Soccer (also known as football) is the most popular sport in the world.
It is played between 2 teams of 11 players, with the objective being to put the ball in the opponents goal more often than they do yours.
The general rules of football as we know them today have been around since 1863.
Soccer balls were originally made from animal bladders.
Games usually last 90 minutes, split into two 45 minute halves.
Extra time may be added in the case of a draw and penalty shootouts are sometimes used if a winner still can’t be found.
Only goalies can use their hands to control the ball, and only inside the 18-yard box.
The fastest ever goal recorded was less than 3 seconds!
International football is run by FIFA.
The men’s football World Cup, held every 4 years, is the world’s most watched sporting event. The first tournament was held in 1930. Brazil have been the most successful men’s team.
The first women’s World Cup was held in China in 1991. The United States has been the most successful women’s team.
Over one billion people watched the 2019 women’s World Cup in France.
Around 200 countries compete in qualifying just to qualify for the World Cup.
England’s FA Cup, started in 1872, is the world’s oldest football competition.
Some of the largest domestic leagues include England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1 and Italy’s Serie A.
The Ballon d’Or is an award given to the world’s best football player for that year. Argentina’s Lionel Messi has won the award 7 times, while Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo has won 5.
Soccer is played at the summer Olympic Games.
A red card (or 2 yellows) in soccer results in a player being sent off. They were first used at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
Modern technology has been increasingly used to assist referees in difficult decision making, including goal line technology and video assistant referees (VAR).