Soccer history starts with the first mentions of playing with the ball with feet were recorded in China and Ancient Rome BC. Inhabitants of the Celestial Empire played with a round ball on square areas, and Romans mostly used soccer not as entertainment, but as a training exercise for warriors.
In the 12th century AD, a ball game much like soccer was born in England, and was played in the meadows, roads and squares. In addition to kicking the ball, fist kicks were also allowed. This early form of soccer was very rough and brutal than the modern version of the game, and it involved not 22 people, as now, but crowds of people.
A similar game with the same level of brutality was created in Florence (16th century), and it was called Calcio. The fury of such soccer games often caused considerable damage to the streets of the city, and the participants were injured and some even died. Such games were banned for several centuries and the history of soccer could have ended there, but in the 17th century ball games began to appear in the streets of London again, and later soccer began to be used in public schools.
But it took a long time for soccer to be transformed into the version we have now. The fact is that in those days there was no distinction between rugby and soccer, besides, the game had different formations with different ball sizes, number of players, match duration, etc.
Where is the birthplace of soccer?
An attempt to create unified soccer rules and regulations, was made in 1848 in Cambridge, but some issues could not be solved. Another important event in the history of soccer took place in London in 1863, when the first soccer association was formed in England and the first rules of the game were established. The consequence of the London meeting was that the ball game was divided into two types: soccer and rugby.
Thus, the world believes that December 8, 1863, is the official date of the birth of soccer. It is England that is considered the birthplace of soccer.
After the London meeting went an active process of soccer development. Gradually created the rules of the game, and in general, soccer as a sport was becoming more interesting, as teams were no longer playing primitive, getting the ball and chasing it forward, and acted more variant, crossing with partners, and making other maneuvers with the ball.
The first soccer clubs
Soccer clubs have existed since the 15th century, but they had no official status, so it is difficult to decide which club was created first. Some historians believe that the oldest soccer team was formed in Edinburgh (1824), but officially the world believes that the oldest soccer club is Sheffield Football Club, which was founded in 1857.
The impetus for the creation of soccer teams was industrialization, which led to large groups of people in factories, plants, churches, etc. Often teams were formed in large cities, and thanks to the construction of new railroads, it became possible to hold matches between two teams from different cities.
At first, private school clubs dominated in England, but later, teams consisting of workers began to make up the bulk of the teams. Even at that time, some teams paid the best players of other teams to join them.
Finally, in 1888 the Football League was created, and it was the top league in English soccer until 1992 when it became the Premier League. In the first season the Football League consisted of 12 clubs, but soon the number of participants increased, respectively, competition increased, as well as interest in matches from the audience.
In Europe, British clubs dominated for a long time, and only a few decades later teams from Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic were able to play at the level and even better than the representatives of Britain.
The first soccer competitions
Before the Football League was formed, in 1871 the English Cup, which is the oldest soccer competition in the world, began to be played. In 1892 the first ever international match between England and Scotland was played, which ended in a 0-0 draw. Twelve years later, in 1883 hosted the first international tournament with England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
For a long time, soccer was a purely British, but it gradually spread to other European countries, and then other continents. Thus, the first game played outside the Old World took place in Argentina, but it was played by British workers, not the inhabitants of a Latin American state. Following England’s example, other countries also gradually created soccer tournaments and formed national teams.
On May 21, 1904, the International Football Federation (FIFA) was founded in Paris. Its founders were France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. The English, who saw no reason to join FIFA, joined the organization a year later.
In 1908, soccer was included in the program of the Olympic Games. Until the first FIFA World Cup, soccer in the Olympics was rated as the most prestigious tournament in the world.
As for the World Cup, the debut draw was held in 1930 in Uruguay. Then the finals met teams of Uruguay and Argentina, and as a result, with a score of 4:2 won the hosts of the competition.
On 15 June 1954, after consultations between the French, Italian and Belgian associations, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) was formed. Already in 1960, the first European Football Championship was held under the auspices of UEFA, the winner of which was the team of the Soviet Union, which beat Yugoslavia in the final.