Portal:Association football

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Association football

Association football, or, in most countries just football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams each consisting of eleven players and is the most popular team sport in the world. It is a ball game played on a rectangular grass field (or occasionally on artificial turf) with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team's goal. The predominant feature of the sport is that players other than the goalkeepers may not use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play. The winner is the team that has scored the most goals at the end of the match.

The sport is known by many names throughout the English-speaking world, although football is perhaps the most common. Other names, such as association football and soccer, are often used to distinguish the game from other codes of football, since the word football may refer to several quite different games.

The game is played at a professional level all over the world and millions of people regularly go to a football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst millions more avidly watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.

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Sheffield Wednesday lift the 2005 League One Playoff Trophy
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional football team based in Sheffield, England who currently compete in the Football League of England in The Championship division. Wednesday are one of the oldest professional clubs in the world.

Nicknamed the "Owls", the club has won four league titles, three FA Cups and one League Cup, but their League Cup triumph in 1991 is their only major trophy since World War II. They did reach both domestic cup finals in 1993, but lost 2-1 to Arsenal each time.

Their main rivals are neighbours Sheffield United. Matches between Wednesday and United are nicknamed Steel City derbies and are usually the highlight of the season for both sets of fans. Famous matches include The Boxing Day Massacre, a Football League Third Division match which took place at Hillsborough on 26 December 1979. A record Third Division crowd of 49,309 fans watched Wednesday beat United 4-0 and the game has become part of Sheffield Wednesday folklore, even inspiring a song.

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Playing football on a beach in Bali
Credit: Flickr user Riza Nugraha

Association football has many variants including Beach soccer. Historically popular in Brazil, the rules for the sport were codified by Beach Soccer Worldwide in 1992. Today, national teams from all confederations compete in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

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Francke Ribéry
Franck Ribéry (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɑ̃k ʁibeʁi]; born 7 April 1983) is a French international footballer who currently plays for German club Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. He primarily plays as a winger, preferably on the left side, and is known for "pace, energy, skill and precise passing."[1] Ribéry is described as a player who is "fast, tricky and an excellent dribbler" who "has great control with the ball at his feet".[2] Since joining Bayern, he has been recognised on the world stage as one of the best French players of his generation. The previous talisman of French national team, Zinedine Zidane, has called Ribéry the "jewel of French football".[3]

Ribéry's career began in 1989 as a youth player for local hometown club Conti Boulogne. He left the club after seven years to join professional outfit Lille, but departed the club after three years after having difficulties adjusting. In 1999, Ribéry joined US Boulogne, where he played for two years. After spending two more years in the amateur divisions with two different clubs (Alès and Brest), in 2004, Ribéry earned a move to Ligue 1 club FC Metz. After six months with the club, Ribéry moved to Turkey in January 2005 joining Galatasaray where he won the Turkish Cup. After six months at Galatasaray, he departed the club in controversial fashion in order to return to France to join Marseille. Ribéry spent two seasons at the club helping the Marseillais reach the final of the Coupe de France in back-to-back seasons. In 2007, Ribéry joined German club Bayern Munich for a then club-record fee of €25 million. With Bayern, he has won the double on two occasions; in the 2007–08 and 2009–10 seasons. In 2010, Ribéry contributed to the team that reached the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final, but was unable to participate in the match due to suspension.

Ribéry is a French international. Prior to representing the senior team, he played at under-21 level. At senior level, Ribéry has represented his nation two FIFA World Cups and UEFA Euro 2008. He made his international debut in May 2006 against Mexico. At the 2006 World Cup, Ribéry scored his first international goal against Spain and played in the final match against Italy. Individually, Ribéry is a two-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours. He has also been named to the UEFA Team of the Year and declared the Young Player of the Year in France.

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Australia indicated on a world map
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body for the sport of Association football in Australia. Before 1 January 2005, it was known as the Australian Soccer Association (ASA), which succeeded Soccer Australia in this role in 2003.

The association has a chequered past, being dissolved twice and refused re-entry into FIFA in 1961 until outstanding fines were paid, but following the Crawford Report and the change of name to the FFA; the popularity and financial health of the sport in Australia improved.

Among other duties, the FFA oversees Australia's national football teams (including the Socceroos (men), the Matildas (women), and various youth teams) and the national club competition, the A-League.

Did you know...

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We need a big, ugly defender. If we had one of them we'd have dealt with County's first goal by taking out the ball, the player and the first three rows of seats in the stands.

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  1. ^ "Franck Ribéry". fcbayern.de. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Franck Ribéry ESPN Profile". ESPN. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "A Ferrari in the Bayern shirt". Bundesliga.de. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2010.