Qatar World Cup 2022: all the official (and some unofficial) songs, ranked!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022 kicks off on Sunday and as the buzz starts to build for the tournament, despite the controversies surrounding it, the official soundtracks have been released.

The World Cup has produced some iconic anthems including Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) which has clocked 3,791,643,146 combined streams.

This year, FIFA has officially released four tracks for the tournament, created by Grammy Award-winning producer RedOne – known best for his early work with Lady Gaga (Just Dance, Poker Face) - who is FIFA’s creative entertainment executive. Songs commissioned by the event’s official sponsors have also begun to emerge.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Here is an updated list of all the official World Cup tracks released so far, ranked from best to worst – so fire up the playlist for football’s showpiece event.

Hayya Hayya (Better Together)

The first of FIFA’s releases with American singer Trinidad Cardona, Nigerian hit maker Davido and Qatari based artist AISHA.

The word Hayya means hurry up in Arabic -  and as such this track emulates the excitement the World Cup creates – after much anticipation, fans want the competition to get going.

This track is probably the most quintessentially ‘World Cup’ – it would be my pick of the bunch for those wanting to get that FIFA feeling going – it captures the theme of the host nation, has an easy sing along vibe and the “oii oii” hook provides a ready-made chant for fans at the stadium.

If you want a track that feels like the World Cup, this is the one for you.

(8/10)

Arhbo

Ozuna, Maítre Gims and RedOne feature in this dance-inspired reggaeton infused banger. The anthem creates the festive spirit of the tournament with a Latin infused drum beat and a catchy Spanish hook you can’t help but sing along to – whether you know the meaning or not.

Latin songs tend to carry the fiesta mood of the World Cup well – particularly because we’re used to South American teams doing so well in the tournament – so the track is a welcome addition to the playlist

The switch from Spanish to French vocals also provides the international feel the competition is all about.

The accompanying video features images of football stars including Zinedine Zidane, Cafu, Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo and others.

(8/10)

Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds - Three Lions (It’s Coming Home for Christmas)

No international tournament for England is quite the same without hearing Three Lions blaring across the country.

The creators of the iconic track have remade it this year, not just to support the national team, but also as a festive song – two in one.

The festive spin is fitting for the first winter World Cup and although it doesn’t quite match the effortless, DIY flare of the original, its tongue in cheek nature does capture the spirit of the nation both in supporting the team – and the excitement for Christmas, while the video, which introduces Baddiel and Skinner as they are now into the original vid (in Christmas jumpers, of course) pays warm homage to the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 win.

(7/10)

Light The Sky

This exotic number is an upbeat all-female collaboration with the Arab world’s biggest women singers – Balqees, Nora Fatehi, Manal and Rahma Riad – and produced by RedOne.

The uplifting track about togetherness, and the music video includes female referees who will be taking part in the Middle East’s first World Cup.

Given the controversies of the human rights record in Qatar, a confident female empowered collaboration is very welcome.

(7/10)

Ulayeh

The motivational lyrics provide that fighting spirit that the World Cup is all about – giving it your all for your country – are perfectly in tune with the spirit of the competition.

The track infuses Arabic-style instrumentals and guitar chords with Spanish vocals which creates a saucy sound.

The track, again with RedOne’s signature production, features vocals from Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra andNouamane Belaiachi.

The creation is a solid foot-tapping head-bopping experience that will add a bit of warmth to a chilly winter World Cup.

(7/10)

Yet To Come

Global K POP sensations BTS released the track in partnership with Hyundai, an official World Cup sponsor, for their campaign.

The track, which explores hip hop and alternative sounds – has already been a success with the charts, peaking at No.13 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song flips between English and Korean speaking, incorporating pop rock instrumentals with uplifting lyrics “the best is yet to come” – of course also loaded with football references.

The track itself is not an ideal choice before a game, however, being a softer and more subtle tune, it doesn’t really speak to the rollercoaster of emotions that an international tournament brings.

It does serve it purpose as a commercial brand advertisement for the tournament, and is a well-delivered pop effort that will outlive its purpose as just a purely World Cup song.

Jungkook from the group will also be performing at the World Cup opening ceremony – which may be an opportunity for fans to hear the track live.

(6/10)

Aeropuerto

Showing the ever-lasting enthusiasm for the World Cup in the Spanish speaking world, Colombian singer Camilo is another addition of Latin bangers on the list.

The track was released in partnership with Telemundo, an official FIFA World Cup broadcaster.

Aeropuerto means airport in Spanish – if it wasn’t obvious – and is not where any teams want to be heading in this tournament any time soon.

The entirely Spanish track provides a catchy hook and beat that you’ll bop your head to whether you know what the words mean or not.

It doesn’t feel like it was made specifically for the World Cup, as its listenability doesn’t seem chained to football tournaments in the same way songs like Three Lions are.

It’s not really a football stadium song, but it’s very catchy and well produced – so if you want a break from the hyped-up energy, this smooth listening Spanish melody this track provides is for you.

(6/10)

Tukoh Taka

The new release by Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares is a high energy addition to the list of World Cup songs that makes history as the first track to have Spanish, English and Arabic lyrics.

The track exudes all the bonanza vibes we’ve come to be accustomed to from the World Cup, capturing the carnival like atmosphere.

Whilst the track is not necessarily a good choice for stadium matches or for match build up, it’s certainly a fun track to acknowledge the competition – albeit not one you’ll remember this competition with like other tracks on the list.

5/10

The World Is Yours to Take

The Lil Baby song is a take on the Tears for Fears classic Everybody Wants to Rule the World – using the iconic synth instrumental and adding trap drumbeats to create a modern twist.

The track was released in parternship with Budweiser, a FIFA World Cup sponsor.

The song itself, however, does not make for easy listening – and the reviews reflect this.

Lil Baby’s typically pristine delivery was increasingly choppy in the track and at times felt out of time with the beat – strange for a rapper of Lil Baby’s capabilities.

However, as the Budweiser official track, I’m sure it’ll sound better after a few bottles – great marketing.

(3/10)