The World’s Most Beloved Sport – The History of Soccer

While it is undisputed that the origins of modern soccer, or football, originated in Britain, there is a great deal of evidence that points to this beloved game as having an older history.

Where did the game of soccer really begin, and how old is it? To understand how many different varieties of «soccer» there are, you need to understand a bit about the older versions of the game and how they have evolved.

Below, you will find a list of the predominant cultures that had a variety of soccer, and learn how each one differs from what we play today. And no, they never used anything like Lotto shinguards back then either!

  • Chinese Soccer History
  • Japanese Soccer History
  • Egyptian Soccer History
  • Greek/Roman Soccer History
  • British Soccer History

Chinese Soccer History

To many, this is the oldest version of soccer to exist. However, there is quite a lot of controversy of whether or not this is the oldest, or Japan’s version is the elder. The Chinese version of the game, originally named «Tsu Chu», involved players on a field that had to hit a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were permitted during the play of the game, and it was considered an honor to be a member of a team.

The Emperor of the Han Dynasty, when the game was developed, was an avid player and fan, and spread the popularity of this game all over China during his reign. This roughly dates back to 300 B.C., although there is controversy on the subject of dating, which could result in the origins of the game being as far back as 5000 B.C. Regardless, this version of Soccer is extremely old. Despite that, there is still a version of Tsu Chu played today. While the two games are similar, Tsu Chu has had no effect on the modern version of the game, as it was originally developed and created for play in Great Britain.

Japanese Soccer History

Kemari, the Japanese version of «Soccer», is perhaps one of the most different forms of the sport, in comparison to modern soccer. Kemari was a game of «Keep it up», much like modern hacky sacks, although used with a larger ball that was stuffed with saw dust. This version involves a «pitch», or the field, designated by the selection of four trees, the cherry, maple, pine and willow. Many great houses in Japan would grow trees to have a permanent pitch, or field, established.

Kemari was normally played with two to twelve players. Established in roughly 1004 B.C., it vies for position of the oldest game with China’s Tsu Chu. In fact, China’s Tsu Chu players and Japan’s Kemari players were the first to have an «International» game of their versions of Soccer, which is dated to have occurred in roughly 50 B.C., although a definite date of 611 A.D. is known. Regardless, this game stands with China as a sister sport to Soccer, while it never affected the modern version of the game.

Egyptian Soccer History

While not much is known about Egyptian Soccer, or other ball games, it is thought there was a version of a type of ball game played by young women during the age of Baqet III. On his tomb, images of this sport were depicted, although no one is certain how the game was played or whether or not it truly affected the outcome of modern soccer. Recordings of this game date as far back as 2500 B.C., although not much more is known asides the fact that it was played with a ball. The lack of information on the sport and how it was played has eliminated it from runnings as the first evidence of a game similar to soccer.

Greek/Roman Soccer History

Perhaps the closest relative to modern soccer are the games that were formed by the Greeks during the prime of their culture. They had numerous varieties of football style games, some of which required hands, some of which forbade hands. In the end, after the Roman conquering of Greece, the game Harpastum is what modern soccer would be based from. This game, probably a modified version of the Greek’s «Harpaston», which translates roughly to handball. While grossly misnamed, this game is what is considered to be one of the precursors to modern soccer.

British Soccer History

In Britain during the 8th century, soccer was created, not as a recreational sport, but as a war game. One of the stories of the original roots of the sport comes from when a Danish Prince was beheaded, and his head was used as a ball and was kicked around. Ever since this ‘legendary’ tale, villages and other communities would play a game where they would have to kick a ball to a specific goal. It was a violent game, where injury and death were not uncommon, but it was popular nevertheless. In fact, it was so violent, that in 1331, King Edward the III passed laws to try to stop the playing of the game. It did not work, however, and the sport continued on.

There are even stories of soccer games that involved hundreds upon hundreds of players. In these games, there were many deaths, some resulting in the hundreds. It wasn’t until 1815 when Eton College set up a series of rules for the game that it became less violent and more of a true sport. At this time, other colleges and universities took up the banner and began to play under similar rules. Later, the rules were evaluated and judged, and the Cambridge rules were created as a result in 1848. In the Cambridge rules, shin-kicking, carrying the ball and tripping were all forbidden. Rugby rules allowed these aspects, and the two varieties of soccer, or football, split to form their own followings.

On October 26, 1863, London schools and sports club sent representatives to the Freemason’s Tavern, where the Football Association was formed. Rugby supporters left this association to form the Rugby Association. This is where the birth of modern soccer began. In 1969, the Football Association finalized the modern game of soccer by forbidding the use of hands in the game.

The term «Soccer» was coined when someone was asked if he was a Rugger, which is a Rugby player. The -er signified that the person participated in a a particular sport. The individual, Charles Wreford Brown, replied with «Soccer!», taking the phrase from Association, SOC, and adding the -er. The term stuck. While British individuals still call the game Football, Americans and other countries call it Soccer, especially if they have heavy support in American Football present. Ever since the foundation of the Association, «Football» has risen in popularity, becoming one of the best love games in the history of Earth. Now, hundreds of thousands play the sport, although it lacks the initial violence present at its creation.

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Get The Right Soccer Cleat Size For An Enjoyable Performance

Soccer cleats just like regular shoes are sized to help players find snug fitting shoes that will make kicking the ball ad running as comfortable as possible. Considering that soccer cleats need to be tighter in terms of fit, you really cannot rely on your regular shoe size when buying your cleats. Soccer shoes are made from thin materials and a tight fit ensures optimal ball touch and feel.

Materials

When looking for the right snug fitting soccer boot, the material is among the things you should always consider. Cleats made from premium leather, especially kangaroo leather tends to start stretching after a few uses. High quality leather molds to feet shape and when new they need to fit snugly so that even after a few uses they do not stretch and feel too roomy for your feet. When buying synthetics, remember they do not stretch that much, hence you should buy comfortably fitting cleats compared to tight ones.

Width and length

These two elements are used to determine cleat size and using them you can be in a position to choose a pair you will love and enjoy wearing and playing in. For performance and comfort, your cleats should fit closely to end of foot, but not touch on toes; the gap should be anywhere between ¼ and ½ inch. Usually the upper part of the soccer shoe is designed narrow to keep the feet from sliding around inside as you play. For this reason, most cleats come in one width dimensions differing only in length. If you have wide feet, then you may want to check cleats designed with wide feet in mind.

Determining the right fit

When looking for the best, start by picking a pair that you actually like and from a brand you can trust with quality. Players who love their shoes tend to give better performances than those who don’t.

Next, you should figure out your size. If you have the luxury of trying them on before buying, try them on to ensure they are tight, but not so much that they hurt your feet. They should be close fitting otherwise you will have issues kicking ball properly.

When trying on the cleats, pay attention to pressure points; a snug fit does not in any way mean uncomfortable. In case you are a young player who is still growing, cleats that are a little large sized may be ideal. You can get proper socks to fill in the space as your feet grow.

Be sure to stand up and walk around a little in the cleats when testing the size. This is the only way you will be able to truly feel the toe position and how good they feel on your feet. Of course you may need a little time to break-in your cleats but even though the feel should be tight, it should feel right in every sense. You can try on as many different sizes as possible until you find the perfect one for your feet.

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Car Hire in Qatar Eases Family Travel Woes

With Saudi Arabia to its south and the rest of it washed over by the Persian Gulf, Qatar is a picturesque destination. It is the perfect holiday destination as it has steadily established itself as an urban capital over the years, amidst its cultural significance. There are many art centers and museums established here. This is in part due to Qatar’s aristocracy and their interest in the collection of contemporary as well as Islamic art. Museums like the Museum of Islamic Art find themselves on the lists of the greatest museums in the world. With the 2022 World Cup set to take place in Qatar, it continues to contribute to sports.

The Aqua Park in Qatar is an ideal water park you can drive down to with your family. Touted as Qatar’s first premier Water Park, it can be reached on the scenic Salwa Road. If you are driving down in your rented car, it should be easy to reach and will be within sight right opposite the Abu Nakhla Petrol Station. Open on all days, it has a special day just for families, which takes place every Friday. Some of the attractive features here include a lazy river, giant wave pools and other activity pools.

Another spot to definitely visit is Katara. This is the cultural village located in Doha, Qatar. It has been constructed for the principal purpose of commemorating Qatar’s heritage culture. The main Katara area has been built to reflect the traditional ‘Al Fareej’ i.e. Qatar’s iconic alleyways. With souqs, coffee shops, book markets, educational facilities and even beach access, Katara is wildly popular among tourists. Car rental services in Qatar aid you in getting to destinations like this without hassle, especially with families.

You elongate the life of your car by opting for car hire services as it saves you from the trouble of transporting your own car to another country. You can hire a better car for harsher terrains that a normal car would not work well on. With the kind of options available while looking at car rental in Qatar, it is easy to find the perfect fit for your family. Time and convenience are the best benefits for a family though. Kids get unruly and uncomfortable at times and you can keep their comfort under check in a hired car.

Lastly, The Pearl-Qatar artificial island, expected to stretch over 32 kilometers when completed, is a must-see destination. Named ‘The Pearl’ as construction was done over existing pearl diving sites; it is designed to resemble a pearl string. Both a residential as well as a commercial region, it has many attractions like restaurants and five-star hotels for a pristine experience.

England Fail In Bid For The 2018 World Cup

England have failed in their bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the tournament has been awarded to Russia, who will host the event for the first time. England had become the favourites to win the vote to host the competition.

The results of the vote were announced in Zurich by FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The will come as a great disappointment for many fans who were hoping England would stage the tournament for the first time since 1966, the year they won the trophy.

After the voting by the FIFA executive committee it became apparent that England had only secured two of the possible twenty-two votes, effectively winning only one vote as well as their own, and they were eliminated in the first round of voting. The competing countries of Holland and Belgium, Spain and Portugal and Russia progressed to a second round of voting where Russia secured the majority required to be awarded the tournament.

It was hoped that England would win the vote to host the competition, which can generate billions of pounds for the economy, as well as the prestige of hosting such a great competition. It is estimated that £463 million was spent preparing England’s bid.

Earlier in the day, each nation had made a final presentation, which was fronted by Prime Minister David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William, for England, a presentation that was described by FIFA president Sepp Blatter as being both excellent and remarkable.

It is feared that England’s bid has been tarnished by recent media reports. A report in the Sunday Times resulted in six FIFA officials being suspended last month following allegations of corruption within footballs World governing body and the BBC’s Panorama programme made further allegations of corruption within FIFA and the voting process, just a few days ago. Earlier this year the chairman of England’s bid Lord Triesman resigned following allegations of collusion between other countries, the allegation was seen to be very damaging to the bid at that time.

The 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar, meaning that the next opportunity for England to host a World Cup would be in 2026 or 2030, which will disappoint many football loving fans throughout the country.

World Cup Spread Betting – D-Day For the Squads

Its D day for the managers of the World Cup teams that haven’t announced their final squad lists to FIFA. Some have been submitted in the last few days but for those with injury doubts over key players the motto is wait until the last possible minute to get the results of fitness tests before they make the call. Fabio Capello is one such manager who sweating on the fitness of Gareth Barry and I’m sure he will have been in contact with his medical team and knows the outcome. For 7 of the players in the England party at the moment they are going to get the call they most certainly will not be waiting for some time this morning. The squad is due to announced around lunchtime and world cup spread betting will bring you the news as soon as it is released.

For the younger players there will be disappointment at not making it but they have numerous chances to attend World Cups and Euro Championships in the future. The likes of Dawson, Huddlestone and Adam Johnson, if he doesn’t make it spring to mind. Although he might not be such a bad wild card pick. He might do as much as some of the more established players. For the likes of Scott Parker and Darren Bent they will know this is probably their last chance to play in a major finals. Fabio’s talks with the FA seem to have ended with him ready to commit until 2012 at least and he can now prepare for the World Cup without the speculation on his future getting in the way. Sources are saying that Inter Milan were only using him as a smoke screen to keep the attention off Rafa Benitez who is their real target. Heaven knows why they would want him instead of Capello; I know who I would pick given the choice.

Other world cup spread betting news today sees a possible return to management for Ruud Gullit with the Aussies looking to bring him in after the World Cup. Thierry Henry says he is happy to come off the bench and do what ever is needed for the team. South Africa continued their preparations with a 5-0 win over Guatemala. The match marked a little piece of history with Aaron Mokoena notching his 100th cap, a first for a South African player. Spanish player Xavi has joined his countryman Cassilas in condemnation of the new World Cup ball, the Jabulani as it is called. Makers Adidas are shocked by the insults being hurled at the ball and maintain it is the first perfectly round football. (I knew that playing with them square balls would never take off). Crystal Palace are on the brink of going into liquidation if they don’t get a buyout plan through by 3.00pm today and that would be a massive shame for everyone involved. Hopefully they can get it sorted out.

And finally we were talking about Geoff Hurst’s number 9 shirt been on offer for 2million a few days ago. Well you could have had Pele’s number10 shirt from the 1970 final a few years back for only £66,500 which was the price payed when it came to auction. That old inflation is a bit of a bitch eh. Will bring news of the England squad as soon as it comes in. Chow.

How Often is the World Cup of Soccer Held?

The World Cup is soccer’s biggest stage – it is the championship of the most widely played sport in the all of the world. The talk, preparation and qualifying for each incarnation of the World Cup tournament seems to be going on all the time – but the final of soccer’s biggest tournament only take place during a one month period every four years.

Many fans, clubs and organizations argue that the World Cup tournament itself, as well as the sport of soccer would benefit greatly from increasing the frequency of soccer’s world championship tournament. Some present very valid points and cite that other major sporting events that hold tournaments on an international level are capable of organizing those tournaments once every year.

There is no doubt that the World Cup’s allure wouldn’t be hurt by holding the tournament every three or even every two years. It would probably increase soccer’s international popularity and would certainly do well to increase the tournaments revenue potential – holding the tournament every two years would, in effect, double the amount of revenue created by the biggest international sports tournament. Reducing the number of years between World Cup tournaments would most likely also allow the qualifying team’s players to be more recognizable to fans – the players would be in front of the fans and on a big stage potentially twice as many times during their careers. This could potentially make fans feel more connected and attached to the players on the World Cup teams and possibly even cause an increase in the amount of people who tune in to watch the World Cup finals.

Why Every Four Years?

World Cup purists argue that every four years is ideal for the tournament and it is relatively unlikely that any change in World Cup frequency will actually occur – at least within the near future. It does take quite a bit of preparation to get ready for a month long tournament which draws in teams from more than thirty countries and fans from probably more nations than that.

The host country is voted on and selected long before the tournament will actually be held and the lengths to which the organizers go to ensure that everything is not just prepared, but perfect for each World Cup tournament are truly exhaustive. Other major sports tournaments may host players and fans from all over the world but few, if any can match the sheer magnitude of the World Cup tournament.

More than 200 countries will vie for a spot in the final phase of the World Cup tournament in 2010 to be held in South Africa, and of those more than 200, only thirty one teams will make the cut to appear in the World Cup (the South African team receives an automatic bye to compete as the host nation, making the total team count an even thirty two.) Many believe that trying to cram all of the qualifying and all of the necessary preparation into a shorter time period would hurt the quality and the overall success of the tournament – and that could very well be true.

The only other sporting events that are truly comparable (even bigger than the World Cup), are the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, which are both also held once every four years due to all of the preparation of the destination and the athletes who are to be involved.

Holding the tournament only once every four years only adds to the majesty of the World Cup and contributes to the sheer desire and determination of the many teams involved to first make the cut to the finals and then compete for the prestigious title of World Cup Champion.

Soccer Psychology – The Difference Between Winning and Losing

In today’s game of soccer most would argue that the most important person in a team is the coach. But a new position has arisen from the depths of the grandstand and his importance has significantly increased. Can you guess who it is?

Big clubs all over the world are employing Sports psychologists for help and some have even put them on as full time staff. Sports psychology has become the next boom industry as clubs and coaches have discovered the power of soccer psychology.

The difference between winning and losing at the highest level can be separated by a thin white line. All players are extremely fit, skillful, strong and quick. But how many players are confident and mentally strong? Clubs have discovered this and have added psychology to their growing list of weapons.

Players these days have pushed their physical capabilities to the limit and the competitive edge has virtually flattened out. That’s until mental warfare stepped in with the arrival of soccer psychology.

Science has proven that psychology and the right mindset influences and improves soccer performance. Sports psychology also identifies weaknesses and offers counseling to players who might be suffering from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. They can also monitor motivational levels within a team and assess the whole team on an individual basis.

Soccer psychologists can also identify the different personalities within the team and ensure that these personalities don’t clash and work together. Remember, a champion team will always beat a team of champions. Soccer psychologists make the transition from a team to a championship team look very simple. By correcting the mindset of the players and increasing the player’s confidence the dream of winning silverware becomes a reality.

Soccer over the years has claimed its fair share of victims. Players that have lost all confidence and cannot perform at the levels required have inevitably been shown the door at their respective clubs. How can we stop this? Most players that have lost their confidence also suffer from low self esteem. With low self esteem comes the nerves and anxiety. If you have this problem within your team, the use of a soccer psychologist will solve all your problems. They will help your players relax and also use mental imagery to build on their shattered confidence without even touching a soccer ball.

Sports psychology has been directly linked to team spirit. The greater the team spirit, the greater chance you have of winning trophies. That’s why we see the smaller clubs of Europe beating some of the heavy weights in the champion’s league. Are the players better at the smaller clubs? Or do they have team spirit? From watching the champion’s league, it’s clearly evident what the smaller clubs lack in talent they make up in spirit and confidence.

The main purpose of psychology in soccer is to prevent the players feeling like failures when they lose. By eliminating this feeling, psychologists are protecting the players self esteem. Could self esteem and confidence be the secret ingredient all the big clubs share?

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