The 2018 Fifa World Cup, or as soccer fans around the world call it, the greatest competition in sports, is in full swing. Every four years, the absolute best of the best in the world of soccer meet to determine just who will carry home the bragging rights of being the definitive soccer team. This year’s tournament marks the first time it has been held in Eastern Europe. And while Germany, the defending champions have been defeated, the intestiy and dedication of one of the world’s greatest sports is raging on in full force in Russia.
One of the greatest aspects of sports- of which there are many- is the unification they offer. When a sports team comes together, what separates the bad from the good and the good from the great is a team’s ability to completely become one. You know the old saying, “there’s no I in team”. Well, exactly. Great teams forgo individual egos and individualistic aspirations to work in a seamless manor of relentless pursuit to be the absolute best. And when you think about it- it’s awfully similar music. You can have an amazing, brilliant guitarist- or goalie. But that guitarist can only truly shine when his bandmates come together to piece together a beautiful canvas for which he can play to.
Conversely, a goalie can block ninety-nine out of a hundred goals. But if the rest of the players on his team cannot come together to formulate the perfect attack to score, well that one goal of a hundred he couldn’t block will be the difference in winning and losing. The sum of your parts should be greater than any one individual contributors. And when it comes to the World Cup- there is no greater example of that.
What is really fascinating though is the correlation between sports and music. See, music, much like sports, brings people together. And with the World Cup, teams take on a song- well, an anthem. A song that serves as a mission statement of sorts that simultaneously motivates and further bonds them on their heroic journey. Throughout the history of the World Cup, there have been some absolutely fantastic choices for the team’s anthems.
At sbo.net, they have compiled a list of the best World Cup anthems- and this list makes one hell of a great playlist. Pop sensation Shakira has the wonderful honor of appearing twice; in 2010 for South Africa and again for Brazil in 2014. Her infectious, high energy performance lends itself to soccer’s face paced play. “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) taking the honor as possibly the best. Pop stars reign supreme throughout the list with great tracks from Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin as well as the current Russian anthem, “Colors” by Jason Derulo getting its own due recognition.
Not surprisingly, “We Are The Champions” by rock legends Queen served as the anthem for the USA in 1994. Could there be a more fitting song for a team who is in chase of being, well, champions to choose? I think not. The impassioned vocals of the late Freddie Mercury take you on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout each verse before leading into the magical, sing-along chorus. A song so fitting the only thing that would have made that truly magical would have been a victory for the USA that year. Brazil, with one of the finest all-around teams in recent memory ultimately became champions.
The complete list is fascinating, and a must read for fans of the World Cup, soccer and music. It helps to show the truly important role music plays in a tournament- the tournament of all tournaments. Go to https://www.sbo.net/world-cup/anthems/ to see the entire list and check it out for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!