The game of football is the number one sport in the world, with an estimated viewing audience exceeding more than 2 billion. Since its inception by the English in the 1960’s, football has grown in leaps and bounds, with the Federation of International Football (FIFA) World Cup being the climax of the football year for both players and countries affiliated to the World Football governing body.
The game of football can be so intense that emotions may spill over like it occurred in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final held in Germany when French star Zinedine Zidane head-butted Marco Matarazzi of Italy in a moment of rage. He was instantly shown the red card and his exit paved the way for the eventual triumph of Italy.
The game is played by eleven players from two teams and each team is usually allowed to have substitutes players who are expected to sit at the reserve bench together with the team officials. Three substitutes are normally allowed in an organized game of football including the goalkeeper.
A game of football can either end in a win or a scoreless/score draw. The center referee, assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and the fourth referee are usually in charge of officiating in the round leather game from the start to the end of the game.
In some countries like the United States of America and Canada, the game is referred to as Soccer, while it is popularly called Football in the rest part of the world. This popular sport consists of four departments- goalkeeping, defence, midfield and attack. The ability to coordinate all four departments will determine the success or failure of a team.
The English Premier League is presently the most glamorous and lucrative football league in the world while the Brazilian national football team- The Samba boys, are the most successful football nation in the history of the game.
Some common features that must be present in a standard field of play include: the center circle, the goal post, the corner flag post, the corner arc, the half way line, the penalty area and the penalty arc. These important features are usually marked with white paint to ensure that players see them properly in the course of a match.
Some popular football leagues in the world include the Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga, the French Ligue 1, the Italian Serie A and the Portuguese Liga. Some notable football players include:
Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele)
Diego Armando Maradona