Kick and Goals – Football for All
According to a 2014 FIFA survey, more than 265 million people are actively involved in soccer. There are places where the game carries a special charm such as Brazil, Argentina, England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, the list could go on and on. These countries come to a standstill during World Cup games and produce some of the best players in the world year after year. However there are other countries as well where the sport is pretty popular and having a large population of soccer devotees.
United States - There are actually more than 3 million people under the age of 18 who play competitively. That makes it the second most popular team youth sport in the country, behind only basketball.
South Africa - Soccer is the most popular sport in South Africa by far, with some two million people playing it and countless others supporting local, regional and national teams.
Australia - The sport has a higher participation rate than any other in the country, with nearly a million people who say they play the game.
Uruguay – The country’s national team is a world power, and it consistently produces some of the best players in the world.
Costa Rica - The sport is so ingrained in the culture of the country that even the smallest villages feature soccer fields, many of them placed at the center of town.
History of Football
Football or soccer as the game is called in some parts of the world has a long history. Football in its current form arose in England in the middle of the 19th Century, but alternative versions of the game existed much earlier and are a part of the football history.
The first known examples of a team game involving a ball, which was made out of a rock, occurred in old Mesoamerican cultures for over 3000 years ago. Other earlier variety of ball games had been known from Ancient Greece. The ball was made by shreds of leather filled with hair. The first documents of balls filled with air are from the 7th century.
The First Football Clubs
Football clubs have existed since the 15th century but unorganized and without an official status. Some historians suggest that the Foot-Ball Club was formed in 1824 at Edinburgh. The oldest and still existing professional football club is the English club Notts County that was formed in 1862. In 1883, the first international tournament took place and included four national teams: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Football was for a long time a British phenomenon, but gradually spread to other European countries. The first game that took place outside Europe occurred in Argentina in 1867.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and a foundation act was signed by representatives from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In the late 19th Century only a few national football teams existed. Today there are 211 national associations included in the FIFA, which is the world governing body of the sport.
The players on the pitch are some of the most influential and famous people in the world. From Manchester United to Real Madrid, they play for some of the most valuable sports franchises and are among the most recognizable people on the planet. They possess the level of fame where even the mention of their name creates a news cycle, trend on social media etc. Some of the famous names that rule the soccer grounds today are Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Wayne Rooney (Everton) and among others.
With the teams competing for the World Cup 2018 and the shocking fall-out of some of the top contenders from the championship league, it is interesting to see who wins the trophy this year. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball for thousands of years. The phrase football is enough to make the younger go crazy graciously. It is an exciting time for football as it is constantly grown worldwide. Events such as the FIFA globe cup make the game even more fascinating, which also happens to become a favorite game for millions of individuals.
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