If you dream of being an Olympic athlete, football is not the sport for you. Though football was featured in the 1932 Summer Olympics as a demonstration event, the International Olympic Committee has yet to accept football as an Olympic sport. Soccer has been a regular feature of the Olympics since 1900.
Soccer has a truly global reach; football is largely contained within North America. Soccer is like an international language that crosses cultural barriers, allowing you to share your love for the game with other fans throughout the world. Whether you are in Brazil, Burundi, Belgium or Bangkok, you find people with a common interest in soccer.
Soccer provides more opportunities to compete internationally, at amateur and professional levels. Youth teams often go on tour abroad, and individual players can train in soccer camps across the world. At the highest level, soccer also gives you the chance to represent your national team against all other nations on the planet, something that football does not offer in any comparable way.
Soccer players are less prone to injuries than football players, according to the 2006 High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The one-year study found that football players had the highest injury rate, with 4.36 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures. Male and female soccer players had a rate of 2.43 and 2.36, respectively.
I know, I know. You're probably either cringing at the use of "soccer" instead of football, or wondering how a sport that sometimes ends in 0-0 ties and isn't regularly broken up by beer commercials could possibly be the best in the world. But let's put all that aside for a minute and talk about why this game -- whatever you want to call it -- is hands down, without question, the greatest sport that ever was.
- 1. First off, it's a global sport.
- 3. Plus, minimal equipment is required.
- 4. Meaning you can play anytime, anywhere.
- 5. Size matters less than agility and speed.
- 6. But it's still athletically rigorous -- you have to be in amazing shape to keep up.
- 7. Most sports get an "offseason" -- soccer doesn't.
- 8. Meanwhile, World Cups bring the entire planet together.
- 9. And with all the international friendlies taking place, you can see top teams play without spending a fortune.
- 10. Mostly, it's just beautiful to watch.
- 11. Especially when players master incredible tricks.
- 12. Soccer chants prove just how passionate fans are about this.
- 13. It's truly a team sport: Every person counts and anyone can score.
- 14. Women kick ass in the game -- there's a women's World Cup that also gets crazy viewership numbers.
- 15. Sportsmanship is an important part of the culture.
- 16. Soccer announcers are far superior to all other announcers in the sports world.
- 17. There are always new superstars whose fancy footwork or goal-scoring prowess seems to be a gift from the heavens.
- 18. And there is nothing more amazing then watching a goal effortlessly hit the net.
- 19. Mini celebrations after a player scores are the best.
- 20. But most importantly, more people watch soccer than any other sport in the world.