If any sport can be termed as the truest representative of a game played throughout the world with equal fervor and passion, Soccer officially named Association Football or more popularly in most part of the world as Football, is no doubt the only winner. Currently there are 300,000 soccer clubs worldwide comprising of 240 million players in 2005 alone1 There may be a billion players of soccer being playing throughout every nook and corner of every city, village or a stadium but all of them share the exact same instinct amongst them, the very passion to play the game. No game has ever enjoyed the stature and magnitude of success which soccer has accumulated in recent history and the money involved is simply outrageous where transfer fees for players to world class football clubs average in millions of dollars or pounds. Soccer’s history none-the-less is no less interesting and here’s a brief history of the global sport.
Soccer or football as it is most commonly known around the world is said to be as old as 2nd or 3rd century B.C. with “Tsu’Chu” being the name of the game which ancient Chinese armies used to play. The ball back then was made up of feathers and the players used to kick it in order to gain ball control and foot strength. It later evolved into another ancient game where the player had to shoot a small soccer-like ball through a tight circular target. Juggling of the soccer ball and all the game tricks are therefore not a new thing for today’s soccer players.
Another version of the game arose in South America where it was considered a sacred ritual which perhaps ended bloodily for the winner by cutting the winners head and the collected blood offered to the god of choice by the religious leader (most commonly known to be associated with the Aztecs)
However modern soccer, or football, as as we know today got into shape around the middle of the 19th century, when rugby, another ancestral sport, parted ways and professional soccer leagues came into existence in UK and other European countries. Along the next 100 years or so, soccer as we know today evolved; meaning that all the rules and regulations regarding the game were redefined. During the 20th century again the stalwarts of the soccer again met and they decided to hold the football world cup after every 4 years.
Soccer now is enjoying even more popularity with modern television coverage of all major competitions including the FIFA World Cup, regional clubs in all continents as well as professional leagues which bring in $400 Billion annual revenues, 80% of which is being earned by Europe.
With revenues from endorsements to advertising by branded companies and ever increasing television coverage around the world has brougt Soccer to center stage in most countries and brings in viewerships in billions when times comes to the FIFA world cup every four years.
With the internet age, watching football online has also gained immense popularity with internet coverage of live football matches from around the world; ideal for travelers who enjoy the sport or who do not receive the coverage of matches or perhaps enjoy watching live football streams from the comfort of their homes and now even through their smart phones in their pockets!