Football is a sport so familiar that even people not interested in the game know what it is. The industry that this game has morphed into is so big that it has become more of global culture than a sport. In a sector so big, there are facts that even the biggest of fans do not know about. Here are some football facts that you might not know:
The Most Popular Global Sport
Football records the biggest fan base of all sports across the globe. The game is played in almost all countries around the world in both professional and recreational fields. Football has more than four billion fans in the world, and the FIFA World Cup that takes place every four years brings together more than 3.5 billion viewers.
Football also does the best of all sports in the financial front. The industry rakes in more revenue than any other game and Forbes points out that football clubs are the most lucrative sports ventures in the world. The top spots are mostly occupied by FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester. The game also boasts the highest-paid athletes, which are currently Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar, respectively from the top.
When thinking of the origins of football, most people gravitate to a European country, which is where the game dominates today. However, the sport has its root in China. This is a surprise since the nation is known for a lot, especially because they enjoy playing playboy slots, but not its prowess in football. The game, or a version that morphed into what we have today, was invented in the country in 476BC. Back then, it was referred to as Cuju and was played with balls made of fabrics sewn together and filled with rubble. The game spread across Asia and finally reached Europe where it became popular in countries like Greece and England. In the latter, the sewn fabric balls were replaced inflated pig bladders.
Original English Football Was Much More Violent
When football first became popular in England in the 12th century, it was played on the streets and grass fields by children and was later adopted by young adults as well. However, since there were no rules aside from taking the ball from the opponent, there was no limit to the number of players involved. The crowds playing the game would become so big that they would destroy an entire town and people would get stomped to death. The violence of the game became so bad that it was banned until the 17th century. However, the game’s ugliness threatened to rear its head once more and caused to be banned again in 1835. However, the last ban was short-lived since it had already become part of the nation’s culture.
The Current Version Started in Scotland
Even in the 19th century, football had not become what it is today. In schools, the rules of gameplay varied. The first popular versions that were played in English schools gave rise to the closest version of football and rugby that are played today. The game spread to Scotland where most of the rules that apply in the modern version came to rise, and the variation played in England died out.
Strange Name Roots
When most people think of the word football, they assume that it is named after the fact that the ball in the game is kicked using feet. However, the name is rooted in the fact that it is played on feet rather than horseback. Horse polo was a popular game at the time that involved kicking around a small ball, and so were horse races. To make this new sport distinctive, football was chosen as the ideal title.
Pakistan Makes Most Footballs
Pakistan is the biggest producer of footballs accounting for more than 60% of those used in professional games. This dominance of the field is because high-quality companies like Adidas that are famous for making the items operate from the region. The country is also known to have produced all the balls used in the World Cup.
Only Eight Countries Boast World Cups
Even though the FIFA World Cup has been held 21 times, only eight nations have had the honour of holding the title. Brazil has won five of the tournaments, which is the highest number any nation on this list boasts. Pele, the legendary footballer, led the country to three of these victories. The other titles are held by Germany, Italy, Argentina, France, England, Spain, and Uruguay.
The American and Canadian Variations
All countries refer to this game as football except America and Canada, where it is referred to as soccer. This name is used to avoid confusion with American football, which is referred to as Canadian football by their northern neighbours. This version of the game follows an entirely different set of rules, and even the gear and ball used in gameplay varies significantly.
North Korea Has the Biggest Stadium
North Korea operates under a totalitarian regime and has little to no chatter in the international scene. This fact makes it strange that the country has the largest football stadium in the world, considering it does not even participate in international games. The stadium has a capacity of 150,000 people as claimed by the country’s officials. However, the Macarena Stadium in Brazil holds the record for hosting the most people who were close to 200,000 in 1950.
Footballers Run over Nine Kilometres per Game
A player that is on the field from the moment the game begins to when it ends runs an average of 9.65 kilometres. This proves football to be a game of not only skill and agility but speed as well.
Cristiano Has Scored in Every Minute
Cristiano Ronaldo is a phenomenal player, and he is the only one to have scored a goal in every one of the ninety minutes in a game. The goals were not all scored in one game but a series of them.
The football world is full of many more wonderous facts like the ones listed above. If you have any interests in the game, you can check out live matches online and try to relate some of the current facts to the streams.