Famous for being the number one sport worldwide, football (or soccer, for Americans) speaks passion and athleticism like no other sport.
From the sophisticated stadiums in Europe to the slums of Rio de Janeiro, almost everybody loves to play and watch football, young and old audiences alike.
In the following article, we explore some of the reasons behind the success of this beloved team sport that’s been a favorite for decades.
An Accessible Sport
It’s not difficult to imagine why football has grown so popular across the world. In essence, all that’s needed is a playable flat surface, a round ball, and some marks to delimit a goal post. Nets are optional for street play. This makes it infinitely more accessible compared to other disciplines that require special equipment, gear, fields, and more.
Easy to Learn, Thrilling to Play
The rules of the game are pretty straightforward and understandable even by youngsters. In professional football, two teams of 11 players (including one goalkeeper) face each other and try to score against their opponents. No hands are allowed. Even when played for fun, football requires agility, strategic thinking, and the ability to play as a team. It works to strengthen a person’s dexterity and swiftness.
Championships Gather Millions of Spectators Worldwide
The FIFA World Cup is the most viewed athletic global event, with over 4 billion spectators for the last one that took place in 2018.
There’s fervor and passion that ignites in the heart of every football fan when they see their team compete for the prized trophy. That said, whenever you miss a game, there’s always a specialized website to keep up with the latest scores, rankings, player transfers, and more. Be sure to find a trusted resource to stay on top of any latest development.
Skills, Techniques, and Teamwork
Football is a relatively accessible sport to engage in. That said, for more seasoned players, it’s all about mobilizing those skills for precision and artistry to make for a captivating, fast-paced game. In many ways, football can be deemed a very tactical and coordinated sport; without the right pass or the perfectly angled shot, the player risks making his team lose an opportunity to score.
Whether it’s playing or watching a game, the appeal of football lies in its sheer unpredictability. A team might dominate for the first half only to be overpowered by their opponents in the second half of the match. That’s why football can be hard to bet on; however, with experience and knowledge, you can master the art of sports betting.
Invariably, what gets people so interested in football are the rivalries between the teams. Liverpool v. Manchester United in England, Real Madrid v. Barcelona FC in Spain, Al-Ahly v. Zamalek in Egypt, only to name a few. The prospect of rival clubs getting together on the field is enough to spark a wave of enthusiasm and passion that’s rarely seen in other popular disciplines.
A Lucrative Industry
The football industry is among one of the most profitable there. Between event ticket prices, merchandising, TV broadcasting rights, sponsors, players contracts, and much more, international football generates several billions of dollars every year. This might explain why players earn fortunes; for reference, Neymar Jr. holds the record with a staggering €222 million when he joined Paris-Saint-Germain in 2017.
Age is not Restrictive
Football athletes and avid fans alike know that the sport is not about how old you are; but rather, how fast and tactical you are on your feet. In fact, it’s not rare for people to pick up football as early as 5 or 6 years old, and to practice until retirement and beyond. Unlike basketball or American football, a soccer player can turn pro as soon as his coach deems it possible.
Great Long-Term Opportunities
In disadvantaged countries socially and economically, the youth often dreams of becoming professional football players to overcome poverty and help out their communities. Stories such as Ronaldinho or Pele’s to this day continue to inspire millions of children and adolescents to pursue their athletic ambitions. This is the more human and charitable side of football, which many believe are why it has such a massive appeal among the youth.
All in all, there are a thousand reasons why football is so popular across the world. It’s easy to learn and get into, it’s thrilling to watch, and few sports manage to capture the passion and cheerfulness of so many people at once. In the end, the popularity of other disciplines such as basketball or baseball pales in comparison to that of football, and for justified reasons!