The 2014 World Cup had over 3 billion TV viewers. It is no secret that soccer is the world’s most popular sport. However, many of those fans don’t know the history behind their favorite game. That’s where we come in! Here is the story of how soccer started, and how it has evolved into the game it is today:
The first known participation in a soccer-like game actually took place in China around 300-200 BC. The game was called “Tsu Chu” and it required players to kick a leather ball filled with fur into a small hole.
Other similar versions of this game arose in Mexico and Central America, but the soccer we know and love today actually began in England. However, that version of soccer was much more violent than today’s. It was sort of like rugby, and for awhile people actually couldn’t differentiate between the two. Many injuries and even some deaths occurred. This lead to the King of England actually banning the sport – and this notion was upheld for over 250 years!
In 1605, the sport became legal again, but it still had problems with injuries. Eventually, in 1815 a set of rules were developed that kept the game from being so chaotic. That is when things really began to take off, and the sport started to globalize. It spread to the US by 1820, and by 1872 the first international matches were being played. The first ever international match was between Scotland and England, and it resulted in a 0-0 tie.
In 1888 soccer’s rules were finzalized, and have actually changed very little since. The game was ready to be played on the world stage. In 1900, soccer was played in the olympics for the first time. Only two matches were played and no medals were awarded though (because the addition of soccer was experimental). The spectators who did get to catch a game loved it though, and wanted to see more. So in 1930 the first ever World Cup tournament was played. Ultimately, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the finals to win the first world championship.
Since then, soccer has expanded to a point that no one had ever fathomed. It is easily the most popular sport in the world, and no signs show that that will change any time soon. In the last 200 years, the sport has shown tremendous and steady growth. Not only is it played in every single country worldwide now, but it has also crossed the gender barrier. Women play the sport as well – and not only do they play, they excel. It all goes to show how amazing sports are at bringing us together.
Well, now that you know everything about soccer’s past, go run out on a field and practice until you make yourself soccer’s future! Glory awaits!