Soccer, football, call it what you like, the world game has a ubiquity that no other sport can match. In fact FIFA, world soccer’s governing body actually has more member countries than the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. There are currently an astonishing 250 million people who play soccer worldwide, in an equally astounding 208 countries.
For the totally uninitiated soccer is simple. Put the ball into the back of the net without using your hands. The laws of soccer were officially codified in 1863, however the games origins can be traced back as far as 300BC.
Whilst soccer is played around the world, it borders on religion in parts of Europe and South America. Every four years the world gathers for the soccer World Cup, arguably the biggest sporting event on the planet. This tournament has only ever been won by European or South American nations. The most successful nation in soccer world cups is Brazil, who have been crowned world champions five times. The flare and style of the Brazilian game can best be summed up by the Portuguese phrase ‘Joga Bonito’ which translates to the ‘the beautiful game’.
Perhaps the best aspect of soccer is the fact that it can be played anywhere, at any time by anybody. No matter where you find yourself in the world, chances are you’ll bump into someone that speaks the language of soccer.