Football, soccer, the beautiful game — whatever you call it, football is one of the most popular sports on the planet. Whether your team is in the Premier League or the Isthmian League, there is little better than the rush of a win.
Given its popularity, it should be no surprise that the love of football spreads into other hobbies and pastimes. Film and TV have had their fair share of soccer, but it’s in the music industry that a love of football really shines.
SeatPick wanted to find which, of the many football-inspired pop songs, was the catchiest. To do this, they looked at factors like popularity and number of Youtube views, how good the song is to dance to, and how happy it was. Then by ranking the average score, they created their official football song ranking.
How we found the catchiest football songs
SeatPick used four main metrics to create this ranking, as well as how well the songs have done on Youtube and Spotify. These metrics are:
- Danceability: how good a song is to dance to, based on elements including tempo, rhythm stability, beat strength, and overall regularity.
- Energy: how energetic the song feels based on speed and volume. Typically, energetic tracks feel fast, loud, and noisy.
- Speechiness: how many spoken/sung/rapped words are in a song.
- Valence: measuring how positive/happy a song feels. Tracks with high valence sound more positive.
The catchiest football songs in the world
- Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
Starting us off with a bang is Shakira’s Waka Waka. This uptempo anthem was released in 2010 as the official song of the FIFA world cup that year. It has since remained one of the South American siren’s most popular songs, and science shows us why.
In terms of overall popularity, it blows all the other songs out of the water. It has over three billion views on YouTube alone. It also scores high in certain criteria, like danceability (7.6/10), energy (8.7/10), and valence (7.4/10). Its speechiness score (8.42/10) is helping its popularity — there are fewer words to learn so anyone can sing along! All of this results in Waka Waka winning winning first place with 8.35/10.
- Trinidad Cardona – Hayya Hayya (Better Together)
The Qatar World Cup may have a fair few controversies attached to it, but Hayya Hayya by Trinidad Cardona isn’t one of them. Released in 2022, it is the first single of FIFA’s World Cup soundtrack for that year.
Garnering over 42 million YouTube views in just seven months, it has high scores across the board. Starting with 2.6/10 for speechiness, it also scored 6.2/10 for valence, 7.3/10 for danceability, and 8.3/10 for energy. While it’s less popular on Spotify, scoring just 20/100, its overall score is a healthy 6.9/10.
- Ricky Martin – La Copa de la Vida
Ricky Martin’s 1998 hit has proved to be a football classic and was a huge success on release. The FIFA world cup song has even been credited as being the cause of the “Latin Explosion” in pop music.
Despite this, it receives a score of 11 for popularity and has a relatively low 77 million views on YouTube. This is made up for by its high scores in valence (6.6/10), danceability (7.1/10), and energy (9.1/10). With a speechiness score of 4.2/10, La Copa de la Vida receives an overall score of 6.53/10.
- Pitbull – We Are One (Ole Ola) (feat. Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte)
Next up is Pitbull’s We Are One, Ole O-landing in fourth place. This was FIFA’s official song in 2014 and has retained a decent amount of popularity since then. The song also features Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte.
While Waka Waka has over three times the number of YouTube views, the song still has a healthy number (862 million) and a popularity score of 71/100. It scores highly in danceability (5.9/10), and valence (5.8/10), and beats Waka Waka in energy (9.3/10). Its speechiness score (5.8/10) gives it an overall score of 6.3/10.
- K’NAAN – Wavin’ Flag (The Celebration Mix)
Somali-Canadian artist K’NAAN first released this song in 2008, and it was a huge hit. It was covered as a charity single by an ad-hoc group called Young Artists for Haiti following the 2010 disaster.
It was in 2010 that Coca-Cola also picked the song as their promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This version, known as the “celebration mix”, became a global success. Despite over 400 million views on YouTube, as well as high scores across energy (6.5/10), danceability (7/10) and valence (7.8/10) it scores only 3.68/10 for speechiness and has 11/100 for popularity on Spotify. However, it lands in fifth place on our list with an overall score of 6.1/10.
- Martin Garrix – We Are The People (feat. Bono & The Edge)
2020 was a weird time for everything, and this was especially true in football. Due to Covid restrictions, the UEFA Euro 2020 was actually held in 2021. Martin Garrix’s song We Are The People was released in May of that year, as the official UEFA Euro 2020 song.
The song was met positively, garnering a respectable 31 million views on YouTube in the space of a year. It scores a healthy 62/100 for popularity on Spotify and continues to score well through the rankings. While it scores 2.11/10 for speechiness and 3/10 for valence, it receives 6.6/10 for danceability and 7.33/10 for energy. This gives We Are The People 6.15/10.
- Nelly Furtado – Força
In 10th position on the rankings is Nelly Furtado with Força. It was the official song for the European Football Championship, which in 2004 was held in Portugal. (“Força” is Portuguese slang for “keep going”).
The song is still a popular one, with over 7 million YouTube views and 46/100 for popularity on Spotify. It scores well across the board with 1.58/10 for speechiness, 5.27 for valence, 6.53/10 for danceability and 8.52/10 for energy. Altogether that gives Forca 5.88/10.
- New Order – World in Motion
The 1990 FIFA World Cup song, World in Motion, was a number 1 hit in the UK. Despite this, it might be one of the lesser-known songs on our list. With a (relatively) paltry 9.7 million views on YouTube, it still scores a decent 29/100 for popularity on Spotify.
It has middling to high scores across the board, achieving a 4.7/10 for speechiness, 6/10 for danceability, 7.9/10 for valence, and a huge 9.5/10 for energy. Overall, this 90s classic receives a 5.8/10.
- Nicky Jam – Live It Up (feat. Will Smith & Era Istrefi)
Nicky Jam’s “Live It Up” received mixed reviews when it was released in 2018, with fans baffled at the choice of genre. But despite this, the official FIFA world cup song has landed in the top ten. This is due to its popularity on Spotify (63), YouTube views (40 million), along with some high scores. It received 5.8/10 for danceability, 8/10 for valence, and a huge 9.4/10 for energy. This classic underdog story gets a final score of 5.5/10.
- Fat Les – Vindaloo
When you think of football songs, Vindaloo has to be one of the first that springs to mind. Originally written as a parody of football chants, upon release it was almost immediately adopted as one in its own right.
The (unofficial) World Cup song has over 7 million views on YouTube and scores 48/100 for popularity on Spotify. While not scoring highly on valence (3.4/10) it has high speechiness (7.37/10), it does well in danceability (6.5/10) and incredibly well in energy (9.7/10). This gives Vindaloo (Nah Nah) 5.41/10 overall.
- LT – Fields of Anfield Road (feat. The Kop Choir)
Fans of “The Fields of Athenry” might be a bit relieved this version missed out on the top 10. A football song that is sung by supporters of Liverpool, it achieves an overall score of 5.12/10. It scored 7.11/10 for danceability, 3.84/10 for energy, 0.53/10 for speechiness, and 2.84/10 for valence. The song has over a million views on YouTube and scores 20/100 for popularity on Spotify.
- Dario G – Carnaval de Paris
This 1998 classic was written for the FIFA World Cup of the same year. Its distinctive melody is associated with football everywhere. It comes in 12th place on the list, with a score of 4.38/10. It scores an impressive 51/100 for popularity on Spotify and receives 5.5/10 for danceability, 9.78/10 for energy, 6.32 for speechiness, and 4.91/10 for valence.
- Santana – Dar um Jeito (We Will Find a Way) [feat. Avicii & Alexandre Pires]
The high-energy offering from Carlos Santana was the 2014 FIFA World Cup official anthem. It could be seen as underrated, with just 4.8 million views on YouTube. It has 42/100 for popularity on Spotify. The speechiness score is impressive with 9.47, along with energy at 9.56/10. The remaining scores are a bit disappointing though, with 5.5/10 for danceability and 4.12/10 for valence.
This gives Dar um Jeito an overall score of 3.91/10.
- England United – (How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World
As the official theme of England’s national football club for the World Cup in 1998, “On Top of the World” had a weak reaction. That being said, it is far from last place with a score of 3.73/10. It scored well in speechiness (3.16) and danceability (5/10) and scored even better in valence (8.38) and energy (9.53).
- Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds – Three Lions
Along with Vindaloo, Three Lions is an iconic football anthem. It has over 42 million views on YouTube and scores 45/100 for popularity on Spotify. So it might come as a surprise that it is so low on this list. Its low valence (3.85/10), danceability (4.7/10), and speechiness (5.26) can’t seem to make up for its high energy (8.7/10).
This gives Three Lions an overall score of 3.44/10.
- E-Type – Campione 2000 – Radio Version
The official song of UEFA Euro 2000, this frenetic dance hit is still heard at football games across Europe.
It has 2.7 million views on YouTube and scores 24/100 for popularity on Spotify. While it scores low in valence (3.42/10) and danceability (4.95/10), it scores well in speechiness (7.89) and has an almost perfect energy score (9.96/10). Despite this, it is given 2.79/10.
- Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger C’mon Wales
A distinctive entry on this list, Together Stronger was the official anthem of the Wales national team for UEFA Euro 2016. It charted at number one for physical sales.
Despite this, it is the penultimate entry on our list. It has over a million views on YouTube but scores just 3/100 for popularity on Spotify. It scores 5.13/10 for danceability, 5.5/10 for valence, 6.32 for speechiness, and 7.85/10 for energy. Overall it achieves 2.41/10.
- Fat Les – Jerusalem
While the hymn Jerusalem has been around for a tad longer, in the year 2000 band Fat Les recorded a version of it as the official anthem for England at the Euro 2000 tournament.
It has the lowest number of views on YouTube on this list, with just 407,000, and scores 0/10 for popularity on Spotify. It has further low scores across the board, with 3.7/10 for danceability, 4.5/10 for energy, 1.0 for speechiness, and 2.49/10 for valence. This gives a final score result of 1.09/10.
Five of the best football songs for dancing
Football fans are world-renowned for their love of music and a party — especially when their team of choice has been victorious. Danceability is an important ranking factor for all the songs featured on this list. By focusing solely on a song’s danceability, we’ve created the ultimate playlist for the next time your team wins or loses, and you feel the urge to cut some shapes.
Whether you’re Waka Waka walking to work, or carrying a bucket of curry to the train station, there’s an anthem to get you in the football spirit. Football is the great uniter, it can bring families closer and make friends of enemies. There’s nothing quite like jump-hugging a stranger when your team scores the winning goal, and now you know what to listen to when you celebrate.
- SeatPick.com wanted to learn which FIFA World Cup songs were the most catchy.
- To do this, they scraped data from the Spotify API (https://developer.spotify.com/documentation/web-api/) to analyse 18 popular official football songs to find out which ones are the “catchiest”.
- Variables used from the Spotify API include:
- Popularity (rating 0-100 on how popular the song is on Spotify)
- Danceability – how suitable a track is for dancing based on a combination of musical elements including tempo, rhythm stability, beat strength, and overall regularity.
- Energy – the perceptual measure of intensity and activity. Typically, energetic tracks feel fast, loud, and noisy.
- Speechiness – the presence of spoken words in a track.
- Valence – the measure of musical positiveness; tracks with high valence sound more positive.
- Additionally, views from YouTube were also considered.
- The final score is a weighted average of percent ranks of (Spotify) popularity, YouTube views, danceability, energy, speechiness, and valence.
- Data was collected on 22nd November 2022 and is subject to change.