I did not know what I’d ramble about until 9:30p last night. Luckily, Will Smith bailed me out.
Ramble of the Day
Yesterday, news broke that Will Smith, along with Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi, will sing the official World Cup song. This led to a small discussion in the Cartilage Free Captain writers’ room about World Cup songs. I will now share some of those with you all.
The first I will mention was the incredibly popular “The Cup of Life,” sung by Ricky Martin for the 1998 World Cup. The song was a bit before my time, so I had to look it up. I was not disappointed.
This is a very good song. Several hours later, I’m still singing it in my head, and I’m not even mad about it. I’m told it was one of those songs that transcended the football world and became genuinely popular in the United States. Can we get Martin to do another one of these World Cup songs?
The next one I will share with you is the 2010 song “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” performed by Shakira, which I have a bit more experience with.
This one also transcended the football world, something I know because everyone in my high school could not stop singing it. (I am not upset about it, for what it’s worth.) Speaking of high school, it reminds me that I spent a semester sitting between a Barcelona fan and a Real Madrid fan in a Spanish class; they bickered every day but I enjoyed it! I learned a lot of curse words that year.
Anyway, the tune is obviously catchy in a good way, and the video is pretty funny. There are shots of Barcelona players hanging out with a ball, including a long haired Lionel Messi and Rafael Marquez before he became a New York soccer (football) villain. It’s just so ... random. The appearances are almost awkward, but just steer clear of it, and treat all of the players like male models, which is an interesting choice. It’s an entertaining package, regardless.
Here’s the last one for today: Pitbull’s “We Are One (Ole Ola),” the 2014 World Cup song in which he is joined by Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte.
Lopez is an icon for many reasons, and anything with her deserves some sort of attention. Pitbull is also an icon of sorts, but not really for the musical reasons. He’s kind of really good at being inspirational.
Anyway, Mr. Worldwide, as he is known, is culturally significant in the United States of America, and so, naturally, I pay attention when he sings a World Cup song. Like the other ones, it’s catchy. Ultimately, it is what you would expect out of him, but is enjoyable in the way you enjoy low quality things (or the way I enjoy low quality things). The lyrics are cute in that he invites everyone to “show the world we are one,” when the World Cup is a bunch of countries competing against each other for a trophy, but hey! You tried, Pitbull, as you always do.
Never forget that he looked like this at the World Cup opening ceremony. Where did he get that knockoff Brazil shirt (and those pants)?
tl;dr: A condensed history of World Cup songs.
Links of the Day
Pepe Reina is set to have a hearing at the Italian football federation about links to the mafia.
South Korean players Lee Keun-ho and Kwon Chang-hoon will miss the World Cup with injuries.
Radja Nainggolan has announced his international retirement after being left off the Belgium World Cup squad.
Santi Cazorla is leaving Arsenal after six years with the club.
Today’s longer read: ESPN’s Sam Borden on the world’s quietest sports superstar, Lionel Messi