Soccer: The Only Football That Really Matters

Why Soccer Is the Superior Sport.

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Maxie Eller, Newspaper Managing-Editor

Whether you call it soccer or fútbol, everyone can agree that it is the best sport. According to FIFA, over 270 million people across the world play soccer and 43% of the world either watches soccer or is interested in the sport. What all of that data means is that not only is soccer extremely popular, but it also is a lot of fun. 

Soccer isn’t an easy sport to play. I play soccer, so I would know. Just like any other sport, it requires hard work and practice to excel. Soccer requires leg strength to kick the ball far down the field, upper body strength to push against other players, arm strength for throw-ins, and endurance to sprint across a field for more than an hour.  Even if you have the physical capacity to play soccer, you also have to have technical skills. Shooting the ball, chipping it across the field, and even basic passes each require a specific technique that players have to master, let alone more difficult skills and maneuvers. 

Not only do players have to be able to play soccer physically, but there is also the mental aspect of the game. Unlike sports such as football, soccer isn’t a game that you can map out play by play. Sure, there is a coach on the sidelines that has shown players general ideas for what to do in different situations, but once players step on the field, it’s all up to them. Soccer is a lot like a moving chess game. Players have to think multiple passes ahead and know where they need to be on the field quickly.  The physical and mental aspects of soccer alone make it an elite sport compared to others. 

Teamwork and friendship are also crucial components when it comes to soccer. It’s a team sport and there are eleven people, including the goalie, on the field from one team at a time. Players have to be comfortable with communicating with their teammates and understand the tendencies of them to better assist them with plays on the field. I played with the same girls on a club team for four years and by the time we were all playing high school soccer together, we knew each other’s tendencies and preferred moves without even having to think about it twice on the field. I still keep in contact with many of those girls and have made, what I hope, are lifelong friendships because of soccer. 

It takes dedication and determination to work hard day after day at any sport, but especially soccer. It’s an outdoor sport that is played in all weather: sunny, rainy, snowing, or windy. Countless hours are set aside for practice, weight room, games, and recovery. Soccer isn’t a light commitment. Soccer players are athletes who understand their commitments and keep them despite any feelings of tiredness or soreness. 

Not only is soccer fun to play, but it is also fun to watch. There’s a reason why so many people worldwide are soccer fans. True, some people claim that the game is too slow-paced for them, but they must not have watched the right game. Professional soccer is entertaining in that you can see elite moves and plays, high school soccer is fun because it is fast-paced and filled with action, and little kid soccer is just adorable. Besides, soccer fans are a fun bunch of people to interact with. 

Honestly, anyone can play soccer as long as they have a ball and a curiosity for the sport. I encourage you to try it out and see just why I love soccer and why so many others do too. After all, it is the best sport.