70 Soccer Facts to Learn More About the Game

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Soccer, football, association football, the beautiful game. Whatever name you like to call it there is no doubt that this is the world’s most popular sport and I guarantee there is always someone in the world with a soccer ball at their feet at any given moment.

Whether you are a complete beginner, a fan, a youth player, a coach, or even a professional player there is always something new to learn about the game. That is why I have created this post about 70 interesting soccer facts to help you increase your soccer knowledge.

Soccer Facts

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Historical Facts About Soccer

The world of soccer is full of a rich and exciting history. Here are some historical facts about the game.

The earliest form of the game is the Chinese game Cuju, which dates back to China’s Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Cuju involved players using their feet to kick a ball through an opening into a net without using their hands.

The Greeks and Romans also played ball games similar to soccer called Episkyros and Harpastum, respectively.

The Aztecs also played a variation of soccer called “The ball game”

In Europe during the Middle Ages, soccer balls were made from inflated pig bladders encased in leather.

The first standardized rules of soccer were established in 1863 by the Football Association (FA) in England.

Sheffield FC was founded in 1857 and it is recognized as the world’s oldest existing club dedicated solely to playing football.

The first official international match occurred between two European countries, England and Scotland in 1872 and it ended in a 0-0 draw

The first vulcanized rubber soccer ball was invented in 1855 by Charles Goodyear

The first pair of soccer cleats were invented in 1526 by Cornelius Johnson

Many world-class soccer players have written their own autobiography books describing their struggles to reach the highest levels.

Soccer Facts

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Facts about Soccer Gameplay

Soccer follows the official Laws of the Game, which are the standardized rules that are now governed by FIFA.

Soccer is played between two opposing teams with different colors on a grassy rectangular field called a pitch, which can vary in size.

The team that scores the most goals is the winner of the match

A team is made up of 11 players from four primary positions, goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and attackers.

The shape of a team and the amount of players from each primary position depends on the formation of the team

The team’s goalkeeper is the only player that can use their hands if they are inside their penalty box

An official soccer game is 90 minutes long, plus stoppage time, and a 15 minute halftime break

Extra time and penalty shootouts are used as tie breakers if the game needs a clear winner, since some soccer games can end in a draw

The kickoff rule changed from having two players at the kickoff spot to only having one player in 2016.

A foul in soccer can result in various consequences such as a yellow or red card for the player who committed the foul, and a penalty kick or a free kick for the player that got fouled.

If the ball goes out of bounds there are various ways to restart play based on where it went out and which team touched it last such as throw-ins, goal kicks, or corner kicks.

Soccer Facts

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Facts About Professional Soccer Player Records

One of the most exciting parts of the game is the amount of incredible records set by players either creating new records or beating old ones.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the leading all-time goal scorer in history with 862 official goals to his name

Cristiano Ronaldo is also the player with the most caps (205 caps)

Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored the most braces (two goals in one game) in soccer history

Ferenc Puskas is the player with the most assists in soccer history

Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record of 8 times which is more than any player in history

Lionel Messi has also won the most team trophies in history with 44 titles won

Pele has the most hat tricks (three goals in one game) in soccer history.

Gianluigi Buffon has the most clean sheets of any goalkeeper with 500.

At just 23 years old, Julian Alvarez has already won all major trophies in football, internationally and at club level, including the FIFA world cup, the Barclays Premier League, the Copa America, the Club World Cup, the English FA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and many more. He has basically completed football.

George Weah was the first black professional soccer player to win the Ballon d’Or in 1995

Soccer Facts

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Facts About Professional Soccer Teams

When talking about individual records we also have to talk about the team records since soccer is a team sport.

Real Madrid is the team that has won the most Champions League trophies, the most prestigious soccer tournament at the club level.

Barcelona has produced the most Ballon d’Or winners while Real Madrid comes second

Historically, Manchester United is the most successful football team in the English Premier League because they have the most Premier League titles, plus many more trophies

When a soccer team wins three major trophies in one season it is called a treble.

Uruguay won the first FIFA World Cup in 1930

The USA Women’s National team has won the most women’s world cup trophies

Brazil has won the most World Cups with five while both Italy and Germany won four titles.

Only Bayern Munich (2020) and Barcelona (2009) have won the Sextuplet which means they won all 6 trophies in one season.

The host country of the most recent World Cup was Qatar and the host country instantly qualified for the tournament, making this their first World Cup.

The national teams with the most trophies include Argentina with 19 and Brazil with 18 trophies.

Soccer Facts

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Interesting Soccer Trivia

Here are some interesting soccer trivia facts to learn more about the beautiful game.

The biggest soccer stadium in the world is the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, South Korea and it holds about 150,000 people.

One of the highest-scoring games was between Australia and American Samoa on April 11, 2001, when Australia won the game 31-0.

The fastest goal in the history of the game was scored by Gavin Stokes for Maryhill against Clydebank after 2.1 seconds.

The highest transfer fee ever paid for a soccer player is €222 million, which was paid by Paris Saint-Germain to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017

One of the oldest players in professional soccer is a 55-year-old Japanese player playing in the Portuguese 2nd division

One of the youngest players in professional soccer is 16-year-old Lamine Yamal who has already made his first-team debut with FC Barcelona.

The USA is one of the only countries, if not the only and the biggest, to have a professional soccer system that does not follow promotion and relegation.

Miroslav Klose has the record for most goals scored during the World Cup tournament.

Soccer is a sport played during the Olympic games and the previous winner is Brazil who won in the 2020 olympics.

There are many soccer documentaries, movies, books, and TV shows that can help you better understand the game or get close behind-the-scenes footage of the best clubs and players around the world.

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Soccer Culture and Fandom Facts

Without the fans soccer is nothing. The fans and the culture of the game are some of the reasons why this sport is so special.

Soccer is the most popular sports in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans, or about half of the world’s population

The FIFA World Cup is the most popular sports tournament in the world and gets the most viewers out of any entertainment event

Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous “Sui” goal celebration has become one of the most iconic celebrations in sports history

English Premier League teams such as Liverpool and Manchester United have some of the most popular and well-known chants

Shakira’s Waka Waka World Cup song is one of the most well-known and popular World Cup songs of all time

Soccer fans in South America are known for their passion and creativity, with colorful banners, flags, and flares

Soccer has the power to bring people together and unite them across cultural and national boundaries

Eric Cantona got a red card for kicking someone in the stands, not even from the other team, but a fan.

The World Cup that took place in the USA in 1994 is the world cup with the largest attendance in history.

The first soccer world cup took place in Uruguay, who also became the first champions

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Soccer Science and Technology Facts

Over the years we have seen an evolution in the world of soccer with advancements in various pieces of equipment and technology to ensure fair play.

Goal-line technology, such as Hawkeye, is used in professional soccer to determine if a ball has crossed the goal line.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology was used for the first time in 2016

Wearable technology, such as GPS trackers worn by players during matches, are used to analyze player movement patterns and provide valuable data on factors such as distance ran, speed, acceleration, deceleration, heart rate, and more.

Tactical analysis websites, such as Squawka, provide real-time and post-match statistics of everything that goes on in a soccer match, including time of possession, number of passes, number of shots, shot accuracy, chances created, tackles, blocks, player stats, and more

The physics of soccer is fairly simple and could be explained in a basic physics course. These concepts include Newton’s Laws of Motion and basic parabolic trajectories

The Magnus Effect is a phenomenon that explains the difference in trajectory between a ball with spin and one without spin, which shows why those with spin move in a certain direction.

Soccer fields have not changed much except there has been a rise in artificial turf soccer fields, especially in America.

Companies have added smart technology to soccer balls creating smart soccer balls

Soccer players nowadays are able to make money online to fund their dreams with the power of technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is soccer the number one sport in the world?

Soccer is the number one sport because it is a very simple sport that many people have access to since you don’t need a lot of equipment to start playing. All you really need is the soccer ball, some open space, your bare feet, and you can start playing so it is very accessible to a lot of people around the world.


In conclusion, soccer is the world’s most beloved sport and no matter where you are on your soccer journey, there is always more to learn. In this blog I provided you with a lot of interesting soccer facts to help you learn more about various aspects of the beautiful game.

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