The 2010 FIFA World Cup final is this Sunday! Soccer/football and music have a long and wonderful history—championships have official songs and teams have unofficial anthems and chants, from the obvious (Queen's "We Are the Champions") to the unexpected (Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone"). Most of the songs here are about European teams, because I tried to choose ones that got far in the World Cup this year, but you can find more at this database or this plainly and accurately titled blog. If you're looking for some good old-fashioned male objectification, the ladies at Kickette can help you out there. Throw on your kits and prepare for inappropriate nationalism!
The sassy little fellow in the picture is the 2010 World Cup mascot, a leopard named Zakumi. Why we don't see more of him in the broadcasts, I don't know. He's so cute!
1. Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) - Shakira
The official song of the 2010 World Cup is pretty awful, but my undying love for Shakira requires that I include it anyway. The slick video includes cute children dancing and playing soccer, professionally calculated to tug at your heartstrings.
2. Girls Are Football Crazy Too - Sugarbelly
Sisters are doing football for themselves. This song rules!
3. Der Lu-Lu-Lukas Song - Juergen and Libero
This hooktacular YouTube track celebrates German forward Lukas Podolski. If you like it, check out this adorable video celebrating the love between Podolski and his teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger (eine liebe die nie endet!), or this one honoring German national team coach Jogi Löw (a great coach who made the unfortunate choice to pick his nose on international television during Germany's round of 16 game against England).
4. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & The Pacemakers
A Rodgers & Hammerstein song that was adopted by the Liverpool Football Club after this cover version came out in 1963. It's now one of the most famous adopted football anthems (there are a lot). It might seem like a strange choice, but the lyrics work surprisingly well in a sporting context.
5. Three Lions - Lightning Seeds
Unlike most football songs, this Britpop tune is kind of depressing and nostalgic: "Everyone seems to know the score, they've seen it all before / They just know, they're so sure / That England's gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away / ...So many jokes, so many sneers / But all those "oh so near's" / Wear you down, through the years." A memorable choice for the official anthem of the English team in the 1996 European Cup.
6. Ole! - The Bouncing Souls
Not much to say about this one except... ole!
7. Querida Amiga (Beloved Friend) - Pimpinela ft. Diego Maradona
At some point, Diego Maradona (highly expressive Argentinean soccer legend and current national team manager) decided to do some vocals on a track by brother-sister duet group Pimpinela. Why? He's Maradona. That's why.
8. 1-0 fur Deine Liebe (1-0 For Your Love) - Franz Beckenbauer
This is a sweet little 60s pop tune sung by legendary German former player and manager Franz Beckenbauer, a stern defender pleasantly nicknamed "Der Kaiser".
9. Wij Houden Van Oranje (We Love Orange) - Andre Hazes
If you're betting on the Netherlands in the final, whip out this well-known Dutch football song. It's to tune of "Auld Lang Syne", so it's easy to remember, just as long as you speak Dutch.
10. Hup Holland Hup - Traditional
Another classic song for the Netherlands, first in a traditional chorus rendition...
11. Hup Holland Hup - DJSpaceL
... and then in a electro-pop remix, for the whippersnappers to groove to in the discotheque.
12. Represent - Weezer
Weezer's spirited tribute to the US Men's National Team. (sob)
13. Song of the World (World Cup 2010) - Luis Ramiro and Marwan
One for the Spain fans!
14. This is just vuvuzelas looped for 10 minutes. Sorry, everyone.
15. Bonus YouTube Track (because this one's just not the same without the video): the infamous Anfield Rap. Three minutes and 41 seconds of pure 80s silliness. "LIVERPOOL FC IS HARD AS HELL!!"