The video to the official song of 2014 World Cup is brilliant – it captures all the excitement of football, from both the players’ and spectators’ perspective, and it packs in all the colours and flavours of Brazil and many other countries too. Check it out.
There is one problem with the Brazilian video, though – it’s got Pitbull in it! (Some people I know find him creepy.) I am ambivalent about him, but I do know that whenever he does a duet with someone, the someone always outshines him. The two women in this song do much better here.
There was an outcry in Brazil when this was revealed as the official song. After all, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez have got nothing to do with Brazil (both were born in the US but are of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin respectively). Worse, they sing in English and bits in Spanish too. The Brazilian element seems an afterthought – local singer Claudia Leitte gets to sing a few lines of Portuguese about two minutes and 50-something seconds into the song.
Still, I think Pitbull is a good choice. He has a face shaped like a football (I know some people who wouldn’t mind kicking it) and before he became famous there was a Brazilian footballer called Pitbull – if memory serves me correctly, he played for Gremio (one of the teams from Porto Alegre) before going on to play for clubs in Portugal, Romania and Turkey. It’s a great name for a footballer, but not for a singer, not even one who growls.
Anyway, you can understand why soccer fans worldwide are so looking forward to the tournament in Brazil. Look at the elements in this video, then try to imagine what sort of videos they are likely to produce for the 2018 World Cup in Russia or the 2022 tournament in Qatar. For the Russian one I envisage cossack dancers and lots of vodka on ice. But for the Qatar event all I can see is stern sheikhs, camels and corpses of construction workers. I read somewhere today that Qatar is warning male visitors not to wear shorts or singlets (vests) when they come for their World Cup. The event is eight years away and already the admonishments are coming out! In Brazil if you wear shorts and a singlet you are overdressed.