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Soccer, also often referred to as football or league football is a game in which two teams play using a round ball, with each team consisting of eleven participants. At the beginning of the 21st century, the sport was played by an excess of 250 million players. This was in over 200 nations, and this made the game the planet’s most popular game that is played by teams.
The sport is played on a grass pitch or a synthetic lawn that takes the form of a rectangle. Goal posts are set in the center of each of the short ends. The aim of the sport is to get a score(s) by taking the ball into the opponent’s goal. In normal play, the only team member permitted to touch the ball using their hands or arms is the goalkeeper.
Pitch players normally make use of their feet to boot the ball into position, making use of their upper body or head to cut off a ball above the ground (Amos 1). The side that will have put in the most goals at their opponents’ side by the ending of the game is the winner.
In cases where the scores are the same for both teams at the end of the game, either a draw is affirmed or the match proceeds into extra time and/or a penalty shootout. All these will rely on the arrangement of the competition.
In the usual match play, participants try to make goal-scoring chances by individual direction of the ball. Activities include dribbling, passing to teammates and by shooting at the opponent’s goal that is defended by the opponent goalkeeper. Opponent participants may attempt to take back the ball through the cutting off passes or by embark upon the opposing player having the ball.
On the other hand, bodily contact between opposing players is not allowed. The game of soccer is usually a free-flowing game, with play coming to a stop just when the ball has gone out of the pitch of play or in a case where the match official has signaled so due to a violation of the rules of play. Following a stop, play gets back with a clearly signaled start again.
At an expert stage, many matches produce just a small amount of goals. For instance, the 2005-2006 season of the English Premier League ended up with a mean of 2.48 goals for every game played. The regulations of the sport do not stipulate any participant positions save for that of the goalkeeper. However, a number of specified positions have developed. These positions entail three key groups (Stuart 1).
Strikers are also referred to as forwards, and their key role is to get scores. Defenders are the players who focus on putting a stop to their opponents from getting any scores. Midfielders are mainly tasked with depriving the opponent players of ball possession in a bid to pass it to the strikers on their team. Participants in these three main positions are called outfield players to differentiate them from the goalkeeper.
These play positions are split in relation to the position of the pitch in which the player takes most time. For instance, there are central defenders and left and right midfielders. The outfield participants may be organized in any arrangement. The amount of participants in every position decides the form of the squad’s play.
Extra strikers and reduced defenders generate a more forceful and attack-minded game, whereas the opposite generates a duller, more defensive form of play.
Despite the fact that participants spend much of the game in a certain position, there are hardly any limitations on player movement, and players can swap positions at any instance. The arrangement of a squad’s players is referred to as a formation. Coming up with the squad’s formation and strategies is normally the choice of the team’s manager.
The regulations of the sport were initially systematized in England by the Football Association in 1863, and a number of alterations have been incorporated from then. Soccer is run globally by the body FIFA, which arranges the FIFA World Cup after every four years.
The development of soccer in the past century
Over the past century, soccer has developed dramatically, some say positively, and some say negatively. From the positive perspective, new tactics, schematics, competitions, player movements to foreign clubs and the economic gains from the game have all made it the most popular sport on the face of the planet (Adams 1). The game has become so professional in that various forms of play have been developed.
In the developed world, there are soccer academies where young talent is nurtured for the future. Coach and official training institutions have as well been developed, and all these have taken the game to the next level in that one can take a career in any of the disciplines of the game, and live comfortably just like any other professionals like doctors or engineers.
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Top notch and entertaining club and national competitions have also been developed. These are highly significant in the sporting calendar(s) world over. Accompanying all these are the positive economic gains that cannot be ignored. A talent in the sport has become a sure way to financial freedom.
Talented players can now play in foreign clubs so long as they meet the regulations for working in that country. Other than financial gains, clubs and national teams have increasingly gotten into deals with leading firms for financing and sponsorship. Such companies gain from the publicity they get by being associated with these teams.
The game has hitherto become global as compared to the commencement of the 20th century when it was not played much outside England. The Football League and the FA Cup were substantially instituted in Britain. However, outside this serious football competitions were not so.
In and of itself, football in the past century is best retraced back to the year 1904. This year was momentous since it saw the coming up of FIFA. This body was established in May of that year in Paris to administer worldwide contests. Its first head was Robert Guerin.
With the coming up of FIFA, a worldwide football competition soon came up. This was in 1908 when the first Olympic football competition was staged. A small number of teams took part in the competition. As one would have expected, Great Britain emerged the winners and their win was attributed to their longer experience in the sport as opposed to other nations at the time. They beat Denmark 2 – 0 in the final (Adams 1).
Later on in 1930, the FIFA World Cup was founded. Uruguay was the first host nation of the competition. They went on to become the first team to win the competition, beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.
In the 50s decade, more nations from Europe took up the sport. Following this, UEFA came up in 1954 as the administration body for European football. It did not take a long while, and the first European club competition was established. This was to feature the continent’s top teams.
At first, 16 teams participated, and this was in 1955. The tournament was won by Real Madrid form Spain. The establishment of this competition was followed by two other club competitions. These were the UEFA Fairs Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup.
The development of these competitions saw the 60s being a peak for the game. The FIFA World Cup was held in England in 1966 and the host nation emerged victorious after beating Germany in the final.
The 70s saw Holland possibly having a number of the best teams. They got to the World Cup final twice in the period but did not emerge victorious in any of their appearances. Ajax as well had a number of the top club squads and emerged victorious in the European Cup.
The 1980s marked the coming into effect of 3 points for a win in any game. This suggestion was settled on by the FA in the early years of the decade and was applied in the English Football League. Almost immediately, this would turn into a typical amount of points for teams that triumphed in league matches.
The 1998 FIFA World Cup was occasioned in France, and it featured 32 teams. The host nation won the competition by beating Brazil in the final (Adams 1). Many felt that it was appropriate for France to lift the trophy at the end of the century since the competition owed a lot to the nation.
Numerous negative developments were observed in the sport as it developed. The problem of racial abuse has always been experienced, and the world governing body of the sport, FIFA has to be given credit for fighting to eliminate the practice. Racially abusive players and fans have had to pay hefty fines, and thus the practice has gone down in recent times.
In the past, discrimination was not just founded on racial grounds, opposing team supporters form the same country, or even locality was experienced especially in England and Italy. Riots and attacks were experienced, but fortunately, the beautiful game seems to have put such incidences behind as safety has been enhanced for every player, official, and spectator.
Football in the past century saw the coming up of some of national and club competitions. Taken as a whole, the FIFA World Cup emerged to be the most high-ranking, whereas some like the Olympic football went down in significance.
At the club stage, the coming up of the Champions League in 1992 has as well led to other club competitions like the Cup Winners Cup and probably the UEFA Cup go down considerably. However, in the face of this, soccer is currently much liked thanks to FIFA and other regional and national bodies for their vigorous support of the game.
Adams, Mathew. “History of soccer in the 20th century”. Helium. 2010. Web.
Amos, Julie-Ann. “The History Of Soccer – Over 2000 Years Of Sporting Evolution”. The HistoryOf.net. 2008. Web.
Stuart, Darrell. “History of soccer”. Darrell Stuart. Com. 2010. Web.