HomeWorldWorld Cup goal music: Every team’s song choices in Qatar – ESPN
World Cup goal music: Every team’s song choices in Qatar – ESPN
November 25, 2022
4:00 AM ET
DOHA, Qatar – At first glance Blur, BTS, Drake, Dua Lipa, Mase, Mariachi Vargas, Men at Work, Nickelback and Zombie Nation may not appear to have much in common. They are unlikely to appear all together on many music fans’ Spotify playlists. But they are all artists on the official list of songs played when goals are scored at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Before the tournament began, each national team submitted to FIFA up to two songs to be played over the stadium PA whenever they score. Each entry was vetted by FIFA, but sources have told ESPN that none were blocked from the list due to their lyrical content.
Music plays an increasingly prominent role at World Cups, with many songs that get stuck in your head. Walking around Qatar, you hear the echoes of previous tournaments: K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag,” synonymous with the 2010 World Cup, is a favourite here, and you can’t escape Shakira’s “Waka, Waka (This Time For Africa)” from that same tournament in South Africa.
This year’s official FIFA Fan Festival anthem is Nicki Minaj’s “Tukoh Taka,” but it’s those age-old classics like Gala’s “Freed From Desire” which are the most popular here.
ESPN has obtained a list of all the songs picked by the 32 countries competing in Qatar, bar one: Senegal’s, which is a bespoke song based around the team’s stars.
The United States have rapper Mase’s “Feel So Good” cued up to be played for their goals, while Belgium live up to their Red Devils nickname by opting for MC Devil’s “Deviltime.”
Elsewhere, there are some traditional, more predictable picks. Australia going for Men at Work’s “Down Under,” while their back-up option is Powderfinger’s “On my Mind.” The exclusion of Aussie rock legends AC/DC is a controversial call.
One of Canada’s options is Drake’s appearance on Meek Mill’s “Going Bad,” but it is Germany who has selected Canadian rockers Nickelback (“When We Stand Together”) as their celebratory tune.
Similarly, Brazil have gone for Escola De Samba’s “Esquentado O Couro,” but Netherlands’ choice has a similar, more globally familiar flavour: Bellini’s “Samba De Janeiro.”
Expect to hear “Idol” by K-pop icons BTS when South Korea score. Jung Kook of BTS joined forces with Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi to sing “Dreamers” at the opening ceremony.
For teams like Croatia who haven’t yet scored at the World Cup, they have anthems by Marko Lasic and Colonia lined up for whenever they break their duck, while Denmark’s choice of “Re Sepp Ten” a song recorded by the 1986 Danish squad for their World Cup campaign in Mexico of that year, is also yet to be heard.
“Freed from Desire” is the anthem of choice with England, Poland and Switzerland all picking the 1990s dance classic, which was given a new lease of life when Northern Ireland brought their re-worked version “Will Grigg’s On Fire” to the 2016 European Championship.
There are other ’90s throwbacks, too, with France going for Blur’s “Song 2” — a pleasing choice for all of those who heard it while playing EA Sports’ “FIFA: Road to World Cup 98” — and Wales have a pair of chest thumpers in Zombie Nation’s trance banger “Kernkraft 400” alongside “This is Wales” by The Barry Horns, the band named after the 59-cap Welsh midfield legend.
But whichever song is playing as you watch a team celebrate scoring in Qatar, just hope it’s not ruined by the commentator speaking over to say: The VAR is just checking this…”