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The Wonderful Game Essay

Soccer is one of the oldest sports in the history of the planet. The game has been around before basketball, baseball, and hockey. It originate in Chine during the early second or first century B. C.. However, they did not play it the way we know it. They played a game called Tsu Chu which means to kick a ball of leather with the foot (Liss). Humanity is motivated by money and god. Money is not uncommon in soccer. Soccer is like a childhood desire to make dreams come true no matter what the cost. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is the one sport that rules it. To understand soccer you must also know it’s history.

As said above it was started by the Chinese. It was also played by the romans. They called it harpastum. (Liss) The natives of the Tower of Babel also played soccer. “Between fact and imagination when past ages are the study there is indeed but a narrow margin. It is just as likely that some form of football was indulged in by the natives of the Tower of Babel in their dimer hours, as the employes of some Glasgow factory spent their precious interval between a hurried meal and the sound of the steam hotter that recalls them to their work, in side games between the engine-house and the iron gates.

It is a mystery as just how they played the game, but the fact remains that they played some version of it (Glanville). Maori in New Zealand played a game called Ki-o-rahi with teams of seven players playing on a circular field divided into zones and scored points by touching the boundry markers and hitting a central target. A Japanese version was played during the Asuka period and was called Kemari. It was played within a Japanese imperial court in Kyoto in about 600 A. D.. Several people stand in a circle kicking the ball to each other trying not to let the ball touch the ground.

It died out sometime before the mid-19th century, but is back since 1903 and is played in many festival. In 1586 men from a ship commanded by a English explorer John Davis went ashore to play a form of the game with Eskimos in Greenland. In 1610 William Starchey a colonist from Jamestown recored a game played by Native Americans (Wiki). London schoolboys had begun to play soccer after dinner on Shrove Tuesdays in 1175. Some of the great public schools in England Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Charterhouse and Rugby had their own code of soccer (Glanville). The U. S. took over five hundred years to get into the game.

It wasn’t till about 1830 that the game came to our home country (Liss). After many years it was time to bring the different teams of England together to play. Thus, the Football Association was created in 1863. Also in 1863 the first set of rules were made by the FA. Soccer didn’t become a major sport in England and Scotland till 1872. In 1888 the first full time league was made. It wasn’t till 1908 that it became an olympic game . In 1930 there was success in the world cup (Wiki). In 1904 the Federation of International Football Associations or FIFA for short was established. The first club to play soccer was Dresden’s English F. C. in 1890 In 1906 Chelsea was created in London.

Chelsea F. C. is one of the greatest football clubs in England. The Bernabeu has been one of the oldest spanish club’s stadiums for many years housing Real Madrid, and was named after its first president Don Santiago Bernabeu (Glanville). Sports clubs dedicated to playing football like the London’s Gymnastic Society which stopped playing in 1796 rose up in the mid 1700s. Two clubs claim to be the oldest existing soccer clubs. The Barnes Clue in 1839 and guy’s Hospital Football Club in 1843 (Wiki). The first ever ball was used in England and was the head of some Danish brigand.

Kind Edward III banned soccer in 1365 due to growing incidents of violence and military indulgence. King James I of Scotland banned it in 1424 (HoS). The game of soccer is played in almost every country on the planet. Let’s take a look at the game in our own country. With over 13 million Americans that play soccer it is the third most played sport in the United States. The MLS which is the top league started in 1996. The MLS has 19 teams. Average attendance of 18,000. The men’s national team has played in every world cub since 1990, and the women’s national team as won the world cup twice.

Oneida Football Club was the first soccer club in the U. S.. The first U. S. match inspired by FA rules was between Princeton University and Rutgers University in 1869. Earliest example of governance was in 1884 when the American football Association was formed. There are over 24 million Americans playing soccer and 4. 2 million of them play professionally (Wiki). The U. S. made a team that reached the semifinals of the world cup in 1930, and defeated England in 1950, but still didn’t regard soccer as a major sport. 1967 is when the sport became a major sport in the country (Glanville). England is another major sport in soccer.

The first modern set of rules for the game was made in 1863. England has over 40,000 FA clubs. There are five English clubs that have won the European cup. In 1873 they had their first ever international win against Scotland. The national stadium at Wembley was opened in 1923. Man United was the first English club to win the European cup in 1967. The Premier league was found in 1992 and is the biggest English club, and the largest in the world (Wiki). Dribbling was a game in 1870s which said that the English character was that of selfish individualism (wiki). A lot of wars have been started by soccer.

The 100 hour war was a brief war fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. It began after a riot during the second North American qualifying round of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. The organization of American States negotiated a ceasefire. A peace treaty was signed eleven years later in 1980 (Wiki). In 1990 Zagreb’s Dinamo and Belgrade’s Red Star marked the beginning of Croatia’s war for independence. At the beginning of the match fans from both sides clashed. In the Ivory Coast a civil war was ensuing. Many fans thought that soccer could do more than any politician to end the war (Liss).

In soccer it’s important to know about some of the greatest players to ever live. Pele is one of the most well known players and is from Brazil. His career may be over, but he is remembered by many as the best player who ever lived (Glanville). He won the world cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He scored 760 official goals (About). Zito is another famous Brazilian player (Glanville). One of today’s current best players is Lionel Messi. He is nicknamed the Atomic Flea. He broke Gerd Muller’s record for most goals scored in a year with 91 in 2012. Johan Cryuff was a famous dutch player. He played for Ajax and Barcelona in the 60’s and 70’s.

He is considered by many to be Europe’s best ever player. He won three Ballon D’ors which are trophies given to the best player every year. Franz Beckenbauer was a famous German player. He won five Bundesliga titles and three European cups (About). Willy Mays and Mickey Mantel were some of the best U. S. players. England had Bobby Charlton as one their best players (Liss). In soccer there are many different types of competitions. The most well known and watched soccer competition is the FIFA World Cup. It is an international competition where teams around the world play against each other. Uruguay won the 1930 World Cup.

Brazil won the 1950 World Cup. England only won one World Cup, and that was in 1962 (Glanville). In 1872 the first international game was played between England and Scotland in Glasgow. The first international tournament was called the British Home Championship and was held in 1884. The World Cup expanded to 24 teams in 1982 and then to 32 in 1998. The World Cup started in 1930. It is held every four years except in 1942 and 1946 because of the second world war. The current champions are Spain who won the 2010 tournament. The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by 8 different national teams.

Brazil have won five times, Italy have won four times, Germany have won three times, Argentina and Uruguay have each won twice, and England and France and Spain have won once each. It is the most watched sporting event with about 715. 1 million people that watched the final in 2008 in Germany (Wiki). The U. S. has never done well in the World Cup“In order for the U. S. to be taken seriously as a soccer nation, we need to be playing at the end of the tournament, whether that’s the final or the semifinal. People have tried to put a timeframe on it forever; we just have to keep moving forward. Tim Howard a U. S. player on the World Cup (Today).

The olympics is also a big competition with soccer. Since 1952, Hungary has won the most olympic gold medals in soccer (Thinkquest). There are some smaller tournaments like the United Hospitals Challenge Cup that was made in 1874 (Wiki). Politics also play their part in soccer. In a World Cup game in 1934 Mussolini picked the referees in an attempt to win. In 1938 when Austria was annexed into Germany, Austrian player Matthias Sindelar refused to play for Germany. In 1974 East and West Germany clashed in a high tension game.

Argentina’s junta had seized power a couple years before the 1978 World Cup and planned to use it as propaganda for their regime. In How They Stole the Game by David Yallop they used bribery and intimidation to win the Cup. In an Iranian game against France there was rioting afterwards in defiance of government warnings in 1998. In 2008 when South and North Korea were to play each other the North said they would not let the South play it’s national anthem or wave its flag in their territory (CNN). It’s important to understand how the game is played. Soccer is a game with two teams between 11 or 18 players.

The object is to score more goals than the other team. You can score a goal by moving the ball to an opposing team’s end of the field and into a goal area or over a line. The goal or line is defended by the opposing team. Players are required to move the ball without using their hands. The players attempt to maneuver the football into the opposing team’s goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball, and then only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The winning team scores most goals over a set time period, usually 90 minutes (Wiki).

Association football is to be distinguished from those ”football” codes that allow general ball handling and arm tackling, notably ”American football,” Australian Rules football, rugby union, and rugby league. Football is sometimes known as the ”simplest game”: its 17 basic laws and minimal equipment (a ball) ensure that games may be improvised and played in informal settings (Wiki). Soccer is the world’s most popular team sport in participant and spectator numbers.

The global governing body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), estimated in 2000 that there are 250 million registered players, and over 1. billion people interested in Soccer. At the time of writing, FIFA boasts 205 member states, more than the 191 members of the United Nations, and, as a global organization, is eclipsed only by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) with 211 members (Wiki). The social and institutional aspects of soccer’s global spread are of sociological interest. Soccer’s international diffusion between the 1860s and 1914 was largely dependent upon British trade and educational influence overseas.

In Europe, British migrant workers would form teams and attract challenges from local sides; or young local men would return from their education or peregrinations in Britain with a ball and rulebook to teach the game to their compatriots. In Latin America, British engineers, railway workers, sailors, teachers, and pupils were largely responsible for introducing local people to Soccer. A similar story arises in Africa, though British soldiers also introduced Soccer in occupied territories such as modern-day Nigeria and South Africa.

Thus Soccer became more firmly established in the ”informal” British Empire (and where the game was introduced by working- and merchant-class colonizers), in contrast with other British sports like cricket and rugby, which became popular in those countries formally subject to British imperial rule (and where sports were introduced by colonizers who were public school educated and held elite administrative roles in the host societies) (Wiki). Soccer was probably seen by non-British peoples as more ”neutral” culturally, less compromised by imperialistic mores, as well as the most materially accessible form of modern sport.


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