A Brief History of Soccer

A Brief History of Soccer

The most common name used for this popular sport around the world is Football, although in the United States they call it Soccer.

Throughout history we can find various forms of football, and all of them have influenced the sport as we know it nowadays. Originally, it was a peasant game, and a very popular one for what is worth it, and there was not much equipment required to play: something to act as a goal, a ball and a bunch of young people willing to have a good time. What we know today as soccer is an idea that originated in English public schools in the 19th century.

Origins of Soccer in England

The expansion of the British Empire lead to an increased popularity of the game. The Football League, the first League formed in the world in the year of 1888, was formed in England. However, the different types of football all have elements in common, regardless of the club and country is being played at. The common grounds are, first that there are two teams with 11 to 18 players; second there’s a clearly defined field in which these players play. Third, scoring is the action of getting the ball into the goal area on the side of the field. And last, the ball is moved, of course with the players’ foot, by kicking it repeatedly.

Football was being played all over England in various forms, but it was the school system that organized the sport that we now know and love. Is thanks to the found literature from the school system and the people whom attended these schools, that today we can see the evolution of the sport. It was in the late 18th century when they began to codify the game, creating the offside rule, one that has changed overtime and generations, but still holds the same principal idea regardless. Little by little schools started taking the sport, as it was a way to keep boys fit and in shape as well as to regulate and encourage a healthy competition between them. The structured format and set of rules allowed schools to compete against other schools in the area and guide themselves by the same rules and norms. The sport grew in popularity, of course, and so did football clubs and foundations. And with that, the professional competition came along, allowing people to compete against each other and test their skills on a much larger scale. As the sport grew, rules and landmarks were set, in 1891 the penalty kick was first introduced. But it wasn’t until the 1970 that the yellow and red card were implemented.

Ancient Origins

The sport can be traced all the way back to the Romans and Greeks. Both civilizations were known for playing ball with their feet, and the game is mentioned even in the 215-150 AD. However, those games are more similar to what we know today as rugby, but the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) acknowledges these records as origins to the beloved game of today.


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