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Association football


Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.

Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years.

Selected article

German women's national football team in Frankfurt, after winning the 2007 World Cup
The German women's national football team represents Germany in international women's football and is directed by the German Football Association (DFB). The team played its first international match in 1982. The German national team is one of the most successful in women's football. They are the two-time reigning world champions, having won the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Germany is the only nation which has won both the men's and the women's World Cup. The team has won six of the nine UEFA European Championships, claiming the last four titles in a row. Germany has won three bronze medals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, finishing third in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Women's football was long met with scepticism in Germany and official matches were banned by the DFB until 1970. However, the popularity of the women's national football team has grown since the team won their first World Cup title.

Selected biography

Cesc Fàbregas
Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas i Soler (born May 4, 1987 in Arenys de Mar, Catalonia, Spain), commonly known as Cesc Fàbregas, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder.

Fàbregas started his career as a trainee with FC Barcelona but signed by Arsenal in July 2003 looking for regular first team football. He did not feature much in his first season for the Gunners, but following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004–05 season, his playing time increased. Before long, he had established himself as Arsenal's starting central midfielder and playmaker and went on to break several of the club's records as he began to earn a reputation of a technically-gifted player, excellent passer of the ball and key component of the Arsenal lineup.

In international football, the Spaniard's national career began at the youth level, representing the Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of his club performances, he was called up the senior Spanish national team and played in the 2006 World Cup.

Selected association

Map of USA
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. Founded in 1913, it is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is a member of FIFA, and is responsible for governing amateur and professional soccer, including the men's, women's, and Paralympic national teams. The USSF is also responsible for sanctioning referees and soccer tournaments for most soccer leagues in the United States.

The federation oversees the leagues of Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues as well as the Women's Premier Soccer League and W-League. The federations major cup competition is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup which is open to all affiliated teams and has been contested since 1914.

Selected image

Illuminated exterior of the Allianz Arena
Credit: commons user Norbert Aepli

The illuminated exterior of the Allianz Arena in Germany. Completed in 2005 at a cost of €340 million, it is now the home ground of Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München. Nicknamed the "Schlauchboot" (inflatable boat), its exterior is constructed of 2,874 foil air panels which are inflated with dry air. These panels can be individually lit with either red, blue or white lights.

Selected quote

If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there.
Brian Clough, on his dislike for long balls

Did you know...

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  • ... that the San Jose Earthquakes won MLS Cup 2001 only one season after finishing at the bottom of the league table? (4 March 2019)
  • ... that Dutch footballer Leon de Kogel's playing career ended following a car accident in which he had to be cut out of his vehicle by the fire service? (9 March 2019)
  • ... that the inaugural MLS Cup was played in heavy rain in the aftermath of Hurricane Lili? (4 May 2019)
  • ... that collegiate soccer coach Pete Fewing has also officiated at the weddings of two of his former players? (10 May 2019)


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