Soccer is the most popular sport in the world by far. But for many, the reason for its massive popularity remains a mystery.
I, for one, did not really care for soccer for many years. Well, not until I played it with my friends. My opinion quickly changed after a few games, but I digress.
Soccer can be a polarizing sport for many, especially in countries where it’s not popular (ahem, United States!).
I’m sure we’ve all heard that “soccer is a boring sport” and “just a bunch of players running around all game.” It’s a funny take on the sport, don’t get me wrong.
But is it accurate, though? Is soccer not fun? Well, the answer to that is NO.
Soccer is FUN. But don’t just take my word for it. Read on further to learn why soccer is so much more fun than what people give it credit for.
What Makes Soccer Fun?
Whether you’re a casual player or just a fan, soccer seems like a good way to pass the time. It provides you all the thrills and action packaged in a compact 90-minute window. It’s especially more satisfying if you’re cheering for your team.
But where does this ‘fun’ stem from exactly?
To be honest, I don’t have an answer for that. All I can give you are the reasons why people love this game. Some of the reasons are pretty obvious, but I’d list them still.
It’s a Beautiful Game
Soccer is a beautiful game. It’s easy to follow. There are no complex rules or random rules that make no sense. The goal is to simply score.
Players will often get creative in trying to score. Even if they don’t succeed, the amount of finesse they display sure is impressive.
Anyone can play. It’s not unusual to see a 5’5″ player taking on a 6’7″ player and succeeding. No other sport can offer you that sight as often soccer does.
Most Passionate Fandom in the World
Fans take pride in their teams, and not just regular pride. It’s hard to explain it here, but if you know soccer fans, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Soccer boasts probably the most passionate fandoms in the world.
Do yourself a favor and get into a bar when the game is on. I assure you that you will never see anything like it in other sports.
Every Goal Matters
Soccer is such a low-scoring game that it’s normal to see 1–0 outcomes, even 0–0.
While some new fans would take this as boring, it actually does the opposite. Since there aren’t that many goals in a soccer game, it just means that every score or goal matters a lot more compared to scores in other sports.
This means that every drive, play, substitution, and call is extremely valuable for the win.
If you’ve been to a game before, or have watched in a club with friends, you know how rowdy the crowd gets when their team tries for a goal, successful or not.
Rivalries are good for the sport. Yes, sure, some fans can take things a little too far, but those are pretty rare.
A game between two rivals almost always results in a classic game. Players will put everything on the line to secure a goal. This will help cement their legendary status to a fandom.
One good rivalry that would probably last several centuries is Liverpool vs. Manchester City. This is just one example. I’d run out of space if I put all known rivalries in here.
The World Cup. Need I say more?
Every 4 years, a country will host the World Cup competition where 32 countries from all over the world compete to get a chance to win one of the most coveted sports titles in the world.
It’s one of the most anticipated events in the world, probably only trailing the Olympics by a tiny bit.
A win is usually just a difference of 1 goal.
This gives a lot of unpredictability to the game. Since a team only needs to score a couple of goals to win the game, it’s unwise to count any team out until the final whistle is blown.
I would need another article to list all the notable upsets in soccer.
If you’re cheering for an underdog, it makes the game even more thrilling to watch live since you know they have a puncher’s chance of winning.
If you’ve played soccer before, you must know how seriously people take this sport.
Riots happen because of this game. And while that’s bad, that just shows you how passionate players and fans are.
This makes each game entertaining both from the players’ and fans’ points of view.
Easy to Understand
Going into a soccer game, even if it’s literally just your first time seeing the game, you can easily make sense of how the game is played.
A goal is worth 1 point. The team that has the most score wins. That doesn’t get any easier than that.
Soccer is one of the oldest sports that is still played today. The oldest known recorded game of soccer, or at least a game like it, was as early as 200 BC. Granted, the current game is unrecognizable from that era.
The first associated game between two nations was England vs. Scotland in 1872. The game of soccer has since grown into what it is today, a game for the ages.
Easy to Get Into
Any able-bodied individual can play the game of soccer. It doesn’t even matter if it’s your first time seeing a soccer field.
It’s one of those games that are “easy to play, hard to master,” and that’s what makes it so special.
If you want to get into a sport, soccer definitely comes highly recommended.
Inexpensive to Play
Soccer has a low barrier of entry. All you need is a soccer ball, an empty field, a couple of friends, and you’re good to go.
This is a stark comparison from other sports where you need to invest in expensive equipment and accessories to just get your foot at the door.
No wonder soccer is such a popular sport.