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As of 2018, the World Atlas declared that the most popular sport worldwide is “Association Football,” which is alternatively known as soccer in many countries. It is estimated that this sport has an awesome 4 billion fans. It is followed by cricket, with 2.5 billion fans, then hockey, with 2 billion fans. Clearly, soccer is most popular by a landslide. But why is soccer a must-see sport?
One of the biggest strengths of soccer is its international appeal. There is much debate about where the sport first originated; it appears that many countries had their own version of this relatively simple game. However, the oldest dates are 3000 years ago in Mesoamerica, in which the ball symbolized the sun, as well as 3rd and 2nd century China, in which the ball was confined to a square field. Ancient Greece, Rome, and Britannica had their own takes on the game, too. As the sport developed into the soccer many know and love today, it kept its intensely global appeal. This is a stark difference from many popular sports—such as American football—which are favored almost exclusively by a single country. A benefit of this global appeal is that viewers can see matches year-round somewhere in the world: there is no such thing as on off season.
Another reason soccer has earned so much support is that it is a relatively simple game that requires minimal equipment, which means it can be played almost anywhere by anyone. When it comes to gaining new fans, the simple rules and clear objectives make it pretty easy for people of all ages to follow along. Plus, the bare-essential equipment is just a ball. Plenty of people DIY their balls out of scraps of cloth, leather, or plastic. Things like shoes and nets are an added bonus, but casual players happily run around barefoot and kick goals through make-shift nets of cones, posts, or chalk lines.
Since 1863, which is when FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) recognizes the modern-day version of the game as shaping up in England, there has been a frenzy around soccer/football. It might be hard to orchestrate such a massive sport industry, but FIFA is not intimidated. They report that the sport consists of around 250 million players, 1.3 billion interested people and 26 billion television viewers. Why not join the hype and explore the sport for yourself? By some tickets today to do just that. Be quick—the World Cup sells out fast!