Soccer is the most popular sport in the world today. Also known as the ‘global game’, soccer has permeated all nations and has brought even warring-nations on a playing field. Let us go back to the history and timeline of this beautiful game, and get ourselves acquainted with the important moments of this ‘beautiful game’.
Soccer is also known as football. For a European, football is also known as soccer! Games involving the kicking of a ball have been played in several countries throughout history. Soccer was played in China in the 2nd and 3rd century BC. Romans played it and different forms of soccer were played in medieval-Europe. Today, soccer is one of the most popular sport in the world, played by roughly 250 million people in over 200 countries. Let us take a look at some important events that have shaped the history of this sport.
5000 – 1000 BC: Historians have pointed out that games resembling soccer were played in China, Egypt, Japan, and Greece in this period. There were no rules and the players aimed at kicking a ball made of animal skin into a net amidst a lot of pushing and elbowing. These games were played so that the players – most of whom were soldiers – were physically fit in the eventuality of a war. Although, these games more or less resembled soccer, the foundation for modern-day soccer was achieved when the Cambridge Rules were drawn-up in Cambridge University in 1848.
1857: The Sheffield Football Club was formed.
1862: John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised some rules for Soccer.
1863: The Football Association (The FA) was formed.
1867: Sheffield FA was formed.
1871: The Rugby Football Union was formed.
1872: The first official international football match took place between Scotland and England in Glasgow.
1886: The International Football Association Board (IFAB) was formed.
1888: William McGregor founded the world’s first football league in England.
1904: The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international football body, was formed in Paris.
1913: The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board.
1930: The First World Cup took place in Uruguay. Uruguay wins it.
1931: The professional soccer era started in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
1934: The World Cup took place in Italy. The host team won it.
1938: The World Cup took place in France. Italy won its second World Cup.
1940s: The World War interrupted the World Cup. The American countries played in local cups.
1940: The Xeneise Club opened it’s stadium.
1943: Professional soccer started in Mexico.
1948: Amateur soccer ended.
1950:The World Cup took place in Brazil. Uruguay won it.
1954: The World Cup took place in Switzerland. It was the first one with a sponsor. Germany wins it.
1958: The World Cup took place in Sweden. Brazil wins it with players such as Pele and Garrincha.
1959: The South American Confederation of Soccer approved a new inter-club cup.
1960: The Libertadores Cup was inaugurated. Real Madrid won against the Uruguayan team Penarol in the Intercontinental Club.
1962: The World Club took place in Chile. Fans watched Brazil win in TV for the first time.
1966: The World Cup took place in England. The host team won it. The Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Caravajal set a record for most participation in World Cups.
1970: The World Cup took place in Mexico. Brazil won it and became the country with most championships won.
1974: The World Cup took place in Germany. The fans watched the host team win on color TV.
1975: Independiente de Avellaneda won the Libertadores Cup for the fourth time.
1978: The World Cup took place in Argentina. Holland was the favorite to win. But the host team won it.
1979: Paraguay won a Copa America. Olimpia won the Intercontinental and Libertadores Cups.
1982: The World Cup took place in Spain. Italy won it. Countries from all continents played it. Maximum goals were scored.
1984: The new star Diego Maradona is transferred to the Italian team of Naples.
1986: The World Cup took place in Mexico. Argentina wins its second World Cup. Maradona scored the most amazing goal in the history of soccer.
1990: The World Cup took place in Italy. Germany won it.
1994: The World Cup took place in USA. Brazil won it.
1998: The World Cup took place in France. The host team won it.
1999: Mexico won the Confederations Cup.
2002: The World Cup took place in Japan and Korea. Brazil won it.
2005: Brazil won the Confederations Cup.
2006: The World Cup took place in Germany. Italy won it.
2007: David Beckham – one of the more popular stars in the world – made his debut in an American club, playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
2008: Spain beat Germany in the Euro Cup finals.
2010: World Cup was hosted for the first time on the African soil as the hosts South Africa played Mexico in the first match. It was Spain who lifted the coveted trophy defeating Holland in the finals.
2010: Russia and Qatar won the bids to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
2011: Japan’s female soccer team defeated United States in the final of World Cup in Frankfurt.
These were some of the most important events in the history of soccer. With so much soccer being played nowadays from the club to the country level, it is the fans who feel delighted to see their favorite stars in action.