With over 4 billion fans spread across the globe, soccer is by far the most popular sport throughout the world. It’s become life to many let’s look at the reasons to play!
The modern format of soccer can be traced back to 1863, almost 160 years ago, when the Football Association was formed in England.
Things have changed a bit since then, from both a social and economic perspective, but the basics remain the same.
Two teams, two goals, one ball, and one pitch. Simple!
Some people are lucky enough to earn a living from soccer, bringing them fame and fortune on a global scale. But what about the rest of us?
I’ve been playing soccer since I was a young child and never taken a dime for my services!
So, what are the reasons for me to play week in week out, regardless of the weather? The answer is simple, the love of the game.
How do you explain soccer to someone?
Soccer is a game of two halves, split into two 45 minutes sections. The teams play in the opposite direction to each other, which switches at halftime.
The primary aim of the game is to score more than the opponent. That is to get the ball over the line, in the goal.
Although to some it may seem odd, kicking a ball from one side of the field to the other – there’s a lot more to it!
- Physical Prowess
Soccer is a team game, with eleven players on one side, they all must give their all for any success.
For soccer to be explained, it important that you support one of the teams – of course you can be a neutral and support both, but there’s more excitement when you back a team.
Soccer has many rules, which can confuse people from the beginning, but it’s important to know the basics first.
The experience of watching and playing soccer
With soccer being so popular on a global scale, there are plenty of games to be found on TV.
Tune in and soak up the atmosphere that over 40,000 fans generate when supporting their team, singing songs, and shouting encouragement.
Better still, get them to a live game. There’s nothing like entering the stadium and being part of the experience for yourself with the noise, the smells, and the electric atmosphere.
Walking up the steps of the stadium to the field side, you are met with a deafening roar, unusual smells, and a range of colors.
Sitting in a stadium is the ultimate soccer experience when there’s a playoff of a final to be won.
What inspires you to play soccer?
Soccer is a game that can be played by anyone, short, tall, lean, or otherwise. It’s all-inclusive! You don’t need to be a certain size to take part.
Soccer can be played almost anywhere. As long as you have a ball, you can play.
Soccer is a healthy way to have fun. Even when you’re a beginner, you can perform some tricks that will get you hooked.
The entry point to playing soccer is low, which allows the smallest of kids to participate. Even toddlers can play soccer!
This is the beauty of the game, anyone can play and at any stage of their life. Above all, it was about having fun.
As I got older, inspiration could be found in other places. I played in a team that was better than most, winning more often than not.
Other sports, like football, golf, tennis, all require a level of skill and functionality to begin, whereas soccer is open to all.
What is so great about soccer?
Soccer is great as it gives us an escape from reality, if only for 90 minutes. It’s important to look after our mental health as much as our physical well-being and soccer ticks both of the boxes.
- Technical nature
- Tactics and positions
- Ever changing aspects throughout the game
Soccer brings people together from different walks of life, all uniting behind a team, sticking together in both victory and defeat.
I find it heartening that clubs have a presence within a community, giving something back to the fans with various social programs.
Soccer might unite some people but it can also divide opinion, none more so than when two rival supporters get together!
It’s great to hear differing views centered around the same incident, neither wanting to give any ground on their opinions.
Why does soccer make you happy?
Being on the pitch and taking part is enough to release a batch of endorphins and make you feel happy. This is also true when your team wins.
When I was playing 11-a-side a few years ago, I was always happy when things were running smoothly and my team was playing well.
As a forward, my role in the team was to score goals and it was always a rush when the ball hit the back of the net.
These days, I can take joy from watching teams play an attacking style of soccer. Teams such as Manchester City are great to watch when in full, attacking flow as they pick apart their opponents.
It makes me happy that soccer embraces diversity and encourages people to play regardless of their sex, ethnicity, or religion.
Soccer includes everyone from any walk of life, helping people with disabilities or mental health problems to play and socialize with other soccer fans.
This goes to show that, once you take up soccer, you’re part of the wider soccer family.
Reasons why soccer is the best sport
Soccer is the most popular sport across the globe but does that make it the best? Obviously, this is down to personal opinion, some people will favor other sports such as boxing or basketball.
Here is a list of things that, in my opinion, make soccer the best sport in the world. In no particular order:
It’s easy to get started
Anyone can play soccer, all you need is a ball! You don’t have to belong to a club or team to play, you can still kick a ball around for the sheer fun of it.
Find a place that has enough space for you to play in and you’re ready to go.
You can play on your own or with a few friends, the choice is yours. Mastering the basic skills of the game is a good start if you want to participate;
Play your way to fame and fortune
Soccer doesn’t have to cost a small fortune for you to get started. The equipment required is minimal in comparison to other sports which makes it more accessible to the fan on the street.
Whether you hail from the favelas of Brazil or the relative comfort of Beverly Hills, soccer doesn’t discriminate.
Everyone can get involved! Even if you don’t have the cash to buy the basics, you can improvise to get a game started.
Soccer has been around for a long time and many clubs, predominantly in Europe, were formed back in the 1800s.
There is also some evidence to suggest that there were rudimentary forms of soccer dating back even further so the game is rich in historical value.
Soccer has changed considerably since its inception and it’s interesting to see how it was in different eras. Who is the greatest player to grace the game?
The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominate the sport right now, but how do they compare to players of yesteryear?
If you have never had the pleasure of watching Pele score a goal or Johan Cruyff perform his trademark turn, see the videos below;
When you play at a grassroots standard, some of the pitches can be less than ideal. At the pro level, the grass is a luscious green and perfectly even.
The fans create an electric atmosphere as they lend their support to their team, grown people singing at the top of their voices.
When things are going well the stadium is almost rocking, it’s a sight to behold!
Every game is different
The basics are the same, score a goal or two more than the opponents, but there are many different ways to reach a positive result.
There is no better sight than watching a top team carving open a tight defense with flowing, attacking soccer.
Similarly, when you’re on the pitch yourself, being part of a great passage of play that results in a goal is just as exhilarating.
Games can be won with one moment of sublime skill, with an unbelievable save from the goalkeeper or a last-ditch goal-line clearance from a defender.
Every player on the pitch has a role to play and it’s very satisfying when you and your teammates pull together to get a winning result.
What can soccer teach you?
Soccer can teach us many things that can be useful in our everyday lives. Here are a few examples:
- Decision making
- Learning from mistakes
- How to win and lose gracefully
In conclusion, there are many reasons as to why it’s good to play soccer, each of which is down to individual choice.
Whether it’s for mental and physical fitness, to socialize with friends, or simply for the love of the game, soccer is life for many reasons – it’s a beautiful game.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into the beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade