This year’s squad earned Korea their ninth straight appearance in the World Cup, but did not have an easy time qualifying, struggling against weaker sides like Uzbekistan. They were gifted a place in the very winnable group H, with opponents Algeria, Belgium, and Russia, but need to show more than they did in qualifiers if they have any hope of matching their run in 2002, when they made it as far as the semi-finals. Their first match will be against Russian on June 17.
#7: AOA - “Spread Your Wings of Victor”
#6: Wa$up - “Fire”
Wa$up recently released “Fire” for the 2014 World Cup. And our advice is to listen to the song and forget the music video, which isn’t their best effort and focuses too heavily on the sexuality of the women. The song itself is a good one, so add it to your playlist!
#5: Kim Jang Hoon and PSY - “Once Again”
This song is not going to pump you up unless you watch it all the way through. More than most on this list, it describes the emotion of World Cup fans, the agonizing four years of waiting before the Reds can take on the challenge once again. This is a story of fans reuniting after the glorious 2002 World Cup performance. But the song does eventually get there, and the music video resembles a feel-good sports movie more than anything else. Let’s see if Korea can exceed expectations, once again!
#4: T-ara - “We Are the One”
Coming in at number 4, T-ara took the ubiquitous “ole” chant and turned it into a full-fledged song in “We Are the One.” The verses leave something to be desired, but the chant refrain is great fun, and easy to sing along to!
#3: Vixx - “Arirang Mokdong”
Vixx pumps up the crowd with this cover of “Arirang Mokdong,” and our bet is that it’ll work on you as well. Due in large part to their conversion of popular sporting chants into music, this song is a must for your World Cup list!
#2: Sistar - “We Never Go Alone”
Maybe borrowing a bit from Liverpool’s slogan of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Sistar delivers a great song with “We Never Go Alone.” What we love most is that we can actually hear Sistar in this song. Too often, the artists get lost in promotional songs, but Sistar holds their own. If only that electronic music didn’t sound so old school!
#1: Super Junior - “Victory Korea”
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Super Junior top our list with “Victory Korea.” This is one of the best pump-up songs we’ve heard, Korean or otherwise. It has a great beat, and a reliable time signature that makes it easy to sing and dance to. Even the music video is well done. The whole thing feels timeless, which is good, because this one was made for 2010. If you need a go-to pump-up jam for this World Cup season, we recommend “Victory Korea.” Fighting!
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!