Four things you probably didn’t know

Football facts that might surprise you

Football facts can be unbelievable or well known; they can surprise you or confirm something you already suspected. Certainly, they are never boring, they always find a way to be interesting and intriguing. In this page you will find five football facts you probably did not know about. Let’s start with number one.

1- The World Cup is a European Business

When it comes to national teams and the World Cup, South American nations such as Brazil and Argentina are righteously always considered strong contenders for the ultimate glory. Truth be told, however, apart from the tournaments played in 1930 (in Uruguay) and 1950 (in Brazil) the Europeans always manage to get to the finals. Plus, the current version trophy was manufactured in Italy in 1971: is the World Cup a European Business?

2- Soccer is not American

Every European gets upset when the Americans call their favourite sport “soccer” instead of football. Well, there is something I should tell you: the word soccer was actually born in Europe. According to the historians, in 19th century, “soccer” was commonly used in England as a slang/abbreviation for “association” (apparently invented by the English footballer Charles Wreford-Brown), and it remained fashionable until it became too American.

3- There is nothing like football

Football is the most popular sport on our planet. We are talking about 250 million players and 1.3 billion fans, more or less. Not bad for a sport. If you ever asked yourself whether or not it’s normal to feel the craziest emotions every time you look at a ball rolling towards a net, don’t worry about it: you are not alone!

4- European Football is not European

Did you know that European football was actually born in China? Sure, many historians claim the game as we know it today comes from 19th century England. However, back in 3rd century BC, the Chinese used to play a game with a few simple rules: 1) kick the ball with your feet; 2) make sure the ball passes through a 30–40 cm opening and into a net. The name of the game was cuju — Cantonese “chuk-ko”. Does it sound familiar?

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