Basic Soccer Facts

A grasp of basic soccer facts will help anybody, even seasoned fans, better enjoy the game.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It is a sport played between two teams with eleven players each (including the goalie). The object of soccer is to score in the opposing team's net. Players can move the ball with any body part except their hands and arms.

Facts About Soccer

Soccer originated in Britain, where it remains popular. Though it's been around since the Middle Ages, it didn't become the organized, well-liked sport it is today until the 1800s. Soccer is known as football in Europe; in fact, it's known as football everywhere except for the U.S.

Sheffield FC is the world's oldest soccer club, forming in 1857. Other clubs soon followed and soccer became semi-professional in the 1860s.

Until 1913, goalies wore the same colored jersey as their teammates.

Rugby was developed from soccer, when a soccer player at the Rugby School picked up the ball and ran with it.
The field soccer is played on is commonly known as the "pitch." Games are called "matches."

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the head of organized international soccer.
Soccer is a rather simple sport to follow; there are only 17 rules. However, the offside rule in soccer is one of the most difficult sports rules to understand.

One of these seventeen rules governs substitutions. Though any number of people can sit on the bench and substitute during recreational matches, only five, seven or nine people can sit on the bench during professional games. Also, unlike recreational matches where any number of substitutions can be made, only three can be made during a professional match.

If a match is tied at the end and a winner must be determined, an extra fifteen minutes is added to the clock. If the score is still tied after these fifteen minutes, the two teams go to a shootout.

Some of the most famous soccer players include Pele, David Beckham, Diego Maradona, Bobby Charlton and Ronaldo.

The most people to ever attend a soccer match was 199,854, during a 1950 match between Brazil and Uruguay. 

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