What are the Top 10 World Cup Songs of all Time?

Nancy Marende

FIFA World Cup songs or anthems released by famous musicians mark the beginning of the tournament. They also act as a symbol of how music and football unite the world. 

While there have been many World Cup songs, few have stood the test of time. We went through all the anthems and compiled a list of the top 10 World Cup songs of all time.

1. Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) (South Africa, 2010)

Waka Waka was a legendary anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup sung by Columbian singer Shakira. 

The song shares a name with her 2010 album, which is about the spirit of togetherness and energy in the World Cup held in South Africa

The song’s dance moves are also energetic and reflect the rich culture of South Africa and African countries in general.

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Shakira performed this song at the World’s Cup closing ceremony with the South African group Freshlyground. It is the most listened-to World Cup song, with 3.6 billion views on YouTube. 

Shakira’s melodious voice and the natural and original dances make the song iconic throughout FIFA history. 

2. Ricky Martin – The Cup of Life (La Copa De La Vida) (France, 1998)

The Cup of Life is the official 1998 World Cup song composed and sung by Ricky Martin. 

It comes in two versions, the English version, The Cup of Life, and the Spanish version, La Copa de la Vida. It is a classic song from his album Vueve, and since its release, it topped the music charts in over 30 countries worldwide.

The song was for the 1998 World Cup held in France and has been viral after the World Cup. 

The instrumental drums and horns set the mood and get you dancing, capturing many people’s hearts. 

3. K’naan – Wavin Flag (South Africa, 2010)

Despite the Wavin’ Flag not being an official theme song for the 2010 World Cup, it is ranked among the best World Cup theme songs. 

K’naan sang the song as an official promotion for Coca-Cola when they collaborated with the World Cup. In early 2009, the FIFA committee decided to feature the song as a promotional song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The song is popular for its energy, love, and support for football despite facing poverty, war, and underdevelopment. 

The Somali-Canadian singer put an African rhythm that gave fans and everyone worldwide a taste of Africa never seen before. 

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4. Pitbull Ft. Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte – We Are One (Ole Ola) (Brazil, 2014)

It was the official anthem and theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The song was sung by Cuban-American singers Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. 

It is popular for its upbeat, dynamic beats and colourful dancers that grace the streets of Brazil. 

The song was sung in the opening ceremony of the World Cup in colour and glitz. Its Latino lyrics and vibes bring you the Brazilian heritage while spreading the message of love in the world beyond the host country.  

5. Shakira Ft. Carlinhos Brown – La La La (Brazil, 2014)

La La La is the third song by Shakira to be promoted as an official FIFA theme song. 

Her two initial songs were sung in the 2006 closing ceremony and 2010 opening ceremony of World Cups. La La La was the closing song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Brazilian singer, Carlinhos Brown, is seen at the song’s beginning. It also features world-famous footballers like Messi, Neymar, Gerard Pique, and Silva, and being the third charm makes it the best FIFA World Cup song. 

6. Queen – We Are The Champions (United States, 1994)

The song We Are The Champions was composed by the band’s lead singer Freddie Mercury and sung by the British rock band Queen. 

Despite its early release, the song became the official theme for the 1994 World Cup. The song is known for its smooth drums, vocals, and uplifting message about sportsmanship.

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We Are The Champions is easy to sing along as its lyrics are flowy and slow, yet with an increasing tempo in the chorus. 

It focuses on hardship, loss, and reward of hard work in a competitive environment. 

7. Il Divo And Toni Braxton – The Time Of Our Lives (Germany, 2006)

The Time of Our Lives was the opening and closing theme song for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The song was composed by Steve Mac and written by Jörgen Elofsson. 

It was then sung by the vocal group Il Divo and American singer Toni Braxton. The powerful song encourages many to believe in their dreams, passion, and victory, especially in sports. 

8. Daryl Hall – Gloryland (United States, 1994)

Gloryland, written and sung by Daryl Hall, was the theme song for the 1994 World Cup held in the United States. It has a folk-pop and rock genre. 

The song also features a band called Sounds of Darkness, with whom they recorded it. 

The song carries the American rock heritage but is popular despite not being groovy like the FIFA World Cup songs ahead of it.

9. Nicky Jam ft. Will Smith and Era Istrefi – Live it up (Russia, 2018)

Live It Up was the official theme song of Russia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

It was produced by DJ Diplo and sung by Nicky Jam, Era Istrefi, and American actor Will Smith. The song was released and chosen as the World Cup anthem in May 2018. 

Will Smith raps while Era Istrefi uplifts the reggae vibes to the music’s beats. Live It Up has a catchy reggae beat and chorus that keeps you on your toes. 

10. Gianna Nannini ft. Edoardo Bennato – Un’estate Italiana (Italy, 1990)

Un’estate Italiana was the official song for the 1990 FIFA World Cup and was sung by Gianna Nannini & Edoardo Bennato. 

It was composed by Giorgio Moroder, Giorgio Moroder and Gianna Nannini. 

The song has several versions, with the English one titled To Be Number One, released in Switzerland and Italy. 

Veteran fans enjoy this song to this day as the Italian singers with their classical beats and uplifting message. 

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