Association football, also called simply football, is an organised team game played between two sides of eleven players each. It is played professionally by about 250 million players across more than 200 nations and dependencies, placing it second only to the US National Football League (NFL) in terms of annual revenues. The game is predominantly English but enjoys high popularity in countries like Australia, South Africa, Canada, Italy and Spain. It was first known as “football” in France but the term took its present name from the German word “Fuss”. Association football is also the second most popular sport in the world after baseball.
Association football can be played on a rectangular field using various forms of play, including standard play, freestyle, defensive and forward kicks, and penalty kick interpretations. There are two types of football association; Professional and Amateur leagues. The latter has several levels of play including senior, intermediate and youth levels.
Football is a contact sport that involves running, jumping and throwing the ball. It was first developed as a game by a group of school boys in England who started playing a rough game in a field at midnight. The game quickly caught on and was adopted by European universities and colleges and has grown to become a well-known sport in those countries. In its early years, football was a way for students to socialise and organise themselves but over time the game took on a more professional aspect when governing bodies were established to regulate it.
Today, football is played professionally around the globe and the game has developed into an important and popular sport at almost all levels of the sport’s governing body. Youth football is the youngest level of Association football and is usually played between teams of approximately nine and 17 year olds. Youth players often start playing football as centre forwards or wing backs or as fullbacks with the aim of goals rather than scoring them. Goals make the game exciting for fans as goals can be scored by any team and unlike rugby and ice hockey, a goal cannot be scored from the corner. Goals are scored by the goalkeeper.
A goalkeeper is the only person allowed to stop the ball going into the goal regardless of whether it is being played forward or backwards. To stop the ball going in the net, the goalkeeper must either keep it inside his or her goal-line or push it out from the goal-line using either his/her feet or arm. The goalkeeper is also in charge of the clean-up responsibility and is usually the last person to touch the ball once the match referee has stopped the game. If a goal-line is not present, the goalkeeper may bring the ball up to his/her feet just before passing it to a teammate who is standing in the goal-line.
Many countries play football in various forms. While some play the traditional way, some countries have adapted football into different forms. Football in various forms requires various skills that are necessary to play such as endurance, strength and flexibility. To excel at this sport one needs to have the required skills. To play football well, one must be agile, agility and must be quick thinking as well.