We have spent a lot of time talking about soccer and playing in soccer domes on this blog, but we often do not stop to think about the origins of the sport. After all, every sport or game must have a beginning, and the history of soccer might hold some surprising facts that you might not have known before. For example, did you know that soccer began more than 100 years ago?
Fact One: Soccer is not called soccer everywhere in the world. Most people in countries like Canada and the United States call it soccer, but did you know that there are only a few other countries that do the same? In fact, soccer enthusiasts call it football in most areas around the world, including most of Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Central and South America.
Fact Two: A dozen different games throughout history contributed to the development of soccer as we know it today. Many people dispute this, but there are still many different games in which people kick around a ball or other object. This has been around for centuries, so at some point it must have had something to do with what we now call soccer.
Fact Three: The FIFA World Cup, an international competition for soccer (called football by the organization) was founded in 1930. Uruguay was the host country for the inaugural championship. The only years in which the FIFA World Cup was not held were 1942 and 1946. This was due to the Second World War. The countries vying to host the tournament during this time were Brazil and Germany. Russia will be hosting the next tournament in 2018.
Fact Four: In the United Kingdom, the first televised match of the soccer was a friendly match between Arsenal’s first and second team in the year 1937.
Fact Five: A study conducted in the Turkish league indicated that six percent of all soccer injuries don’t happen during play, but while celebrating a goal.
Fact Six: The average player will run seven miles during a game of soccer. Additionally, it is not uncommon for a player to up to nine and a half miles in a single match!
Fact Seven: The word soccer actually originated from "Association Football” which is the official name for the game. This means that it did not just come out of nowhere and there is a decent explanation for why the United States and other countries call this beloved game soccer instead of football.
Fact Eight: People take soccer really seriously. In fact, El Salvador actually waged a war against Honduras in 1969. The reason? El Salvador lost a match against them. Well, this was one of the contributing factors, and the war did not last all that long according to reports.
Fact Nine: The soccer ball we are familiar with today is made up of hexagons and pentagons. There are 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons, which means there are 32 panels in total on the ball.
Fact Ten: While people used other objects to play this game, the soccer ball really began to take form in 1855 when Charles Goodyear created the first rubber soccer ball.
These ten facts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to facts about soccer. A sport as popular and old as soccer is full of them. Just some more things to think about while you kicking your ball around a Farley soccer dome!