You can’t have a World Cup without a national anthem, but which of the 32 heard over recent weeks in Qatar have hit the right notes with fans.
Like a night at La Scala squeezed into a little over a minute and a half.
Uruguay’s masterpiece, Orientales, la Patria o la Tumba to give it its full name, was inspired by the country’s love of Italian opera and the full anthem is one of the longest around, at well over four minutes.
The shortened version brings out the full divo in Luis Suarez and his team-mates and was one of the most uplifting pre-kick-off sing-songs in Qatar. Just not uplifting enough, clearly, since Uruguay exited after three group matches.
Germany’s demise after three rounds didn’t cost head coach Hansi Flick his job but it did cost supporters around the world the chance to savour any further renditions of one of the truly great anthems.
Deutschlandlied, also known as Song of the Germans, is 100-years-old as its country’s national anthem this year, so something of a shame that Manuel Neuer and his team-mates didn’t ensure it got the airplay it deserved.
They call Wales the Land of Song for good reason, and whether it’s at a muddy rugby field in Pontypool or a sun-baked, multi-million pound football stadium in Qatar, when the first strains of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau are heard, expect a rousing, emotional, passionate sing-along to follow.
It’s not actually Wales’ national anthem but it’s the spiritual, sporting hymn of the principality and has reduced many a big man to tears when sung in full voice.
Again, as with Uruguay’s national tune and Germany’s, Welsh under-performance meant we didn’t hear it enough at this World Cup.
What is it about the best national anthems and early exits? And so to Mexico, another country with a joyous national song which only echoed around the Gulf three times.
Jaunty, upbeat, tuneful, the Himno Nacional Mexicano fires them up in the stands and never gets anything other than full volume from the players.
Indeed, under-performing the Mexican national anthem carries a risk. Many years ago a singer who performed it before a football match forgot the words and was fined by the government and forced to publicly apologise.
Take a bow Morocco. Not only – unlike the other four countries on this list – did you make the semi-finals, but you’ve a national anthem to be proud of as well.
Al-nashid al-sharif was composed by a Frenchman but with lyrics added by a Moroccan and the result is a swirling, whirling maelstrom of North African independence and crashing cymbals.
Little wonder Hakim Ziyech and his chums have felt like world-beaters after raising imaginary Qatari roofs with this corker.