Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, which is played today in more than two hundred countries. In most of them it has an incredible number of supporters, who often feel very attached to their favorite team. To play soccer, which is also called football, we need two teams, each consisting of eleven players and the ball. The field covered with grass has a shape of rectangular and is divided into two halves. In the middle of the both ends of the field there are goals which are guarded by goalkeepers. These are the only players that are allowed to touch and grab the ball. The others can do it only in the situation when the ball has been kicked out of the field. The aim of the game is to place a ball in opponents’ goal and the team which scores more goals wins the whole soccer match. The playing time is two halves for forty five minutes plus the fifteen minutes break. However, if referee decides that too much time was spent on dealing with substitutions or injured players, he can add some game time. That is because, unlike in many other disciplines, the clock is not stopped when the game is interrupted.
The history of the modern soccer dates back to the middle of nineteenth century in England. And this country is considered as the cradle of that game. Of course, any activities connected with kicking the ball have roots even in ancient times. But the first attempts to standardize the rules of soccer fell on the year 1848. The code, which is known as the Cambridge Rules, was created by the representatives of several English schools. Despite the fact that the code was not acknowledged by everyone it started a great process of creating modern soccer. The first step was the creation of the International Football Association Board, which was established in 1886 to decide about the rules in soccer. Originally it consisted of the representatives of four United Kingdom countries, but after creating International Federation of Association Football its representatives were also admitted. From that moment development of the soccer was the fact. And through the whole twentieth century the popularity of this sport grew constantly.
Nowadays many soccer leagues which exist around the world stir emotions of millions of fans. Games between the leading teams, for example in England or Spain are transmitted by televisions from many other countries. And the best players of the clubs are a real icons not only among soccer fans. In many cases they become popular culture stars by being models or by participating in commercials. The two great examples are David Beckham, former captain of English team, and Christiano Ronaldo who is an important player in Portuguese national soccer team. They both played for major clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid, but they are also known from rich social life. In many countries soccer is a national sport and during most important games almost everyone is watching it on television. However, the sport is also really popular on amateur level, as anyone can play it even in ones backyard.