World Cup Songs: 7 International Team Anthems With Pop Star Mojo (Listen)
The World Cup brings plenty of border-bridging hymns that salute the global spirit of soccer. But when it comes to choosing a song for a country's national team, it's time to cut the "Kumbaya" and go for something closer to "We Are The Champions." Pop stars around the world try to score big -- and inspire fans and players -- with team anthems.
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Australia: Samantha Jade
Former "X Factor" winner Samantha Jade penned the Aussie Socceroo team song "Up!" and performed the track at the team's send-off match against South Africa on May 26. To write the lyrics, she took inspiration from the sentiments of Socceroo stars on what representing the national team means to them.
Belgian singer Stromae lent his call-and-response anthem "Ta Fete" ("Your Party") to the Belgian Red Devils as their official song. In a YouTube video dubbed Lecon 28, Stromae wakes up in a tent in a football stadium and comically explains how he created his track, then tries to convince members of the team to appear in his video.
Cameroon: The 4
Cameroon group The 4 released the buoyant track "Venez Celebrer" ("Come Celebrate") for the Indomitable Lions, which also features a rap in English: "We don't score/We don't score/We don't shoot ball/This is how we play football/Celebrate, celebrate/I know the Lions gonna take up!"
England: Gary Barlow
Gary Barlow's World Cup song for Britain's Three Lions team, a cover of his former group Take That's "Greatest Day," debuted to jeers from the virtual stands. Barlow did manage to enlist diverse collaborators for the track, co-helmed by England captain Gary Lineker, including Katy B, Emma Bunton and Pixie Lott.
Italian-born singer Annee makes her play for World Cup fame with "Besame (Pom Pom Pero)" featuring El Hechicero for Italy's Gli Azzurri ("The Blues") team. The club-ready track's video, featuring Annee with two bikini-clad backup dancers enjoying the beach, is bizarrely interjected with shots of a football field.
Wiyaala's "Go Go Black Stars...Goal!" was released on the Djimba World Record label. The anthem features tribal drums and stadium choruses as well as phrases in English, including the uplifting "God bless our homeland, Ghana. And make our nation great and strong," a Black Stars team prayer.
Mexico: Jesse & Joy
The brother and sister duo Jesse & Joy wrote "Corazon de Campeon" ("The Heart of a Champion") as a battle cry before Mexico's "El Tri" team had triumphed in their bumpy quest to qualify for the World Cup. AT&T chose it for a campaign, partnering with the Mexican Soccer Federation to sign up fans for the company's services.