The FIFA World Cup 2018 is almost coming to an end, with France and Croatia having their final match this Sunday, July 15th. Hosted by Russia, this is the first World Cup held in Eastern Europe, and also the first time using video assistant referees – using video footage reviewing the decisions made by the head referee.
Held every four years, the global soccer championship started on June 14th and will end on July 15th. The USA – as well as favorites Italy and The Netherlands – did not make the qualification this time. 2014s World Cup winner Germany wasn’t lucky either. Though one of the 32 countries qualified, the team didn’t make it further than the preliminary round. However, Europe remains the star continent at this year’s World Cup – eliminating Brazil and Uruguay in the quarterfinals. The remaining four at the semi-finals was France against Belgium (1-0 for France) and Croatia against England (2-1 for Croatia).
Only two matches to go: Belgium vs. England on Saturday, fighting for the third place, and the final match this Sunday, where either France or Croatia will be crowned as the winner. This is Croatia’s first time ever competing in the finals. France already won the world crown in 1998. The final match will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
As every four years is an exciting moment in Soccer history, the World Cup developed in so much more throughout the decades since their first cup held in Uruguay in 1930.. Apart from soccer, it also unifies people with different cultures, food, entertainment, and music.
Music especially, as every four years a new song or new anthem hits the charts. Chanted during the matches, these tracks are a lot of times sung by global superstars in collab with a native singer (or band) from the host country. One of the most famous World Cup songs is by far ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’ – the official song of 2010s World Cup in South Africa, by Shakira featuring South African band Freshlyground. ‘Waka Waka’ sold reportedly ten million units and has been watched more than 1,9 billion times on YouTube. Pitbull and J.Lo’s ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’ made people celebrate during 2014s World Cup, featuring Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. Even Shakira came back again for 2014 – this time with club-ready ‘La La La’ feat. Carlinhos Brown. Now, music lovers and soccer fanatics can get back into the groove with five new official tracks to celebrate the 21st FIFA World Cup.
Nicky Jam featuring Will Smith and Esra Istrefi – Live It Up
‘Live It Up’ acts as the official 2018 World Cup song. Puerto Rican singer Nicky Jam brings a dance club track to the table – with some reggae and techno vibes filled with horns. The track features Will Smith and Kosovar singer Esra Istrefi, and is produced by Diplo, The Picard Brothers, and Free School.
Polina Gagarina featuring Egor Kreed and DJ Smash – Komanda 2018 (Команда 2018)
Russian singer Polina Gagarina already made a name for herself when she finished second place at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, representing her home country Russia. Now she represents her country again, this time for the song ‘Komanda’ in collab with DJ Smash and rapper Egor Kreed. The track is a mix of pop and EDM, carries a very happy/positive vibe, and is performed completely in Russian.
Jason Derulo – Colors
‘Colors’ is the official Coca-Cola promotional anthem for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Derulo celebrates unity by singing ‘Hands up for your Colors’ while dancing under a parachute made out of national flags. ‘Colors’ was also released as a Spanish remixed version featuring Colombian singer Maluma.
J. Balvin and Michael Brun – Positivo
Colombian singer J. Balvin collabs with Haitian DJ Michael Brun on ‘Positivo’, performing a Spanish song for the Russian cup. EDM meets Latin, with signature count ‘uno, dos, tres… ¡leggo’!’
Natalia Oreiro – United by Love
Uruguayan singer and actress Natalia Oreiro became famous with soap operas and telenovelas. The Argentinian telenovela Muñeca Brava (Wild Angel) where she starred in, made her famous internationally, especially in Russia. Her strong Russian fanbase lead to World Cup representation with ‘United by Love’ – in Spanglish. World music, back and forth with Spanish and English lyrics. Natalia sang for the World Cup before in 2002, for her song ‘Pasión Celeste’.
The final match between France and Croatia will be broadcasted on Sunday, July 15th, 2018.