Ranking the Best and Worst 2014 World Cup Songs
World Cups aren't just fought on the football field—they're fought in the pop charts. Well, kind of.
Every major tournament brings with it a slew of official and unofficial songs. With the exception of a few rare gems like New Order's "World In Motion," they are almost always terrible.
Here, we've attempted to rank some of the bigger World Cup tunes, which range from awful to relatively tolerable...
10. 'The Macarooney'
Remember the "Macarena?" That was fun, wasn't it? Well, how about a version of it tailored to England striker Wayne Rooney, with a video featuring people dancing in nightmarish paper masks?
This song has been released for a noble charity cause, Street League, but it is downright awful. Played on a loop, this ditty could draw confessions out of prisoners.
9. 'We Are One (Ole Ola)' by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez
For reasons that shall forever remain unclear, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez were deemed appropriate choices to perform the official World Cup song for 2014.
Sadly, "We Are One (Ole Ola)" has been poorly received by fans who have found it "generic and cliched."
The song's main problem, however, appears to be that it has absolutely nothing to do with football or the World Cup. It's just about flags.
8. 'Red, White & Blue'
Flame-haired former American defender Alexi Lalas makes a cameo in the video for "Red, White & Blue," a song produced by the Miami-based Fusion TV channel to help encourage support of the U.S. men's national team in Brazil.
This country song is as American as spray cheese in a can and mobile phone belt holsters, and we have to assume it has its tongue firmly in its cheek.
How else would it get away with lyrics like "The Germans thought that 2002 was just revenge for World War II."
USA! USA!! USA!!!
7. 'Greatest Day' by Gary Barlow and Friends
When a song opens with a tone-deaf refrain from Gary Lineker, it's not a good sign of things to come.
This reworking of a Gary Barlow/Take That song features an array of pop stars and backing from the likes of Michael Owen, Peter Shilton, Glenn Hoddle and Sir Geoff Hurst on vocals.
Despite its star-studded cast and release on behalf of Sport Relief, the song has utterly flopped. According to the Express, the FA dropped it as the official England song, and it's even been removed from iTunes.
Tough break, Gary.
6. 'Gritandole Al Viento' by Apolo Featuring Dalma and Diego Maradona
Many football fans fancy Argentina to advance all the way to the final of the competition for a South American showdown with Brazil, and they will do so spurred on by a musical effort from their most famous son, Diego Maradona.
The Albiceleste legend and his daughter, Dalma, guest on Apolo's "Gritandole Al Viento" ("Shouting Into The Wind"). It's a pretty good song, and you can't fault the calibre of the talent behind it.
5. 'Kick That Soccer Ball' by USA Soccer Guy
Anyone who follows USA Soccer Guy on Twitter will know that he specialises in harpooning the American "soccer" vernacular. This song is full of his usual schtick—particularly in the rap breakdown—and it's darn catchy too.
4. 'Vatreni Zmajevi' by Ante Cash
It's fair to say that relations between Bosnia and Croatia have been strained in the past, so Bosnian rapper Ante Cash has attempted to break down the political barrier between the two nations with his World Cup song.
"Vatreni Zmajevi" ("Fiery Dragons") champions both teams and evokes a touching message of unity—but not unity with Serbia.
3. '2 Brazil' by the Vengaboys
It's not clear where The Vengaboys have been hiding for the last 15 years, but they're back with an extremely catchy celebratory song.
You probably won't remember a single thing about the tune, however, as its main selling point is its salacious music video, which consists entirely of women who have misplaced their tops.
The censored version of the video has around 24,000 plays on YouTube, while the uncensored edit has about three million hits. Which tells you everything you need to know about the Internet.
2. 'Ta Fete' by Stromae
Stromae is a popular hip-hop and EDM star in Belgium, so he was a natural choice to helm the Red Devils' World Cup song.
"Ta Fete" isn't exactly a sing-along—and it has a bizarre video that involves the protagonist camping out on a football pitch before climbing aboard the team bus—but it's very catchy and generic enough to have global appeal.
It was also deemed good enough to win The Guardian's World Cup of World Cup songs. But it doesn't quite take poll in this ranking...
1. 'La La La (Brazil 2014)' by Shakira
Shakira produced one of the best official World Cup songs in 2010 with her Muppets-themed "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)."
The Colombian pop princess with the truth-telling hips didn't get the nod to become the officially sanctioned tune of Brazil, but "La La La (Brazil 2014)" is a very solid effort.
It's a reworking of one of her recent singles, and she's managed to rope Neymar, Cesc Fabregas, Leo Messi, Gerard Pique, Radamel Falcao and Sergio Aguero into the video. Clearly, dating a Barcelona defender has its benefits.
The only odd thing about this song is the refrain where it sounds like she's repeating the word "Lego." She must really love plastic building blocks.
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