The World Cup was inaugurated in 1930, but it wasn’t until 1990 that the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, began to adopt songs that would become the official soundtrack of the global soccer tournament, which happens every four years.
Some more popular than others, these official anthems have not only soundtracked World Cups, they’ve gone on to change the careers of the artists who’ve performed them. Such was the case for Ricky Martin, who in 1998 recorded the euphoric official song “Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vida)” for the tournament that took place that year in France.
At the peak of the “Latin explosion,” with artists such as Martin crossing over to the English market, the Puerto Rican star teamed up with Desmond Child and Draco Rosa to write and produce the song, which originally peaked at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998 and re-entered the chart at No. 45 in August 1999. The international smash hit also won a Grammy for best Latin pop performance.
Another official song that took on a life of its own is Shakira‘s joyful “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” featuring Afro-fusion band Freshlyground, for the 2010 soccer event held in South Africa. With more than 3 billion views on YouTube to date, the track peaked at No. 38 on the Hot 100 chart dated July 3, 2010.
This year, FIFA has released a handful of official songs for the 2022 World Cup, set to kick off Nov. 20 in host country Qatar. The first song released was the uplifting track “Hayya Hayya (Better Together),” featuring Trinidad Cardona, Davido and Aisha, which fuses R&B and reggae influences. For the first time ever, the tournament’s soundtrack will feature a multi-song collection, with international artists “showcasing diverse musical genres that span the world, setting the tone for a truly global celebration,” according to FIFA.
It’s worth noting that World Cup-inspired songs have been released since 1962, but not all have been adopted by FIFA. The ones below, for each year since 1990, are recognized as FIFA official theme songs and anthems.