Nothing quite builds the hype for a World Cup like the TV ads that drop in the build up. From Nike to adidas, Pepsi to Carslberg, there have been some absolutely epic commercials in the past, and with Nike teasing the drop of their latest, we take a look at the greatest World Cup ads of all time.

The battle to get noticed within World Cup ad space is big. With all eyes watching on, brands bring out the big bucks and the superstars with the aim of creating something that will not only bring them into the spotlight, but that will live long in the memory. It’s a space that Nike have undoubtedly dominated over the last 25 years or so, but that’s not to say that others haven’t been able to share in the limelight somewhat.

And so, with another World Cup literally a blink away, we prepare for Nike's latest offering, which is set to drop on 16 November. While we'll keep our fingers crossed for something as iconic and memorable as what the Swoosh have produced in the past, for now we'll content ourselves with a look back in the history books, as we round up what are the greatest World Cup ads of all time. If this doesn't get you excited for the action at Qatar 2022, nothing will.

15. South Africa 2010 – Mars 'Singing For England'

Leaning heavily into Italia 90 nostalgia and also into the "so crap it's good" territory, Mars pulled John Barnes out of lyrical retirement to recreate the height of his career. What? What goal against Brazil?? 

14. USA '94 – McDonalds 'Practice'

So, not quite one to get the blood pumping as such, but a nice throwback to a simpler time. Add in the fact that the young lad kicking the ball around is none other that Scott Parker, and this becomes a classic in its own right.

13. USA 1994 – Nike 'The Wall'

One of Nike's first, but a sign of things to come, with an all-star cast blatting the ball around the globe ahead of the USA '94 World Cup. What it lacked in graphics and special effects it more than made up for in legendary players, such as Ian Wright, Eric Cantona and Romario, who came alive from walls in their respective countries to smash long balls all around the world. Doesn't get more route one than that.

12. Germany 2006 – Carlsberg 'Old Lions'

A nice little ad that saw England legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Robson put together "probably the best pub team in the world". Highlights include Stuart Pearce interrupting the late Sir Bobby Robson’s team talk to take a phone call from his mum, Peter Reid’s dodgy y-fronts and Jackie Charlton objecting to being booked for “shirt pulling”.

11. Spain '82 – Coca Cola 'Drink Coke'

Going back even further, and back in '82 Coca Cola made the inspired choice of selecting a young Argentinian named Diego Maradona for their ad campaign. Bit harsh that he necked the kid's whole drink, reckon the lad was only offering him a sip. Ah well, still got a sweaty shirt in place of it. There's also the irony of Maradona advertising Coke, something he'd go on to do again in the 1994 World Cup following his goal against Greece...

10. Japan & South Korea 2002 – Pepsi 'All Stars vs Sumos'

With the World Cup being hosted in Japan and South Korea there was obviously only one type of people that the world's best could go up against... Sumo Wrestlers! More in the wheelhouse of getting hyped for a tournament through adrenaline pumping action and big stars doing their stuff.

9. South Africa 2010 – Carlsberg 'If Carlsberg did team talks...'

One for the English, Carlsberg recruited the help of a plethora of national legends to give a rousing speech that would get the blood truly pumping. Probably should've let the England team listen to this prior to playing in 2010... may have performed better.

8. Russia 2018 – BBC 'Launch Trailer'

The Beeb certainly like to go down the artistic route, and while this one doesn't quite hit the heights of the Euro 2004 spot, it certainly lends another perspective to the high octane, all action thrillers of Nike et al.

7. Brazil 2014 – Beats By Dre 'The Game Before The Game'

Kudos to Beats for creating one of the most memorable World Cup ads in 2014 without even being able to utter the words "world" and "cup" in close proximity due to not being an official sponsor of the competition. Lead by Neymar Jr, in the company of a world class cast that not only included World Cup stars Mario Gotze, Cesc Fabregas, Daniel Sturridge and Robin Van Persie (to name but a few) but also special appearances from Lebron James, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Sydney Leroux and Serena Williams. An ad of epic proportions that easily holds your attention for the full five minutes. If this didn't get your World Cup juices flowing nothing would.

6. Brazil 2014 – Nike 'Winner Stays'

Another belter from Nike, 'Winner Stays' was an awesome four-minute advert featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a host of other big name stars as a of bunch kids fantasise whilst competing for a pitch's playing rights. Epic in scope and execution.

5. Germany 2006 – adidas 'José +10'

'José +10' saw two boys assemble an all-star squad of footballing legends both past and present (with Jermain Defoe in goal?!) with the likes of Zidane and Kahn lining up alongside Platini and Beckenbauer, among others. Not quite the intensity of some ads, but superb effects to see young versions of the legends integrated into the action.

4. South Africa 2010 – Nike 'Write The Future'

Now this is what we're talking about! Nike's 'Write The Future' ad saw a who's who of the brand's roster of stars playing out the results of success and failure, all set to a rousing track and featuring alongside the likes of tennis legend Roger Federer, NBA star Kobe Bryant, actor Gael Garcia Bernal and even Homer Simpson, who all appear in cameo rolls. Nike flexing their status as the top dog in the football advertisement world.

3. Japan & South Korea 2002 – adidas 'Footballitis'

Owing a debt of gratitude to 70s and 80s educational films and arriving with tongue firmly wedged in cheek, 'Footballitis' took a totally different direction to what had come before, flying in the face of stereotypes regarding German sense of humour. A perfect contrast to what the Three Stripes' main rivals were doing at the time.

2. Japan & South Korea 2002 – Nike 'Secret Tournament

The one with Elvis Presley vs JXL – A little less conversation. Nike's complete squad of stars inside a football cage on a ship, Cantona off his nut and a next goal wins rule. It's up there with the best. Totti taking six soft ground studs in the back to set up the winner, that's teamwork right there folks.

1. France 1998 – Nike 'The Airport'

Couldn't really be anything other, could it? The football ad that really propelled Nike's marketing and advertising campaigns into the stratosphere; the one that set the bar high early for all World Cup ads to follow; imitated, but never bettered in our opinion. Truly iconic. 

Soo now we have to hold tight and see what Nike have in store come 16 November...