Over the course of the next month, much of the world will practically shut down thanks to excitement over the FIFA World Cup. (Really: It’s more popular in other places than in the US, we promise.) Thirty-two nations across the globe have toiled to get to this point, and now face the ultimate soccer (er, football) challenge. You may have seen Shakira rocking the official World Cup anthem for 2010, but we feel it’s high time to musically recognize every nation on an individual basis. We dedicate a single song to each World Cup country, to hype them (and you) up for success on a global stage.
Algeria: For the first time since 1986, Algeria, ranked 30th in the world by the FIFA rankings, has made it into the World Cup. While that’s good news, the team has been placed in a draw with England and the US and will have a tough time advancing to the next round. With the odds stacked against them, we’re giving Algeria Twisted Sister’s rebellious anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Argentina: Brazil may get most of the South American soccer headlines, but the Argentinians are no slouches, either. Ranked seventh in the world coming into the tournament, this is a very talented squad that has as good a chance as anyone to advance to the finals. Argentina already has a fantastic futbol anthem, so there really is no point in assigning them something new. Here’s “Vamos, Vamos Argentina”!
Australia: The Aussies may not have pulled the “Pool of Death,” but they are in a really tough draw with Germany, Serbia, and Ghana all fielding strong sides. At least the Aussies should be well soundtracked with rock meant to destroy arenas! While we could have chosen from their slew of new, arena-ready artists (see: Wolfmother, Jet, etc.), we’re going classic this time around with the always rocking AC/DC.
Brazil: The world’s top-ranked side is the hands down favorite to win an unprecedented sixth World Cup. The entire team is loaded with household names: Robinho, Kaka, Luis Fabiano, Dani Alves, and the rest of this powerful team will be disappointed with anything less than a first place finish. Really, the only song that makes sense for this squad is “A Taça do Mundo é Nossa,” which translates to “The World Cup Is Ours”!
Cameroon: With Africa hosting this year’s World Cup, passions will run high for the countries native to the continent. South Africa will be the sentimental favorites (they are the host city, after all), but no African side is more talented than Cameroon. Ranked 19th by FIFA, Cameroon is probably the second best team in their group (the Netherlands looks like an absolute beast right now) and should at the very least advance to the second round. If you want an African nation to win the Cup, this is most definitely your best bet. We’re going with the funky Paul Simon jam “Proof” here, not because it’s a hype-worthy tune but because it’s probably the best-known Cameroonian musical contribution here in the Western world.
Chile: It’s hard to consider any team in the top 20 worldwide to be underrated, but with so much competition in South America, it is a tough go for Chile to get any true attention from the soccer world. Perhaps moving far into this year’s tournament will help, and with only Spain presenting a true challenge in their group, it’s possible that the Chilean team can move deep into this year’s World Cup. Considering their controversial World Cup past, we think it’s only appropriate that they take up the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” as their World Cup anthem.
Côte d’Ivorie: With Didier Drogba on their side, Côte d’Ivorie will be a force to reckon with throughout the World Cup tournament. Despite his broken arm, he is one of the best players in the world and should help the African nation navigate this year’s “Group of Death” and advance to the next round. It’s not going to be easy going up against Brazil, Portugal, and North Korea, but with Drogba anything is possible! With Senegal failing to qualify, we’re gonna hand Akon’s anthem “Oh Africa” over to these guys.
Denmark: The 36th-ranked Denmark team is not the European power it once was, and with a draw against tough Netherlands and Cameroon teams it seems unlikely that the Danish will advance in this year’s tournament. Perhaps they can manage a win against Japan, but other than that it will be tough times for the “roligans” this year. For that we prescribe using a tune from native son Lars Ulrich’s Metallica, namely “Enter Sandman,” so they can dream about past and hopefully future glories.