Shakira will perform at today's World Cup closing ceremony, most likely performing her World Cup anthem "La La La (Brazil 2014)." a reworked version of her song "Dare" with lyrics about the world coming together to watch something and a video featuring Messi and Neymar and Kun Aguero and James Rodriguez. It is a damn earworm.
That is not in itself notable. Big sporting events have performances like this.We've already had one this World Cup, featuring Pitbull.
What is notable is that this is Shakira's third consecutive appearance in the closing ceremony of a World Cup. The World Cup Final is the biggest sports thing possible. It happens once every four years and is watched by hundreds of millions; possibly billions. And every time it happens, Shakira performs.
Including today, Shakira has appeared in more World Cup Finals than every country besides Brazil, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands. By appearing in her third consecutive World Cup Finals, Shakira is doing something no team has ever done.
Soccer players actually have to win at the World Cup to create legacies. Her husband, Gerard Pique, lost in the group stages. Her homeland, Colombia, fought valiantly but couldn't make it out of the quarterfinals. Even Lionel Messi, the world's best soccer player, needs a win today to cement his position in soccer history. Shakira stands above them all, dancing straight to soccer's biggest stage time after time after time.
Who knows how Shakira -- a wonderful, gorgeous pop singer with a unique, irreplicable voice and legendary dancing ability, but still, merely a pop singer -- became inextricably linked with the biggest sporting event on the planet. But we are glad for it. The World Cup is better with Shakira, and Shakira is better with the World Cup.
Here is Shakira at the 2006 World Cup Final in Germany, performing "Hips Don't Lie" with Wyclef Jean:
Here is Shakira at the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa, performing her World Cup anthem "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" a song written specifically for the cup:
We look forward to hearing Shakira performing in 2018 in Russia, and in 2022 in (most likely) Qatar, and although we don't know where FIFA will hold the World Cup as the decades and centuries unfurl into the future, we know that Shakira will be there.