Soccer: The Most Popular Sport In The World Essay

According to dictionary. com, soccer is a form of football played between two teams of 11 players, in which the ball may be advanced by kicking or by bouncing it off any part of the body but the hands, except in the case of the goalkeepers, who can use their hands to catch, carry, throw, or stop the ball (soccer). In every society, there are many different things and many differences in common but there is one thing that links us all. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Soccer is a sport that is played in every continent in the world. Also, soccer is the one and only sport without borders.

Soccer has grown and still is growing throughout the world. Soccer is the most interesting sport because its skills are impressive. The game consists of 90 minutes in total or two halves of 45 minutes. Soccer can help you stay fit and healthy. According to the webpage “The History of Soccer”, More than 240 million people around the world play soccer regularly according to the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA). The game has evolved from the sport of kicking a rudimentary animal-hide ball around into the World Cup sport it is today.

As the sport developed, more rules were performed and more historical landmarks were set. For example, the penalty kick was introduced in 1891. Red and yellow cards were introduced during the 1970 World Cup finals. More recent major changes include goalkeepers being banned from handling deliberate back passes in 1992 and tackles from behind becoming red-card penalties in 1998.

Some of the top players throughout history include Pele (Edson Arantes Do Nascimento) from Brazil, who scored six goals in the 1958 World Cup and helped Brazil claim its first title; Lev Yashin from Russia, who claimed to have saved more than 150 penalty shots during is outstanding goal-tending career; and Marco Van Basten from Holland, who won several very prestigious soccer awards during one year alone. There are many debates over who the greatest soccer players are of all time; but players like Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Lionel Messi, and Roberto Baggio make almost every list. (the history of soccer). Fig. 1. This is what a soccer ball looks like (Exposureguide). There are many outstanding soccer stadiums around the world now.

Some of the best stadiums in the history of soccer include Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, that remains the biggest soccer stadium in Europe; the plush venue of Louis II in Monte Carlo, Monaco, that known as one of the most comfortable stadium in the world; and the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan, that considered the most high-tech venue in the world because of its movable roof and hundreds of lights to eliminate any hint of shadows on the field (The history of soccer). Fig. 2. This is one of the biggest soccer stadiums in the world.

It is located in Madrid (Azzoni, Tales). Soccer in the United States is governed by the United States Soccer Federation, commonly known as U. S. Soccer. The organization governs all levels of soccer in the country, including the national teams, professional leagues, and the amateur game. With more than 14 million Americans playing soccer in the United States, soccer is the fourth most played team sport in the U. S. , behind basketball, American football and baseball/ softball.

The popularity of soccer in the U. S. as been growing since the 1960s and 1970s, and received a significant boost when the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. In the United States, the sport of association football is mainly referred to as “soccer”, as the term “football” is primarily used to refer to the sport of American football (History of soccer in the United States). According to “History of Soccer”, the highest professional soccer league in the U. S. is Major League Soccer. MLS began play in 1996 with 10 teams, and has grown to 20 teams (17 in the United States and 3 in Canada), with further expansion planned.

The MLS season runs from March to December, with the regular-season winner awarded the Supporters’ Shield and the post-season winner awarded the MLS Cup. With an average attendance of over 18,000 per game, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U. S, and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league worldwide. Soccer fans follow the U. S. national teams in international competitions. The men’s national team of U. S. has played in every World Cup since 1990.

The FIFA World Cup has become increasingly popular with U. S. TV audiences, with the World Cup final drawing 24 million American viewers. The women’s national team has won the Women’s World Cup twice (History of Soccer in the United States). Stated on Wikipedia, Over 24 million Americans play soccer as of 2006. There are 4. 2 million players (2. 5 million men and 1. 7 million women) registered with U. S. Soccer. Thirty percent of American households contain someone playing soccer, a figure second only to baseball. Increasing numbers of Americans, having played the game in their youth, are now avid spectators.

The annual ESPN sports poll has shown soccer as the fourth most popular team sport in the United States every year since overtaking hockey in 2006; as of 2011, 8. 2% of Americans rank soccer as their favorite sport (compared to 3. 8% for hockey). A 2012 Harris Interactive poll showed soccer to be the fifth favorite team sport, with 2% of Americans ranking soccer as their favorite (compared to 5% for hockey). A 2011 ESPN sports poll ranked soccer as the second most popular sport in the country for 12-24-year-olds.

In 2013, Lionel Messi became the thletes in the U. S in an ESPN poll, although he was not listed in the Top 10 in a Harris poll. (History of soccer in the United States). The Skills of Soccer states “the enthusiasm for soccer as it is known throughout the rest of the world – is infectious and has spread across the United States. Everywhere teams are springing up, both on school and professional levels. The more the game is played for pure enjoyment, the sharper skills become. And the more skills develop, the greater will be the enjoyment” (Tyler 3).