COLLABORATION: Will Smith, Era Istrefi and Nicky Jam. Photo: YouTube

Lovers of the beautiful game are going to be glued to their screens for the Soccer World Cup starting on Thursday.

But fans are said to be divided after the tournament’s official song was released.

The jol number, Live It Up, features US rapper and actor Will Smith.

Some on social media asked how the tune’s Latin American feel fits in with the tournament’s host country Russia - and compared it unfavourably with past efforts including Shakira’s Waka Waka theme for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Some were more puzzled by the choice of performers - Smith is joined by Puerto Rico-born Reggae artist Nicky Jam and singer Era Istrefi, who describes herself as “Albanian Kosovar” - none of whom are from countries competing in this year’s contest.

“The World Cup song doesn’t have any football ring to it. Blegh. How is Messi gonna dance to Live It Up?!” Twitter user @arla_I said, referring to Argentina star Lionel Messi.

Others were won over by the energetic track, with its affirming chorus, “One life, live it up/’Cos we got one life”.

Calling the song “awesome”, @Ikkappa tweeted: “It’s a fact that no song can rival Wavin Flag, Waka waka and La Copa de la vida, but this one definitely has the World Cup vibe to it.”

The trio will perform Live It Up in front of spectators before the World Cup final in Moscow on 15 July.

“It’s an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” Smith said.

“Collaborating with Nicky, (producer) Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance.”

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