Sports

Soccer Facts

Soccer is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a round ball and is known as football in most countries outside of the United States. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. See the soccer fact file below for more information.

  • No one knows exactly when soccer was created, but the earliest versions of the game can be traced back 3,000 years.
  • Soccer is the most popular game in the world. In many countries it is known as “football”.
  • In England, soccer was formed when several clubs formed the Football Association about 150 years ago.
  • Women started playing soccer around the same time as men did in England. However, originally men were the main players in the game. Women’s soccer began to become extremely popular in the 90s.
  • In China, the first soccer balls were made from sewn clothing that was filled with rubble. In Europe during the Middle Ages, soccer balls were made from inflated pig bladders.
  • Today most of the balls are made from layers of synthetic leather while the bladders inside the ball are made from latex or butyl.
  • Some of the different shots in soccer are the instep drive or knuckle shot, the swerve shot, the full volley, the half volley, the side volley, and the flying volley.
  • The maximum number of players on a soccer team is 11. Some of the different positions are: goalkeeper, center-back, sweeper, fullback, wingback, center-midfielder, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, winger, forward, striker, and stopper.
  • Soccer is played on a grassy field called a pitch. The field is rectangular and must be between 100 and 130 yards long and 50 to 100 yards wide.
  • An international soccer game is 90 minutes long. The 90 minutes is divided in two 45 minute halves.

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