Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world and it has millions of fans all over. The popularity of football is such that there is no other sport which has as much fans and following as football does.
It cannot just be a simple arbitrary coincidence that the sport provides so much appeal and football simply could not have become the most popular sport in the world just by chance. Here, we will attempt taking a look at some of the reasons why football could have possibly become so popular.
To start off with, the evolutionary characteristics and the history of man may be playing a huge part in making the sport appealing. Since the ancient days, man has always looked to hunt in groups and packs and has always gone to war with an army. History is proof to the fact that man performs a number of activities as a part of a group and probably, this intrinsic characteristic of man is satisfied by football. Football requires a team of men, who need to act in accordance with each other in order to achieve a common goal. The spirit of being a part of a team consisting of players with different roles and in different soccer positions plays a huge role in appealing to the intrinsic characteristic of man.
Also, unlike a number of other sports, football is incredibly easy to understand and follow. While there may be some complicated terms associated with the game, in essence the game is very simple – two teams compete against each other to score and there is only one way of scoring goals. Even an individual who has absolutely no idea about the game can understand what is going on in a matter of minutes and once the game is understood, the tactics and strategies of the team can be followed, leading to a very engaging experience for an onlooker.
A football team’s formation proves to be just as important as the players who are playing the match. Correctly determining a strategy and ensuring that the forwards, the mids and the defense of the team are in the correct formation can easily allow a football team to get the better of its opponents.
Some of the Popular Football Formations
There can be an endless number of possibilities in the arrangement of the players on the field. However, some formations are much more preferred than others. Here are some of the most popular football formations that top teams from all over the world resort to:
In this particular formation, there are four defenders in a single line, four mid fielders around a ring and two forwards. Widely used by a number of teams, this formation was used by England to successfully lift the World Cup in 1966.
Today however, this formation is not used too often, as coaches prefer having more players out in the mid field region.
This particular formation involves having four defenders at the back, three mid fielders and three forwards. This formation makes use of a sweeper and is considered to be quite defensive as compared to some other formations.
This formation was widely preferred by a number of North American teams during the 1970s.
A soccer team comes with eleven players who are assigned different positions on the playing field. Every player in the team has a specific task assigned to him and he must follow his role in accordance to the team strategy.
Soccer positions can primarily be categorized into four groups. These include:
The goalkeeper is the most important member of a team whose primary role is to prevent the opposition from scoring goals. The goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball using his hands, given that the ball was not deliberately passed to him by a teammate and also him being inside the penalty box. Other than saving goals, a goalkeeper also needs to clear the ball, direct the defense and distribute the ball. The goalkeeper is really important and is very valuable to the team.
The defenders are used to prevent the opposition from entering the penalty area, to prevent any shots being taken at goal and also to intercept opposition’s passes. Defenders need to be very strong and need good stamina.
There are four positions that defenders may assume. These include:
- The Center Back Defender
- The Full Back Defender
- The Wing Back Defender
- The Sweeper
While sportspersons are known to not be very good at playing musical instruments, some certain footballers have gone on to break that myth.
Certainly, it should come as no shock to anyone that a good musician can be a good sportsperson and vice versa. Playing a sport or playing music well involves dedication and skill and a certain amount of patience. Many footballers have demonstrated that they can be pretty adept at playing a musical instrument as well.
Here we will take a look at 5 famous soccer players, who are also known to play some musical instrument either seriously, or as a hobby:
- Alexi Lalas
Probably the most notable of soccer players who have tried out their hand at music, Alexi Lalas is an American defender who has been involved with rock music. Active in sports through 1988 to 2003, Lalas was also the singer and guitarist for a band called the Gypsies and also released a solo album in the period.
Unfortunately for Alexi, his musical career never really took off and he is mostly known only for his role as a defender in soccer.
- Leighton Baines
The English defender, who also plays for the Everton football club, is known to be a keen guitarist as well. Respected for having a rich knowledge in music by other footballers, he is also friends with Miles Kane and band members of the Arctic Monkeys.
Baines is known to carry around his Gibson guitar even when he is out on tour with the English national team.
- Alexis Sanchez
The Chilean footballer, who also plays for Arsenal, can also play a few musical tunes on the piano – a digital one like at PianoReport.Com. At Arsenal’s party for Christmas in 2014, Sanchez revealed his skills and astonished everyone with a wonderful performance.
Sanchez has definitely pulled this feat off well, but he will still need to put forth more performances to convince everyone about his musical abilities.
- Tomas Rosicky
Captain of the Czech national football team, Tomas Rosicky also plays for Arsenal. While Tomas is known to be an intricate playmaker on the football field, in his spare time he battles the intricacies of the electric guitar.
Popularly nicknamed “Little Mozart”, Tomas has been seen with a wide variety of guitars and has also performed alongside a Czech punk band, Tri Sestry.
- Petr Cech
The Czech footballer, who is also the goalkeeper for Chelsea is famous for his excellent skills on the field. The no. 1 from Chelsea has been keenly playing the drums over the past few years and has also been tutored by the legendary drummer Roger Taylor from the band Queen.
Cech has played drums in a major music festival in the Czech Republic and videos of his excellent drumming can easily be found.
There are many other footballers who have tried out their hand at some form of music or the other, but discussing all of them would be beyond the scope of this article. However, the essence of the article is that anybody can try out their hands at music, provided they are disciplined and patient.
While the soccer fields you see during professional events like the World Cup are expansive and long, you don’t need a regulation size field to enjoy the world’s most popular sport. Any open and flat field of a decent size will make for an adequate place to play. You don’t need much beyond that to play soccer either – just a couple of goals and a ball, maybe two in case something happens to the first one. An unimproved lot somewhere is perfect if you won’t get into trouble for playing on it, otherwise there are parks and other places you could play too, depending on where you are.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going to set up, the next step is building some goals. Now there are a couple of different ways to do this. You could go the temporary route, looking for some simple goals like you might find at a sporting goods store. These will be made (probably) from some light pipe fitted into the shape of a soccer goal and with a net sewn into the material. They’re nice enough, portable and fast, but they don’t stand up too well against bad weather and even rough play can leave these types of goals damaged or broken.
If you have a more permanent field and you won’t have to pack up your gear at the end of the day, setting up your soccer field will take more time the first time, but you won’t need to deal with the hassle of breaking down and putting up your goals and nets. Using a framing nailer and a few 2x4s, you can build the basic outline of a soccer goal – but you’ll need to make two, remember. All the hard pounding of nails gets done by the machine in this case, so all you really need to do is set your wood planks together at the right angle and let the nails fly.
Once you have your goals, you’ll need to attach netting unless you don’t mind your soccer balls flying off and away from the field every time someone scores. Nets come in a wide variety of materials, like cotton, nylon and synthetics, so you have many options here. Whatever you choose, it must be durable and able to stand up to regular, repeated use. It also needs to be able to survive things like rain, snow, high winds and other weather effects. Attaching your net to your goals is easy enough using that same framing nailer from before.
Now that you have a field, two goals ready to play with and a soccer ball or two to use, you’re ready to enjoy the world’s most popular sport. You may want to consider playing with short teams since the field is smaller than usual, so the players have enough room to move around without running into each other constantly. Oh, and don’t forget protective gear like pads and such. You never know what you might fall on during play, especially when you are using an open field that could have rocks, holes and other perils.
Learning how to properly kick a ball in a specific direction is a cornerstone of becoming a good soccer player. It’s one of those simple skills that are easy to learn but take a while to master, and without which players wouldn’t be able to pull off the stunts you can catch them doing during live, professional play. Another big part of doing well on that field is getting in enough practice off the field. There are many different soccer drills with varying effectiveness at improving one or more soccer related skills. Target shooting (or kicking, if you prefer) is a good exercise to get started with.
If you want to practice kicking, then it stands to reason you'll need something to kick at. A fixed object, like a pole sticking out of the ground, can work for a while. But you'll also want to try kicking at different objects over different angles, rather than just taking the exact same shot over and over again. If you don’t put some variety into your training, you will only be fooling yourself into thinking you're better than you really are. So you need some targets of your own, not too big and not in a fixed location, which you can move around at will.
You could purchase targets just for this purpose, or other light objects which you could then use as targets. However, if you have access to a wood lathe, you could probably cut yourself some far better targets from scrap wood you can find practically anywhere. Not only would they last longer than manufactured targets made from plastic or other weaker materials than wood, but you can also customize targets of your own making. Painting them brightly or with reflective paints can make practicing during the evening a viable option, for example.
However you go about getting your kicking targets, once you have them, you need an area in which to practice. Now you can’t just go pick up an empty field at your local retail store, so you’ll probably need to look around wherever you live to find a suitable space; maybe something in a park or near a school would do the trick. Whatever place you find, make sure you won’t be trespassing or bothering people by being there. The last thing I want is to get someone into trouble by encouraging them to improve their soccer game.
Like I said before, you want to try shooting from many different angles at the same target, as well as shooting at many different targets from the same position. Getting a grasp for your surroundings and learning how to make the best plays under different conditions is essential to becoming a good soccer player – or a good football, or basketball, or baseball player, for that matter. Also, don’t limit your practice to fair weather. Try your kicks when it’s raining, or when it’s windy, so you can get experience playing in less than perfect conditions. This will make you a better soccer player.
Sometimes when I’m watching teams play soccer, I start to wonder how the game would be if things were a little… different, you know? Like, what if instead of running up and down the field, the players were riding motorcycles instead? Then, instead of kicking the ball with their feet to shoot or pass, they might have to swing a stick to do the same; sort of like polo but with motorcycles. I’m kind of surprised no sort of motorball game exists yet, actually.
I understand there would be a major element of risk involved with trying to negotiate precision movements while rolling along at 60 mph or faster. Even in other competitive sports, collisions between players can be life-threatening, and they are only moving maybe 15 mph tops. However, that doesn’t stop people from enjoying a fast pace in their sport of choice. Some people just crave speed – why do you think NASCAR does so well? So, despite the obvious safety concerns, I still think I’m onto something here, something that could be a lot of fun to watch.
It would probably make the game safer if it were played indoors, in a controlled environment. That could cut out a lot of variables and even the playing field for the riders, I imagine. Naturally, everyone would need to be equipped with some high end safety gear too. I’m talking about riding suits, boots, pads, helmets; the whole nine yards. I can see a problem already, considering how bulky the riders would become wearing all the necessary gear, but maybe there are lightweight versions I’m just not aware of. I’m sure the stuff is out there, even if it does cost an arm and a leg.
There would need to be standards and practices set as well, so players couldn’t get unfair advantages over one another. Uniformity like that is important in sports. Everyone would need to be riding the same bike, which means the bike of choice for this Motorball game would need to be capable of carrying the biggest, bulkiest players, right from the game’s inception. They might prove to be a little too strong for lighter players to ride and handle properly. I’m not really a motorcyclist myself, more like a major sports fan, so I’m not very good with some of these particulars.
I think I have a good idea going here, but I’ll admit it still needs some work. There are lots of facts and figures to sort out and even then, the game would probably still be too dangerous to see much mainstream play. I’ll bet some of my readers have thought of some pretty interesting concepts for sports games on their own, too. Maybe some of you have an idea or two to share, or some input to add to the game I’ve briefly outlined here. Whatever the case may be, feel free to leave your comments.
Recently I was thinking about ways to recycle old soccer balls and get more use out of them, extending their life just a bit. It’s a good way to stretch money of course, but it’s also a nice way to cut down on waste by repurposing something which is still able to have a purpose. A few different uses for old soccer balls come to mind, and I’m going to share them with you here, so don’t worry about that. The thing is, some of the ideas I’ve come up with are better than the others. Even I know some of these are outlandish, but what else are you going to do with a beat up old ball?
If you were to go to a website like http://www.criticalhunting.com/ and look for shooting targets, you’d find a number of targets meant for single use – targets which would be ruined after getting hit once or twice. These are cheaper than more permanent targets, but even cheaper than buying paper targets and having them shipped to you would be reusing old soccer balls for the same purpose. They don’t even need to be holding air anymore for this to work; if you manage to hit them, they’ll be so full of holes you’ll know your shot was true.
That’s just one use I thought of for spent soccer balls. You could also use them to patch the sole of a shoe that is starting to break through. Because soccer balls are generally made from high durability materials very similar to what you find in most sneakers and some other types of shoes, they can be used to patch up footwear in some cases. This is sort of like how you might use a patch of fabric to cover up a hole in a short or a set of pants. It works and while it isn’t a permanent solution, it can save you from needing to pay for a replacement for a while.
For those of you with creative minds, the last two uses for old soccer balls might have occurred to you already. This next one is a bit more practical though. Because of their soft texture and ability to absorb a blow (or a kick), spent soccer balls are great when used to cover up sharp corners on goals, tables, dressers and other objects. This is a real concern for parents with toddlers running around because they do tend to tumble. One old ball could make enough patches to cover a good deal of corners and it would be free, which is the best part really.
While I’ve come up with a few good uses for beat up soccer balls, there are probably other ways to use them I didn’t think of. Have any of you found other, interesting ways to recycle your old sporting goods? I think I’m really onto something here, but I’m worried there just aren’t that many real uses out there. I’ll keep thinking about it, but in the meantime, feel free to leave your own thoughts.
Soccer is a massively popular spectator sport, as anyone who has done the research on the subject would know. While American football can regularly pack arena’s with room for 50,000 people or more, soccer still gets a bigger average following per game than that – and regularly. If you’ve never been to see a professional soccer game yourself, it’s a noisy, bright and colorful experience, where you’ll probably be able to pick up any number of expletives in whatever language the fans happen to speak. Part of the fun of attending a soccer game is soaking up that energy and making some noise, too.
If you really think about it, those cans of air that make huge noise are really just horns already, kind of like mini trumpets with a mighty, limited air supply behind them. You force air through a valve and the thing produces sound, just like a trumpet. Of course, those cans of air are a lot easier to carry around with you. They’re also disposable, which means they’re cheap, while trumpets and other musical instruments can get pretty costly pretty quickly. But I never said you needed to bring a top of the line instrument along with you to make some noise at the next soccer game you attend.
Any old trumpet would do, as long as it still makes noise. Imagine how cool it would be to be the one guy or girl in the crowd blaring your heart out using a horn instead of a more traditional noisemaker. Well, I think it would be pretty cool anyhow. It would certainly make you unique among the other fans, unless some of them have also read this post! Just think about it too – if you’re actually good with a trumpet, playing at a game is a great opportunity to get yourself heard by thousands of people all gathered in the same space.
You might have a hard time just walking into a stadium with something like that, though. This is specifically why I mentioned trumpets. Unlike a lot of other instruments, most trumpets can be broken down and disassembled, making them much easier to carry. You can just put it back together once you’re inside and in your seat. It’s a great way to save money if you just can’t stop yourself from getting those air horns, plus, yeah, the unique factor I mentioned. You can check out http://www.trumpethub.com/ to find something cheap and fast, as well.
I’ve seen some really rambunctious, rowdy and raucous fans at soccer games before. People like to dress up, put on body paint, sing songs, make noise and sometimes even get a little physical; being the most popular spectator sport in the world has its downsides, you know. But I’ve never seen anyone playing a trumpet at a game. I mean, aside from bands that might take to the field. I still think this would be a pretty cool idea and I’d be quick to give props to anyone who shares an image or video showing what I've described here.