The Music of the World Cup: The 6 Best Anthems in the Tournament’s History



As France became the 2018 World Cup winners the other night in a nail biting game, many fans certainly spent Monday watching game replays. We, on the other hand, couldn’t help but replay all of the unforgettable songs that served as World Cup anthems throughout the years.

Below, we have accumulated for you a list of our favorite 6:

1. 1978: Buenos Aires Musical Symphony, “El Mundial”


Argentina was the host nation and the song was “El Mundial”. It was composed by the legendary Italian composer, Ennio Morricone. The pairing of the Morricone and the World Cup was quite bizarre, and the result was criticized by some, but for us- it somehow seems to work.

2. 1994: Daryl Hall and Sounds of Blackness, “Gloryland”

This was the first (and only time to date) that America hosted the World Cup. The expectations were set high for a poppy, upbeat song to take over. However, America surprised with “Gloryland”, a traditional yankee doodle number. Luckily, J. Lo was around to overshadow with her hit, “Let’s Get Loud”, which became the unofficial theme song.

3. 1998: Ricky Martin, “La Copa De La Vida”

This song is everything the World Cup anthem needs to be. The World Cup was held in France, and Ricky Martin was a year before releasing his massive self-titled album. “La Copa De La Vida” was fun, young, energetic, catchy and very much World Cup material. Some even question whether Martin’s self-titled album would have been so massively successful if not for “La Copa De La Vida”.

4. 2002 : Anastacia, “Boom”

The World Cup was hosted by Korea and Japan, and even though the song title may not have been very appropriate, it was a hit. “Boom”, the somewhat trashy, pop/rock number perfectly encompassed the early 2000’s music scene and was able to grow on many. It was even declared Italy’s favorite World Cup song in 2014 by MTV.

5.  2010 : Shakira and Freshlyground, “Waka Waka”

This song had absolutely nothing to do with the World Cup, and was not received well by the South Africans who hosted the tournament in 2010 and preferred South African artists to represent them. Nevertheless, “Waka Waka” was wildly successful and catchy with 1.9 billion views on YouTube.

6.     2018: ‘Live It Up’ by Nicky Jam feat Will Smith & Era Istrefi

The most recent anthem for the World Cup held in Russia had techno reggae vibe to it. The song, “Live It Up” was not extremely successful at first, and there were hopes of it growing on the audience as the World Cup progressed. However, now that the tournament is officially over, it is safe to say that the song was largely ignored and replaced by Jack White’s, “Seven Nation Army”. Personally, we love them both.


The World Cup has not only brought great and inspiring soccer game moments, but also some unforgettable music. We cannot wait to hear what anthem is in store for us in 2022, but until then, you can play music from around the world in the Simply Piano app.