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Soccer

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) says that at least 240 million people worldwide play soccer today. These are photos of those who played soccer in the past. Read more >>

Today, when we think of the history of soccer, we often think "Great Britain." But the game has 2000 year old roots in China - or maybe Greece, Rome, or parts of Central America. Who really knows? But whatever its roots, soccer is now a worldwide popular game. Called "football" in much of the world, soccer was first given a fixed set of rules in England - for instance, forbidding the tripping of opponents and not allowing the touching of the ball with your hands.

With a modern history of over 100 years - the Football Association, called the FA, was formed in 1863 England - soccer is not only a professional game but also played in schools of all levels and as an amateur sport by adults - men and women. While the rules have changed over the past century plus, the equipment (which is minimal - just a ball and a goal/net) and what players wear have largely remained the same.

These are some fun facts about soccer:
  • Arthur Friedenreich scored 1,329 goals, playing for Brazil for over 26 years. This makes him the top scoring "footballer" - soccer player - in world history.
  • Although soccer is more popular in the rest of the world, it is still watched by more people in the U.S. than hockey and car racing.
  • The word "soccer" was originally the nickname for Association Football in Great Britain. Later on, the word was adopted by the U.S. to differentiate the game from American football.
  • Sean Connery - considered by the Boomer generation to be the "real" James Bond - was offered a soccer contract with Manchester United in 1953. Connery obviously chose an acting career rather than a footballing career.
  • During a pro soccer game, players can run, on average, 4 - 8 miles. That's more than any other sport.
  • Known as "football" in most of the world and as "soccer" in the U.S., the original name for the game was "basket ball." Why? In the beginning, the goals were overturned wicker baskets.
  • The original World Cup trophy was made of paper-mâché. But the trophy dissolved in the rain so the material was changed in 1950. The cup is now made of 18 carat gold with a malachite base.

So enjoy these old photos of people playing soccer - or is it "football" or "basket ball"? << Read less
A photo of a girl's soccer team, sometime between 1918 and 1920.
A photo of soccer captain Watson Boudinot
People in this photo:
A photo of the Preussen soccer team, Germany - circa 1912
A photo of soccer being played at Roosevelt Stadium, State Route 440 & Danforth Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ
George Mather in "The Bell" yearbook, 1926, San Jose High School's soccer team. The following was written about their season: "..on account of many disadvantages the soccer team had very little success this season...but the boys worked hard under this handicap and were coached by Delos Wolfe, a former soccer team member. The weather conditions were very poor, which kept the boys from practice a great deal, and most of the games were forfeited due to the condition of many of the players....the team played two games and showed a true fighting spirit from the beginning to the end of the games...." George Mather is dressed in sweater and slacks, standing right side of photo.
People in this photo:
A photo of the mascot for the Scottish football team (soccer in America) the Partick Thistle.
A photo of Ernest Augustus Mettam on the Gainsborough Trinity Football Club 1909
People in this photo:
Ernest Augustus Mettam
September 1886 - Aug 8, 1918
Stapleford, England, England
A photo of Cliff J Wittig
People in this photo:
Cliff J Wittig
Born: May 14, 1960
St Petersburg, FL, United States
A photo of Kenneth Brankling in a football club.
People in this photo:
Kenneth Brankling
Jan 22, 1934 - 2007
Hull, England, United Kingdom
A photo of Kenneth Brankling in a football club.
People in this photo:
Kenneth Brankling
Jan 22, 1934 - 2007
Hull, England, United Kingdom
A photo of Rowland Charles Behn
People in this photo:
Rowland Charles Behn
December 1899 - Dec 21, 1917
Midhurst, England, United Kingdom
A photo of David B. Pacheco playing soccer.
People in this photo:
David B. Pacheco
Sep 26, 1928 - May 2, 2010
rocky hill, ct, us
Haitian soccer team in Gonaives, Haiti in 1960. (L) to (R )-Phedre Perard,Naudere Jacques,Barette Louis,(back)Dupiton,Gerard Dubousquet,Kedgan Bastien,Immorer Alouidor,(squatting) Daniel Mayard,(front)Jean Barbot,Claude Limage,'Bouze', Anicet Richard,(goalkeeper) Georges Mathelier
This is a photo of Soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 11, 2012.
A photo of girls playing soccer circa 1920.
This is a photo of Football match on 'Y' field on Ap. 4, 1942 between Greek... added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.
Football match on 'Y' field on Ap. 4, 1942 between Greek Air Force & 'Y' teams. King George of Greece present. The Greek team introduced to Air Commador.
This is a photo of Football match on 'Y' field on Ap. 4, 1942 between Greek... added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.
A photo of the United States soccer team in Bonn, Germany.
A photo in Washington, D.C.: Playing soccer in a physical education class at Woodrow Wilson High School
This is a photo of Washington, D.C. Playing soccer in a physical education... added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Washington, D.C. Playing soccer in a physical education... added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Washington, D.C. Playing soccer in a physical education... added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Soccer, 1921 added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Composite team soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 6, 2012.
This is a photo of Girls soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 5, 2012.
This is a photo of Girl soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 5, 2012.
This is a photo of Girl soccer added by Ancient Faces on January 5, 2012.
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