The amazing game of soccer is played in every continent, and is the world’s most popular sport. It is proven to be one of the number one sports to be played and watched. Because its fans and players are so devoted, the sport continues to grow. Requiring only a ball and open space, the activity is available to anyone, whether rich or poor, male or female, athletic or not. Over the years, soccer has won the hearts of many because of its unique history, many benefits, and notable achievements.
Soccer has proven to be a notable sport throughout the years starting with its unique history. Soccer began all over the world tracing back thousands of years. The Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Ancient Greek, Persian, Vikings, as well as other nationalities all played a form of the game soccer. In China and Rome, games that were similar to soccer were played around 200 B.C. (Helmer and Owens, 5). People believe that soccer started more than a thousand years ago when villagers killed attacking pirates by cutting off their heads and kicking them around (Helmer and Owens, 5). As time went on, people in Europe also played a game similar to soccer during Medieval Times. In fact, soccer was used to prepare warriors for battles in Ancient Greece and Rome (Dilov-Shultheis). In later history, the English called the game “Football” because soccer was played by kicking the ball with the foot (Helmer and Owens, 6). The name “soccer” came to be when the American’s Association Football was shortened to assoc., and later to soc. Eventually in 1895 it was called soccer (Helmer and Owens, 9). By the late 1700s and 1800s, soccer was played in many universities, but the rules were not specific until 1846 when players at Cambridge University made up the first set of rules. Later in 1872, the Football Association developed the world’s first FA Cup and the association voted that the players should
be paid (Gifford, 10). Twelve English teams joined to make soccer’s first professional league (Helmer and Owens, 10). FIFA was established in 1904 and organized the first World Cup in Uruguay (Howard, 6). In 1913 the U.S. Soccer Association joined the FIFA in 1913, although the first college “football” game in America was played by Princeton and Rutgers back in 1869 (Howard, 43,40). The traditional powerhouses of international soccer have been Europe and South America (Gifford, 12). FIFA is the dominant organization that is in control of world soccer (Gifford, 12). The sport became so popular that the first European Championships for women were held in 1984 and the first women’s World Cup started in 1991. Eventually an Olympic women’s competition was launched in 1996 (Gifford, 11). The benefits of soccer were becoming more apparent around the world as the game progressed.
In addition to having a unique history, soccer is an interesting sport with many benefits. Physical benefits are numerous in...