The History Of The Beautiful Game Of Soccer Or Football

September 28, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Our Blog

Football in the 1860s

There is uncertainty surrounding the exact timeline when people started playing games using various kinds of balls. However, the Greeks are said to have played all kinds of games involving balls. The modern game of football as we know it today is however said to have been started in Great Britain at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This new found game of football was played between villages. The soccer fields had no defined sizes and extended over many fields. There were very fewer rules and regulations governing the game of football in those days. The ball could be hit by any body part of the footballer and football matches often ended with players and supporters fighting.

With little or no unified rules for the game of soccer, the game was played in various forms, at different times and different places. The arrival of the Industrial Revolution saw more and more villagers leaving their villages for industrial towns across Britain. These new football lovers began developing loyalties and feeling proud of their towns. This patriotism generated the desire to feature and represent their towns in the game. This gave birth to the formation of football teams for footballers to represent their towns against neighbouring settlements in football matches. Football stadiums were built to host football matches between football clubs near and far.

At this early stage of the game, It must be noted that goal posts did not have cross bars. The two poles were connected from side to side by a thin piece of tape. Football accessories like the goalie gloves and shin guards were absent in soccer. The offside rule in football was not part of the game at this point either so teams attacked and scored more goals. During this period, it wasn’t uncommon for football matches to end with goal counts in double digits for each side. Football managers or coaches focused more on the attack and the most favoured formation involved using 5 strikers.

The arrival of the 20th century saw a lot of towns creating their own soccer teams. This necessitated the need to have a uniform set of rules and regulations to govern football. Eventually, football leagues and cups were created so that football clubs could compete within these leagues and contest for the cups and prizes. This maneuver created the template for the streamlining of the modern game of football as we have come to know today.

Globalization of the game of football started when the game was first exported to countries such as Germany and Italy. At this point in time, football teams could play against other teams beyond their national borders. The game of soccer went international and England was dominant in these international soccer tournaments. The notoriety enjoyed by the game of soccer on the international stage eventually gave birth to the creation of football tournaments like the FIFA Would Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CAF Africa Cup of Nations, CONMEBOL Copa América and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

To say that the beautiful game has seen rapid transformation would be an understatement. The game of football has witnessed massive changes from its inception to where it is now. To a large extent, the technical side of the game has experienced some transformation after the introduction of new rules for football.

Prior to the use of the offside rule in football, coaches used to field five strikers to increase goal scoring chances. After the implementation of the offside rule, the 5 strikers strategy was withdrawn in favour of a more defensive approach. The fast changes in the game leveled the playing field in the global arena. By the 50’s, Italian soccer clubs, Spanish football teams and South American soccer outfits had erased the earlier supremacy enjoyed by the English football clubs in the global game of football.

The popularity of football around the globe has experienced rapid but steady growth around the world. This rise in popularity of the beautiful game attracted wealthy individuals and corporations to inject massive capital investments into soccer clubs across the globe. The capital infusion into football has called for good management practices and greater professionalism. Footballers are now exposed to proper nutrition, better training regiments, good ethics and controlled lifestyles away from the football field.

Technological advancements over the years has contributed immensely to the technical and commercial dimensions of football on the world stage. New technologies and professionals such as sports psychologists have played key roles to improving and making the game better. If the past is at all relevant in predicting the future, football lovers and soccer enthusiasts should expect more good things to continue to happen to their “Beautiful Game”.