It is incredible how people around the world live the sport of soccer, as if it was a religion. Soccer is the only sport in the world that can paralyze entire cities and countries for one single game. Explaining why people feel so passionate about this sport is very hard even for a soccer fan like me.
Soccer is one of the oldest sports that is still played today. According to FIFA, “ball games” like soccer were played as early as 200 B.C in the UK. The game changed a lot since then, and it wasn’t until 1857 when Sheffield F.C, the first ever soccer club, was founded in England. The oldest soccer competition that is still played today is England’s FA Cup which first competition was played in 1871.
The first official associated game between two nations was England vs Scotland played November 30, 1872. Everything escalated quickly, and it was in 1930 when the first ever World Cup was played in Uruguay.
I recently wrote an article about The History of Soccer, which I believe is pure gold and something any soccer enthusiast would enjoy reading.
One of the reasons why soccer and the World Cup are so popular is because they have a great time being played which has helped developed a soccer culture and a tradition that has been passed generation through generation until today.
Thankfully, I came up with a list of factors that make “The Beautiful Game” the most popular sport in the world:
Can be played anyhow anywhere
As I said before, the game can be played anywhere where there is space. Soccer being an outdoor sport is something that gives it a huge edge over other sports. But something even better is that soccer is one of the few sports that exists that can be played either outdoors or indoors, meaning that the game can be played basically anywhere.
Most of the time you’ll only need a soccer ball. However, a portable soccer goal can be a total game-changer and a smart purchase. To prevent wasting money just go to my Recommended Gear page and look at the ones I recommend.
Another thing that gives the game of soccer an advantage over other sports is the flexibility it offers. You can play soccer 11 vs 11 style in a full-size soccer field. You can also play 5 vs 5 in an indoor court or the beach. Playing 7 vs 7 is also possible in a turf field.
In fact, FIFA has official tournaments for different playing styles of soccer like: FIFA World Cup (official men 11 vs 11 tournament), Indoor Soccer or Futsal World Cup (5 vs 5 tournament), Beach Soccer World Cup (5 vs 5 soccer played in sand), as well as other informal Street soccer and freestyle tournaments.
What makes soccer so popular and so played widely around the world is the flexibility the game must adapt to your needs and preferences. If you don’t like one form of soccer you could play another and so on. A sport that can be played in any way and in whatever place possible will probably be very popular, just like soccer.
Focused on the player
In comparison to other sports, soccer is a game that is more player-focused than other. A game in where you can depend more on individual plays from a single player than other team sports. It gives the opportunity for the players to shine, which feels very pleasant for anyone.
In comparison to American football for example, the game is guided by the coach which calls every play that the team will make, and the players have to follow each one of his instructions. In soccer, the players must follow the coach’s instructions too, but if the team’s strategy is not working correctly, one player can always change the game with an individual play by himself.
The sport gives you more liberty to play the game with fewer restrictions and gives you the opportunity to shine more on the individual side. Something that anyone would like. However, in all sports players can shine too, what makes soccer different? Keep reading until the end,
You have no idea; how serious people take soccer in the world. Maybe not in the US, but in other countries, people take extremely personal what happens in a soccer game. Cities divide in two teams and sometimes riots may happen because of the outcome of some games. All of this happens because of the competitiveness soccer has.
This sport has everything to be super competitive: running, aggressiveness, heated atmosphere in games, fast developing, playing against the time. The more people play it, the more competitive it gets. Competition is something that attracts people to play and specially to watch the game. Most games at world cup and Champions League are very tight and teams do whatever it takes to win, which makes the game very entertaining to watch.
This is easily what makes soccer the most popular sport world-wide. Most of the sports are played just in one region of the world. For example, cricket is usually played in the UK and the commonwealth, baseball in America and Europe and parts of Asia, and American Football just in USA.
In contrast, soccer is played everywhere in the world. FIFA officially has 211 member countries divided into six regions (CONCACAF, UEFA, CONMEBOL, CAF, AFC, and OFC). Which means every country in every continent has the chance to play its qualification to a FIFA World Cup.
Being an internationally played sport means it will be the one with the most competition. If you are a soccer player, I recommend you make something to improve your game and always be one step ahead. I recommend you purchase a Soccer Training Program. Look here to see the one I advise you to invest in.
The country that wins the World Cup can be named “World Champions” as it is a tournament that gives a chance to countries from every region in the world to win it. In contrast to other tournaments like the Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Finals that are played in one single country.
This is what makes soccer so great. That a whole country has the chance to identify themselves with their soccer team. They feel as if the soccer players of their team are representing the whole nation, which is the case. No matter how many great soccer clubs are, it is hard to match the pride that makes you feel to see your country’s soccer team defend your flag’s colors.
A qualification to a world cup can unite a country as nothing else can. The great example of this is when my country, Panama, qualified to its first world cup. Everyone, even people who had never watched soccer before, were united cheering for our nation to qualify for this event. And when we did, everyone celebrated happily together.
Another great example was Syria during the last qualifications. A country with all the problems in the world, could totally forget about all of them for 90 minutes thanks to soccer. Definitely, soccer is so popular because it gives the opportunity to shine and feel pride to everyone and awakens great feelings even in those passing through struggles.