For Love of the Game: Pros and Cons of Soccer

A soccer player wearing soccer cleats, about to kick the ball toward the goal, with the goalie blocking it.

Maradona, Beckham, Messi, Pelé, Ronaldo, Zidane, Muller. If you know these names, then I’m sure you know or even play the sport. Americans call it soccer, and the English call it football. But to the rest of us, soccer and football are two interchangeable words. 

But is a soccer game all fun and games? Soccer has its pros and cons. Even the greatest football players have endured the worst before celebrating the best wins of their careers. Yes, soccer is a beautiful game, but sometimes you get so high on the adrenaline that you push yourself way past your limit.

All About the Game 

Soccer, or football as others call it, is a team sport played with different positions such as forwards, midfielders, defenders, and a keeper. The main goal is to get the soccer ball past the opposing team’s players and its goalkeeper and into the net. But it isn’t a smooth run for anyone in the field, not even for the referee. 

Soccer is a contact sport played in more than one league. Youth players can join a youth soccer club to play in tournaments. And when you go pro, you can join a professional club to play for UEFA Champions League, Primera Liga, and such. 

You can also play for the national team to compete in the FIFA World Cup, dubbed as the most prestigious soccer competition in the world. And if you’ve watched any football matches in any league, you may have seen how the soccer community has celebrated wins and how they have mourned for injuries the soccer players procure

Like with any sport, each team’s quest to win different soccer matches sometimes leads to casualties in the name of the game. But soccer isn’t all bad things. Here are most of the pros and cons of playing soccer. 

Pros of Soccer

Camaraderie in Team Sport

In playing soccer, you need a team of players and a coach. Being a team player benefits you so that you get to learn how to work and communicate with your teammates, coach, and even your opponents.

Good communication and understanding as a team help you achieve your goal in the game. And it will also help you later in your work life, where you will have to work with different people. 

A group of guys from a soccer team, hanging out together after practice.

Keeps You Fit, Being a Physical Sport

In a soccer game, you will have to run up and down a wide field. Thus, you need to be in shape. Whether you play recreational soccer or at a professional level, it will help you keep and improve your overall fitness level. 

Inexpensive Hobby Needing Less Equipment

If you play recreational soccer, you do not have to have the professional athletes’ luxurious equipment and accessories. Nor do you need to travel far to play as there are plenty of soccer fields available in your local area. With just a soccer ball and a pair of functional soccer cleats, you can play and enjoy a game of soccer. 

Expanding Network

In the sport, you get to meet different people and bond with them somehow. This helps you gain new acquaintances or even friends. The sport enables you to expand your network, which will surely come in handy at some point in your life, whether you decide to pursue a career in the sport or other day jobs.

College Scholarships and Job Opportunities

When you play school soccer, you may get a scholarship opportunity to play soccer in college. If you play exquisitely well, you may even get drafted to go pro. But if not, your playing history will still look good on your resume.

It helps you get better job opportunities because it gives an idea that you know how to balance your time, juggling your academics and the sport. 

Stress-Relieving Sport

When you expend all your energy in a soccer game, you tend to have no other energy to worry about the stressors in your life. Just like the players of other multiple sports, soccer players claim to experience stress relief during and after playing the sport. It helps them clear their minds off stressful things, which allows them to regenerate and maintain good mental health. 

Cons of Soccer

Concussions and Other Injuries

Being a physical and contact sport, you are bound to acquire an injury at some point or another. Whether in training or a game, many soccer players have had minor and major injuries that significantly impacted their careers.

The worst-case scenario when you play the sport is overexerting yourself to the point that you suffer from a heart attack and die of cardiac arrest. Many pro-athletes have played the sport at the cost of their life.  

An injured soccer player holding an ice pack on his right knee, while resting on the grassy field.

Frustration and Arguments

One of the disadvantages when playing soccer is you’re not immune to being frustrated at something. And this frustration sometimes leads to an argument that goes out of hand in the heat of the moment. If you have seen a football match that turned into boxing, then you know what I mean. 

Team Sport

Soccer is a team sport, and without other players, you can’t play. Although this is not as much of an issue most times, there are instances that you lose players that lead you to forfeit a game. 

Talent and Time

Playing and excelling at soccer requires individual talent and time to hone your skills. Expect that your first time playing will be a challenging experience, but practicing over time will help you develop physical abilities and a mental attitude to excel in the game. 

Life Balance

Whether you play college football, recreational soccer, or at the professional level, the sport requires extensive training to help you excel in the sport. Some college players sacrifice leisure just to show up to training consistently.

And others just can’t manage their training time with their academics, leading them to fail the latter. Balance and consistency are a bit hard to achieve when you play any sport. But with extra effort, you will push through.


A goalkeeper wearing a yellow long-sleeved shirt and gloves, in action at a soccer game.

Soccer is one of the most eminent sports in the world. And for whatever reason, you’re playing the sport for, knowing the advantages and disadvantages will help you prepare for what’s about to come. The cons are not to scare you away from football or soccer, but they serve as a reminder to take precautions, listen to your mind and body, and know your limits.

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