Notes on the 'king of sports

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That soccer is the king of sports in a huge number of countries is undeniable. You only have to go to the sports news (in spanish: noticias deportivas) of any newspaper to realize that soccer news (noticias sobre fútbol) is the one that takes up the most space and in sports newspapers (periódicos deportivos), both digital and paper, it is without a doubt the owner of the front pages.

Introduction to soccer

Given the immense popularity of "footwork" around the world, the UN established World Football Day on December 10. There are many legends about the origin of soccer. But modern soccer appeared in England in the middle of the 19th century. The case of soccer is similar to chess or tennis, which although as a concept can be traced back several centuries, it is not until the contemporary era that the rules of what these sports will be are set. 

A little bit of contemporary history

On May 21, 1904, in Paris, representatives from seven states: France, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark met to create the International Federation of Football (FIFA). Curiously, among the organizers of the association was not the country in which modern soccer originated: England. 

The founder and inspirer of such a great idea was the French journalist Robert Guerin, who was elected the first president of FIFA. There were eight FIFA leaders in total. Today, Gianni Infantino leads the world's largest organization. FIFA is based in Zurich. The founders of modern soccer introduced many innovations, most of which are still in place today. 

What we 'learned' from the English

In 1863, the British created the first National Football Association, which served as an example for other countries. The final number of players in the team was established: eleven players. In 1871, they decided to play two halves of forty-five minutes. In 1873, a referee was introduced, when the team captains, hoarse, could not agree among themselves. In 1891, the penalty kick was "designated". William McCrum was the author of the idea of creating a free kick in soccer. There is such an interesting legend that a footballer, John Penalty, got tired of the constant rough play of the opponents (an echo of the rugby from which soccer started), then created such a punishment, which was immediately dubbed "the death penalty". 

In 1928, finally, the strongest soccer power in the world was identified. The meeting of the FIFA commission in Amsterdam decided to hold the first official World Cup. Since in those days there were no clear criteria for selecting candidates for the championship, FIFA management made a decision on Solomon's behalf. In 1924 and 1928, the Uruguayan team was proclaimed champion of soccer in the Olympic Games , so this country was granted the right to host the first world championship.

Thirteen national teams from around the world arrived on the South American continent in 1930 to identify the strongest team on the Hamburg scoreboard. Surprisingly, the founders of soccer were absent among the participants of the prestigious competition. As it should be, the first World Cup was taken by the hosts of the tournament: the national team of Uruguay (out of 19 championships, the hosts won in 6 cases).

Later, in 1966, at the World Championship held in England, a mascot was introduced for the first time: Willy, the lion's whelp. 

Soccer...and its offspring

There are many varieties of soccer. The most common ones: indoor soccer, beach soccer, showball, a game in a field hockey box and in Spain are considered almost at the level of sport the table soccer and the football-soccer. There are also absolutely exotic types of soccer : marsh soccer, a game in the mud of a marsh, Florentine soccer, a game without rules in which whoever scores the most goals wins, rush ball, Russian soccer, footdullball, a game with two balls... 

Women's soccer

Despite being a sport traditionally practiced by men, women's soccer is gaining followers every day. In this case it is curious to see how in one of the few countries where soccer is a minority sport, as is the case in the United States, it is women who have managed to form the best teams and those who are taking it to the highest levels of excellence. Let's remember that in the United States the word soccer is used to refer to American soccer, and that European soccer is known there as soccer.

Soccer Awards

The most prestigious soccer awards are the Golden Boot, which has been awarded since 1968 to the top scorer in the European national championships. And the second prize is the Golden Ball: it has been awarded to the best footballer of the year in Europe since 1956, and since 2007 worldwide. 

The most awarded and greatest footballer of "all times and peoples of soccer" is the Brazilian Pelé. He is rightly called the "king" of soccer. Among modern footballers, the most famous and richest are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The clubs that want to buy them will have to pay a considerable amount: more than one hundred million euros each. 

Curious data

Some interesting facts about soccer that maybe you didn't know:

Until recently, the legendary Maracana Stadium (Rio de Janeiro) was the largest soccer stadium. But after its reconstruction, the palm tree was moved to the First of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. 

The soccer uniform appeared only in the 19th century. However, it was very difficult. The players wore long pants and wool shirts when it was cold. It provided warmth and at the same time accumulated humidity. As a result, athletes found it difficult to move around. The wool clothing was itchy and many experienced allergic reactions and body rashes.

An interesting fact about soccer is that the goal crossbar emerged in the mid-19th century. In the beginning, a rope stretched horizontally performed this function. After 9 years, it was replaced by a rigid crossbar.

At the end of the 19th century, a businessman who manufactured fishing nets suggested using his products for soccer goals. He patented his invention. As a result, the entrepreneur began to sell the net to British clubs. The largest club at that time paid the entrepreneur 6 pence for his net.

The professional soccer ball comes in standard shape and size. The parameters have not changed for over 120 years. The circumference of the soccer ball is 28 inches.

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