this was the World Cup theme song, as Brazil samba-ed its way to the finals before losing to the hosts in a game that kicked off the celebrations across France.

3. Daryl Hall and Sounds of Blackness - "Gloryland" (USA 1994)

FIFA truly commissioned the most American-sounding song possible for the first - and to date, only - World Cup held in the United States.

The World Cup brings out everyone's nationalism, and no one does nationalism better than the USA.

4. Nicky Jam featuring Will Smith and Era Istrefi - "Live it Up" (Russia 2018)

This song has everything (even Will Smith). Jam combines Spanish rapping and English singing; it works surprisingly well. And Istrefi does an excellent Rihanna impression for the chorus, so kudos to her.

5. Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, and Claudia Leitte - "We are One (Ole Ola)" (Brazil 2014)

A song featuring Mr Worldwide is automatically placed in the top 5.

A typical World Cup song should be catchy, upbeat and cheesy - and it doesn't get much cheesier than "It's your world, my world, our world today, and we invite the entire world to play".

Honourable mention: K'Naan - "Wavin' Flag" (2010 South Africa)

Although this was not the official World Cup song for 2010, it seemed unfair to leave it out entirely.

We were truly spoiled in 2010. The chorus instantly infiltrated everyone who watched the South African tournament. Not to mention the music video, which has a global and joyful feel that few of these songs have.

Thank you, Coca Cola, for this one.

Written by Megan Jones, follow her on Twitter

Latest news