Football is not just passing a ball around and putting it into a net. It is a sport which combines teamwork, confidence, creativity, skills, talent and intelligence. Throughout the years, a lot of players have contributed to the art of football. Players like Pelé, Maradona, or Zidane made us live the game like never before. We followed them from club to club, and then in the World Cup. They are our heroes and till today, when we think about them, we cannot help but smile. Football is way more than a game, it’s a lifestyle!
Football: a sport for all ages
Football is a sport that appeals to all ages. Even without knowing the rules, a child would find great joy in kicking a ball around. It’s also very easy to make friends through football. The kid with the ball will generally attract other children who will also want to play. Football is also a game that doesn’t demand much equipment. One can play in the park, bare feet with just a ball which is generally not very expensive. Even if they cannot run that much, a lot of older people still enjoy playing football with their friends.
Football: a passion for life
Football is also a great way to stay in shape. It improves stamina, moves the whole body, and works on coordination as well. Contrary to popular belief, you do not require a lot of skills to play football. Someone who can control the ball, can act quickly, and can keep his composure can already be a decent player. However, it is true that when we see players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi, Rooney, or Zlatan Ibrahimović, the skills are part of the show. It is almost like admiring an artwork.
Football: much more than a game
Football fans are driven by passion. They will do anything for their team. Some will even travel across the world during big competitions to support their favourite players. In joy and sorrow, football fans will always support their team. Due to its popularity, football has made its way into pop culture. There are so many movies around this sport like Shaolin Soccer, Bend It Like Beckham, or She’s the Man. Football has also been the centre of a lot of video games (eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer) and will most certainly continue to be.
Throughout the years, a large number of football legends have graced the pitch with their skills and charisma. Players like Zinédine Zidane, Eric Cantona, Johan Cruyff or David Beckham have helped shape the football we see today and have also made the game more popular. These legendary players have touched so many people that there are documentaries that revisit their life and career. Some of them are still doing commercials with newcomers. It’s pretty safe to say that football would still be popular in the next 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years.
The origins of football
For most, football, or soccer as called in some countries, originated in the 19th century. However, a ball game involving two teams was introduced over 3,000 years ago in ancient Mesoamerican cultures. Apparently, the ball was made out of a rock and represented the sun. The game was also highly competitive at the time because the captain of the losing team would be sacrificed to the gods. There was also a variant of the game in China during the third and second century BC which was called Cuju. We will have to wait until the seventh century to find balls filled with air.
Introduction of football in England
According to sources, it was the Romans who introduced an early version of football to the British. However, the game was only developed in the twelfth century where it was played in meadows and roads of England. Unfortunately, the game was very violent at the time and it would cause a lot of accidents and deaths. It will thus be forbidden till the seventeenth century and then again in 1835. By this time, football would have already made its way into a schoolyard, even if it was far from what we see today.
At the time, it was quite difficult to distinguish football from rugby as people would play with both their hands and feet. Furthermore, there were no clear indications concerning the size of the ball or even the number of players. However, in 1863, the first Football Association was created and clearer rules were established. The first official competition took place in 1871, the Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) which is still very popular to this day. Twelve years later, the first international event took place involving England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. In 1904, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was founded.