The 22nd FIFA World Cup just took place during November and December of 2022. A total of 32 teams started out in the competition, ultimately leaving Argentina with the trophy.
The World Cup happens every four years, each time in a different location with a new theme song. The tournament dates back to 1932, when it was proposed by Jules Rimet because soccer was not yet part of the Olympics, and fans wanted to watch the sport in international competitions. Nowadays, the sporting event is extremely popular with approximately five billion people watching each game throughout the month.
While there haven’t always been official theme songs for each World Cup, music has always been a core part of the competition through unofficial theme songs. The very first World Cup-affiliated song came from Chile, the host country in 1962, and was titled “El Rock Mundial,” by Los Ramblers. In 1990, for the first time, FIFA designated “Un’estate italiana (To Be Number One),” sung by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini as its first official anthem.
2022’s theme song was a topic for debate. The track, “Tukoh Taka” by Nicki Minaj, Maluma, and Myriam Fares starts off with a fast paced and suspenseful feel, repeating the phrase, “Tukoh Tuka” over and over. The song features lyrics in English, Spanish and Arabic that sprung the track to a huge 18 million plays in only four days.
Berkeley High School student Tasya Xiao believes that “Tukoh Taka” is a downgrade from past years’ songs. “It’s not uplifting and truly doesn’t convey the spirit of what I think the World Cup should be,” Xiao said. To her, the ideal World Cup song matches the energy of Shakira’s “Waka Waka.” Xiao said that the song had a nice upbeat tune with motivational lyrics and messages that go along with it. Waka Waka made different countries come together to celebrate their love for soccer.
Another widely popular FIFA World Cup song was “Colors” by Jason Durulo. He created this song as a promotion for Coca-Cola in 2018. “Colors” has on-theme lyrics like “Represent your country” and “Raise your flag” which send encouraging messages to the players and got the fans excited to cheer on their favorite players.
There have been so many different World Cup songs over the years, but they all have the same goal. World Cup songs unify the different countries and help celebrate soccer.
While there haven’t always been official theme songs for each World Cup, music has always been a core part of the competition through unofficial theme songs.