After enjoying a smash hit with Waka Waka at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, Colombian singer Shakira has become increasingly involved in the world of football. As well as regularly attending matches and supporting social projects linked to the sport, she is also the partner of Barcelona and Spain central defender Gerard Pique and is planning to be in Brazil during the next global finals.
Sitting down for an interview with the star, FIFA.com asked her what she is expecting from Brazil 2014 and for her reaction to the strong support her fellow Colombians have given to the tournament’s Volunteer Programme. Of the 7,450 non-Brazilian applicants, some 908 (12 percent) hail from Colombia, more than any other country and well ahead of second-placed Argentina with 509 and Spain in third with 504.
FIFA.com: No foreign country has provided more candidates for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Volunteers Programme than Colombia. Why do you think so many Colombians want to be part of the event?
Shakira: That’s great to hear. Young people in my country love football and I imagine having the World Cup return to Latin America, after so many years, is really motivational. Also, there are many Colombian football players excelling in Europe right now, such as Falcao, which is a great inspiration to young people. It takes the love of this sport to a whole new level in my country.
How would you describe the experience and atmosphere of a FIFA World Cup?
What was most interesting to me was seeing so many diverse cultures join together to celebrate the world of soccer. There was a unique energy in both Germany and South Africa which I have never felt before. I loved the distinct colour and perfection of the FIFA World Cup in Germany, and the incomparable energy and warmth of the South Africans during the last World Cup. It is truly an amazing experience, which I recommend to all if given the opportunity.
Waka Waka is a song about believing and seizing the opportunity to shine. Do you see similarities between South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014?
Obviously being Latin American myself, and having spent a lot of time in the country, I know Brazilians and their culture very well. I imagine that it will be a very unique and unforgettable experience. Brazil is a land of opportunity, and its people will be prepared to show the world their potential and share their culture. What makes the FIFA World Cup so incredible is that each one is so distinctly influenced by the host country, so you are introduced in a way to the country and its people. In that respect, I think the Brazilians will open their arms and embrace all of the people coming to enjoy the matches, just as South Africa did.
Do you like Brazilian music? What kind of music would you recommend to overseas fans coming to Brazil 2014?
Absolutely! I just finished recording a song with my Brazilian friend, Ivete Sangalo. We sang together at Rock in Rio last year too. I listen to a lot of music from Brazil, and its rhythms such as samba and bossa nova are known and loved worldwide.
Is there any particular host city you would like to visit at Brazil 2014?
I’ve had the opportunity to visit many Brazilian cities throughout the years and I’ve loved them all. I expect to be there during the next FIFA World Cup and plan on visiting as many cities as I can.