Attention sports fans, this is why soccer is so popular…
There’s many different reasons why soccer is my number one sport to both play, watch & enjoy. However you may not feel this way. Why is soccer so popular and why will it continue to grow for years to come?
A simple but exciting game will attract many
Soccer is so simple
Soccer is an incredibly simple sport. There is some rules that the casual may not understand straight away. The offside rule can take a while to learn. Though it’s very basic and easy to learn. There’s a humouros quote by famous England Striker Gary Lineker.
“Football is a simple game; 22 Men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.”
Convenient – Can play with anything
It’s incredible how convenient soccer is. In my childhood days there was many times where we didn’t have a football. So we ended up using things such as plastic bottles, tennis balls and stones. Literally anything you could kick. For the goals, as long as you had 2 objects be it clothing items, sticks or stones you could always have goalposts.
Low barrier to entry
Similar to convenience, there’s an incredibly low barrier to entry when it comes to soccer. Players and their parents do not need to dish out obscene amounts of money for equipment. All you need is footwear, shinpads and a ball. A lot of professional footballers started off in life with very little. Money doesn’t decide where you end up in soccer. Dedication does.
Anybody can play and be successful
A lot of sports have variety among their players however soccer has the most. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 5’2 at 100lbs or 6’6 at 220lbs. Soccer has many roles which allows all shapes and sizes to take part and even be successful. Pele, Maradonna and Messi are all small. Ronaldo, Bale, Ibrahimovic and Diego Costa all come in at 6’0 or above. Shape and size is more likely to determine play-style, not whether you can play.
The game flows well
Soccer when compared to American football flows way, way better. If we look at it from a professional and broadcasting point of view, Soccer has the occasional foul which will result in a short stoppage providing nobody is seriously injured. American Football on the other hand doesn’t flow as well, is full of commercial breaks and overall takes longer to setup.
A game with so much history and passion
Soccer is full of passion
I’m not sure how many other things can make a grown man go from pure ecstasy to crying within the space of minutes. Soccer has incredibly passionate fans. Many will even cover themselves in tattoos of their favourite clubs and players. A lot of which will come to regret that decision.
Watch a soccer game and pay attention to how the players celebrate, especially in a derby match. They may be receiving a bonus for scoring a goal but the passion and excitement displayed is very real.
Soccer is such an incredible sport that dates way, way back. There’s already an insane amount of history involved in the sport. You’ll find numerous museums, football history websites and even social media accounts. It’s genuinely interesting and many soccer fans are fascinated by history.
Many people aren’t huge fans of sports. Yet as soon as an international tournament kicks off, they’ll take a huge interest in the event and how their national team is doing. Should your country do well in a tournament, you’ll get to experience street parties, barbecues, pub nights and more. It’s a great time to socialise and be proud of your nation.
Depending on your location, Intercity rivalries can be very exciting. If you’re from a city with a famous derby chances are you know how hostile they can be. Normally there’s a nervous atmosphere weeks before the match. Then on the day fans are out in their numbers showing immense support. Unfortunately there’s many people who can’t control themselves and may end up in a jail cell for a night or two.
Getting tickets to these games can be near impossible. If you want to sample the atmosphere in a smaller capacity head into your local pub and witness it for yourself.
As a travelling fan you’re up bright and early. You jump on a coach with the lads or get in your car and drive with friends. You drive many miles in hope of seeing your team come away with the 3 points. Odds are you’ve already done your research and have found a great little pub for the away fans pre-match. Then if you’re not the designated driver will begin to get your drink on. After the match depending on the result you’ll either be signing with joy or debating where it all went wrong. You cannot replicate the feeling of a proper away day. It’s something every soccer fan should experience.
Creativity and technical ability is rewarded
Soccer is a high tempo end to end game that’s split into two halves of 45 minutes. You’ll see players running at pace, jumping into and over tackles as well as incredible reflex saves by goalkeepers.
Skill ceiling is incredibly high
While the entry level to football is extremely low and at heart it’s a very simple game. The skill ceilling is very high. Compare the world greats such as Ronaldo and Messi to the players that dominate in the MLS, the skill gap is very obvious.
Creativity is rewarded
Soccer is always advancing. Whether it’s the players ability, the tactical approach managers take or clubs finding new ways to increase revenue. Creativity in soccer is rewarded.
Look at it from a managerial point of view, managers like Wenger and Mourinho are being less successful as they’re not willing to experiment. That doesn’t mean that success can’t come without being creative, look at Burnley under Sean Dyche.
Almost everyone talks the language
I’ve shared many conversations with people who probably know very little about soccer. But as it’s shown all over the world, in your national newspaper and is shared across social media it’s a talking point that many people will have some knowledge on.
I cant even begin to count how many conversations I have engaged in with strangers about soccer. My favourite example of this is comedy TV show “The IT Crowd”. This doesn’t mean 90 year old Betty will be able to hold a 5 minute conversation with you about football but you may be surprised.
When it comes to diversity it doesn’t just have to be about ethnicity. Womens soccer is increasing in popularity and more girls are getting into the game at a younger age. There’s even soccer leagues for pensioners.
can be enjoyed at all levels
Soccer is great to watch and play at all levels. Grass root childrens football, Sunday league, walking football or the professionals. If you’re interested in soccer, chances are you’ll be able to enjoy it in one way or another.
Every sport can be a social event. If you’re heading to your local pub, they’ll have the soccer on and a bunch of lads huddled around the bar watching it. You can also go to the local park and have a kick around. Every so often you’ll come across other people that want a match or will join in the kick around.
Soccer is an olympic sport. While it’s not a highly respected competition by a lot of football fans, being an olympic sport is great for the status of soccer.
Many different ways to play
There’s many different variations of soccer. You can play the standard 11 man game, 5-a-side, futsal and even beach/swamp soccer. There’s even more variations but none of them are particularly popular or relevant.
4 Final Reasons
As a player even in the most meaningless games you’ll still experience pre-match nerves. You may even have a ritual that you have to do. I know that a lot of soccer players are superstitious. Those pre-match nerves quickly dissappear as you walk onto the pitch and here the whistle to kick off. It really is a great feeling.
While a lot of football fans, myself included aren’t a fan of the fact Football is a cash cow. It unfortunately is and will continue to be for as long as we’re alive. Football is incredibly popular and already makes front page news. But when huge transfers such as Neymar to PSG happen EVERYONE talks about the crazy money involved. Not just soccer fans.
Leagues run at different times, no true off season.
Every domestic league and cup has a set time/dates it will run. The English leagues will normally run between August-May. Yet leagues in colder nations will run throughout the summer. There will always be football on, whether it’s club soccer or bigger events such as the World Cup, European Championships or African Cup Of Nations.
Unfortunately injuries in contact sports are inevitable. But soccer especially at children’s level is pretty safe in terms of bone breakage and long term injuries. Contusion and Abrasions are by far the most commonly recorded injuries though for many, concussion is a worry.
That’s just 23 reasons why I enjoy soccer.
If you still don’t understand why that person in your life is a super soccer fan, ask them yourself. I’m sure there’s even more reasons that I can’t even think of right now. One thing is for sure, Soccer is going to be around for many decades. Why would it die out? Seriously. With ticket prices, broadcasting revenue and many other income streams football is a great business for rich investors that have money to play with.
As long as the game is loved by the majority of the world and people are pumping money into soccer, it will continue to see an exponential rate of growth. Not a fan yet? Choose a team and experience that beautiful game as a passionate fan.