The FIFA World Cup experience is one of the most impactful in the world of sport. Both those privileged to witness it live from the host country, as well as the billions of fans who experience it from their home countries, enjoy not only soccer action and drama, but also iconic cultural assets. One of these is the official songs that have accompanied every edition of the tournament for several years.
Although nowadays it is much easier to viralize content thanks to the presence of social networks, where in fractions of a second the whole world can be watching and listening to the same thing as many times as you want, the FIFA World Cup usually enhances any product that is linked to it and the songs are no exception.
So, get ready to go on a journey that, depending on your age, will take you to remember songs that were played during the editions of the FIFA World Cup that you have lived, including the upcoming Qatar 2022, and to know those that were the soundtrack of the editions that you could not match.
The FIFA World Cup and its official songs, the antecedent
Like every event in the history of mankind, the FIFA World Cup has been refined over the course of its 92 years and 21 editions of history. What may seem normal and logical for Qatar 2022, was not so in Uruguay 1930, when this mythical tournament was first played.
Thus, it is not complicated to understand that in the first six editions, FIFA had much more transcendental logistical matters to attend to and resolve than to focus on the request for an official song that would serve as the soundtrack of its most prized tournament. It was not until Chile 1962 that the first official World Cup song was released.
However, it is important to contextualize that two years before the first musical composition linked to the World Cup sounded, in the Rome 1960 Olympic Games, the "Olympic Hymn" was established, the first musical product associated with an event of this nature. However, this composition was created in 1896 by the Greeks Spyridon Samaras and Kostis Palamas on the occasion of the celebration of the first modern edition of the Olympic Games.
The official songs of the FIFA World Cup editions played from 1962 onwards
It is convenient to make a distinction, including Qatar 2022 and since seventy years ago that the tradition was established that each edition of the FIFA World Cup has an audible stamp, there have been both official songs and official anthems and songs advertised as such for the sponsors of this tournament.
However, there is only one audio product, one official song per edition of the FIFA World Cup since Chile 1962. Thus, with the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, there will be 16 official songs. Below you will meet each of them, which undoubtedly form an essential part of the memory that all fans have of this tournament.
Chile 1962 - 'El rock del Mundial (The World Cup's Rock)'
This song was composed and performed by the Chilean band 'The Ramblers' and was presented at the Viña del Mar music festival. Initially it was created to be the only song of the chilean national team, but due to its success it was included in the soundtrack of this edition of the FIFA World Cup.
England 1966 - 'World Cup Willie (Where In This World We Are Going)'
Starring Lonnie Donegan, it was not well received by the public. It was the first song composed at the request of a FIFA World Cup organizing committee, and was requested to accompany the first mascot in the history of this tournament, a lion named Willie.
Mexico 1970 - 'Futbol Mexico 1970'
A 100-voice choir, which used to liven up Sunday youth masses in a Mexico City church, gained notoriety until they earned the right to sing this song that includes typical elements of Mexican music such as trumpets and violin in the purest mariachi style.
Germany 1974 - 'Futbol'
Although the official song of the tournament was the one performed by Poland's Maryla Rodowicz during the opening ceremony, many remember the song "Fußball ist unser Leben" (Soccer is our life) sung by the players of the German national team, the eventual champions of this edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Argentina 1978 - 'El Mundial' (The World Cup)
This song marked a milestone in the history of FIFA World Cup official songs, as for the first time a renowned musician, the Italian Ennio Morricone, was in charge of creating it. Unfortunately, it was released just 20 days before the start of the tournament and had little acceptance among the public.
Spain 1982 - 'El Mundial' (The World Cup)
A true figure of world music was in charge of interpreting this song. None other than the Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo lent his voice to sing this melody that was frequently played during the celebration of Spain 1982.
Mexico 1986 - 'El mundo unido por un balón' (The World gathered for a ball)
An artist of Chilean origin, Juan Carlos Abara, was in charge of the creation of this song that with its cheerful melody and sounds closer to the local, musicalized an edition of the FIFA World Cup that was originally intended to be played in Colombia.
Italy 1990 - 'Un'estate italiana' (An Italian Summer)
Musicians Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, who composed the famous song "Take my breath away" that won an Oscar in 1987 for best original song, composed the official song for this edition of the FIFA World Cup. Performed by Gianna Nannini and Edoardo Bennato, this song became an international hit, the first major hit of an official World Cup song.
USA 1994 - 'Gloryland'
The groups Daryl Hall and Sounds of Blackness were in charge of performing this song with rock, soul and R&B overtones. Unable to match the success of its predecessor in Italy 1990, this song went down in history for being the first to be included on a World Cup theme album. This one included the legendary Queen song We are the Champions.
France 1998 - 'La copa de la vida' (The Cup of life)
A real hit around the world that catapulted the career of Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. This song was interpreted by the singer himself in English and Spanish, which made it much more popular among fans in different countries. Pop was here to stay in the official songs of the World Cup.
Korea Japan 2002 - 'Boom'
The American pop singer Anastacia was in charge of lending her voice to this song, which, although it was broadcast, did not reach the levels of success and acceptance of the songs of Italy 1990 and France 1998. Anecdotally, in the official video clip of the song, Javier Pedro Saviola, an Argentine striker, who played for Barcelona and Real Madrid, who did not play in this edition, but in Germany 2006, made a brief appearance.
Germany 2006- 'The Time of Our Lives'
This song is labeled as the official song of the tournament and was performed by the Italian group Il Divo and the American musician Toni Braxton. However, in the memory of the fans of this edition of the FIFA World Cup, Shakira's song Hips Don't Lie was used as the introductory melody in the transmissions of the matches all over the world.
South Africa 2010 - 'Waka Waka (This time for Africa)'
Although she was the sentimental favorite of the previous edition of the FIFA World Cup, in South Africa 2010 Shakira was finally the interpreter of the official song of the tournament, which was full of local sounds and melodies. The Colombian singer was a real hit since Ricky Martin's "Cup of life", the first official song of the World Cup to be so successful around the globe.
Brazil 2014 - 'We are one'
The Brazil 2014 organizing committee went to great lengths to ensure the success of this official song and succeeded, recruiting rapper Pitbull, American Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian Claudia Leitte to perform it, making it a hit in many countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the very country host of this edition of the World Cup.
Russia 2018 - 'Live it up'
Performed by Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi, and produced by DJ and composer Diplo, the official song of Russia 2018 climaxed in connection with soccer fans when it was played before the final of this edition of the FIFA World Cup between France and Croatia in front of 80,000 people at the Luznhiki Stadium.
Qatar 2022 - 'Hayya Hayya (Better together)'
An American, a Nigerian and a Catari are in charge of interpreting this song that will be part of the soundtrack that will be part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Trinidad Cardona, Davido, and AISHA. The rhythms that make up the song are R&B and reggae.