The ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar has proven again that it’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It has the unique power to bring the world together, despite its differences, and celebrate a sport that’s loved by millions across the globe.
Aside from the thrilling matches and unexpected wins and losses, the FIFA soundtrack is always something that everyone looks forward to every single edition.
The Qatar world cup pulled out the big guns by bringing Jungkook, from the world’s most popular band BTS, onboard for the official song ‘Dreamers’, also featuring local artist Fahad Al Kubaisi. The upbeat song, predictably, became an instant hit, especially because of the Korean singer’s live performance at the opening ceremony.
This time around, FIFA had announced that the official soundtrack would feature a multi-song collection. According to their official statement, it was a way of “showcasing diverse musical genres that span the world, setting the tone for a truly global celebration”.
Aside from ‘Dreamers’, the soundtrack includes songs like ‘Hayya Hayya (Better Together)’, an uplifting R&B and Reggae number by Trinidad Cardona, Davido, and Aisha, ‘Aihbo’ by Latin superstar Ozuna and French-Congolese rapper Gims, and ‘Light the Sky’, an energetic song with all-female collaborators like Emarati singer Balquees, our very own Nora Fatehi, Iraqi artist Rahma Riad, and Moroccan singer Manal.
While the soundtrack is being loved by many, it’s not the first time FIFA World Cup has managed to inspire theme songs that become instantly iconic.
Who can forget the iconic ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, or Ricky Martin’s ‘Cup of Life’ from the 1998 tournament.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane with us, here are some of the most iconic FIFA theme songs over the years…
‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira
Shakira’s song for the 2010 tournament has unofficially been declared one of the best FIFA theme songs in history. The energetic and upbeat song even entered charts across the world at high positions and is one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. The anthem was inspired by Cameroonian makossa song ‘Zamina Mina’ by Golden Sounds.
‘Wavin’ Flag’ by K’naan
While it was not the official anthem of the year, 2010 also saw Somali-Canadian musician K’naan rise to popularity with his song ‘Wavin’ Flag’. The song became associated with the World Cup because it embodied the true spirit of the game, which is that it unites the people from around the world.
‘Cup of Life’ by Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin’s ‘Cup of Life’, or ‘La Copa de La Vida’, went on to win several prestigious awards and chart positions after gaining popularity as the official anthem for the 1998 World Cup held in France. The song combines elements of samba with electric Latin pop and is something that you cannot resist dancing on.
‘We Are One’ by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, and Claudia Leitte
The official song of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was produced by Pitbull, J-Lo, and Brazillian artist Claudia Leitte. In true FIFA anthem fashion, the song is catchy and high-tempo with influences from African and Brazillian music styles.
‘Gloryland’ by Charles John Skarbek
For the 1994 World Cup, held in the US, Charles John Skarbek’s instrumental song ‘Gloryland’ was adopted as the anthem. For the tournament, vocals by Daryl Hall and Sounds of Blackness were added and the song became an instant hit.