"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

Where It All Began

Soccer is said to have begun in China during the second and third centuries BC. During the Han dynasty people dribbled leather balls filled with fur and kicked it into a small net. Like soccer, they weren't allowed to use their hands. Romans and Greeks used to play ball for fun as well. The growth of modern soccer began in England. During medieval times times it was said that while playing soccer the players were allowed to kick, punch, bite, and gouge. The games were violent, where injury and death was not uncommon.

Lionel Messi

  • Argentine professional footballer
  • Forward for Barcelona and the Argentina national team
  • Only player in history who won the FIFA Ballon d'Or 5 times
  • First player to win 3 European Golden Shoe awards
  • Represented his country in 6 major tournaments


  • 5000-300 BC: There is evidence in China that military forces during the Han Dynasty played a game similar to soccer called, "Tsu Chu."
  • 1000 BC: The Japanese version of soccer was named "Kemari", a game a lot like modern hacky sacks, played with 2-12 players, and with a larger ball filled with sawdust.
  • BC: In ancient Greece they played a game called Episkyros. Where two team with the same amount of players tried to throw a ball over the heads of the other team.
  • 50 BC: Tsu Chu and Kemari players were the first to have an International game of their versions of soccer.
  • 600-1600 AD: In Mexico and Central America the rubber ball was created and used in a game on a court 40-50 feet long that was shaped like a capital "I".
  • 700s: The first Football games played in Britain was between the locals east of England, starting after a legendary game where they kicked around the severed head of a Danish prince that they defeated in war.
  • 1331: The violence led King Edward III of England to pass laws that band the game.
  • 1424: King James I of Scotland also passed a law banning the game.
  • 1500: In Italy they played a game called calcio where the players kicked, carried, or passed a ball across a goal line.
  • 1572: Queen Elizabeth I passed a laws that could sentence a football player to jail for a week, followed by a penance in a church.
  • 1600: In Alaska and Canada the Eskimos played a game called aqsa tuk on ice, they used balls stuffed with grass, caribou hair and moss.
  • 1605: Football became legal in England again.
  • 1620: In North America, Native Americans played a game called pasukaukohowag, meaning "they gather to play ball with the foot".
  • 1815: Eton College of England established a set of rules for the games.
  • 1820: In the USA football was played among Northeastern Universities.
  • 1848: The rules were standardized and a new version was adopted by all schools, colleges, and universities, known as the Cambridge rules.
  • 1862: The first soccer club outside of England was formed.
  • October 26 1863: The Football Association was formed.
  • December 8 1863: Association Football and Rugby Football finally split into two different organizations.
  • 1869: The Football Association rules were further amended to exclude any handling of the ball.
  • 1872: The first official international football match was played
  • 1883: The four British associations agreed on a uniform code and formed the International Football Association Board.
  • 1885: The first international match played by teams outside of Great Britain was between the USA and Canada.
  • 1888: Introduction of the penalty kick.
  • 1900: Soccer played at the Olympic Games for the first time.
  • 1904: Establishment of FIFA by delegates from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • 1930: FIFA held soccer's first World Cup Tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay, with 13 teams.
  • 1932: Soccer was taken off the program for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
  • 1991: The inaugural Women's World Cup in China was won by the US.
  • 1996: The American women's team won the first ever women's soccer event at the Olympics.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Portuguese professional footballer
  • Plays forward and serves as a captain for Portugal
  • Plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team
  • Won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2008
  • The first player to win 4 European Golden Show awards
  • Was named the best Portuguese player of all time

Women's Soccer

The first few decades of the 20th century saw women's soccer as restricted to casual gym classes, games and college competitions. In 1951 the first women's league was established and things changed. US women's soccer gained a lot of popularity during the beginning of the 20th century. The US had a late start-up compared to Europe, where the had women leagues from the 1930s. A serious and organized form of women's soccer in the United States started in the 1970s. It spread greatly during the early 1980s through varsity college teams. However, the first national women's league was created in 1995, and the first professional women's league began in 2001.

Mia Hamm

  • Retired professional soccer player
  • Played as forward for the United States women's national soccer team
  • 2 time olympic gold medalist
  • FIFA women's world cup winner
  • Held the record for international goals, more than any other player, male or female, until 2013

Economic Impact

The FIFA World Cup has a great impact on the global economy. The 1994 World Cup was hosted in different cities around the United States. In Los Angeles there was a total economic profit of 623 million dollars. Whereas, during that same year the Superbowl had only profited 182 million dollars. New York, San Francisco, and Boston combined gained one billion and forty-five million dollars. The increase on hotels and restaurants was 10-15% more than the year before. The money made is used to open new factories and expand the corporation.The UN asked FIFA in 2010 to place a .4% educational tax on broadcasting and sponsorship. This had hopefully gained an estimated $48 million per year until last year.

Social Impact

Soccer allows millions of boys and girls around the United States to make friends, learn new leadership skills, and stay healthy. Sports engage people, shows teamwork, and teaches kids life lessons about hard work, dedication, and relying on others. Soccer also keeps children busy so they aren't on the streets and away from drugs and violence. Soccer brings happiness and peace, but it can also bring disruption and chaos, as with any sport.

Political Impact

Soccer serves as a means of bridging gaps with peaceful exchanges and also as a diplomatic tool. There is an organization that was created in 2001 called Football 4 Peace, that has been bringing Muslim and Jewish young people together to further understand and overcome their differences. The Peres Center for Peace has used soccer to bring a semblance of peace between the Palestine and Israel from teams mixed with palestinians and israelis competing in exhibition teams to camps and tournaments from both sides. Youth development programs have been set up around the world to allow children and teenagers to learn the sport.
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