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Why Football (Soccer) is the most popular sport in the world?

Football (or soccer) is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the most popular sport in the world. 

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of association football has 208 countries as its members, which is more than the United Nations.

FIFA World Cup - football's premier event, was watched by combined 3.572 billion viewers which is more than half of the global population aged four and over, according to audience data for official broadcast coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In 1863, representatives from 11 London clubs and schools met to sort out the absolute confusion surrounding the rules of the game and finally, football and rugby split. This meeting marked the birth of the very first football association. Also, as the first football association, it does not use the national name "English" in its title. 

The first football competition in the world, the FA Cup, was established in 1872. By 1888, the first league championship with 12 clubs was underway, which remained as the top-level football league in England until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.

With the majority of the countries ruled by Britain at that time,  the spread of football outside of its country happened mainly due to its influence abroad, but it soon garnered momentum and rapidly reached all parts of the world.

Now, that answers the how part of the question, but why did it become popular?

It's for all!

Football is one of the sports where anyone can make a makeshift ball and play it anywhere. 

Diego Maradona was raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a poor family. Pele could not afford a proper football and usually played with either a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string or a grapefruit. But still, they went on to become the greatest footballers to ever play the game. 

So it's not just Pele or Diego Maradona, but many of biggest names of the game grew up in poverty, including the likes of Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Adriano, Alexander Hleb, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez, Alexis Sanchez, Luka Modric, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Ribery, Luis Suarez, and Cristiano Ronaldo, etc.

It's easy to understand!

Football doesn't involve any complex rules to understand, and the game is of just 90 minutes. This makes anyone with very little knowledge of football to appreciate the game and its short enough to keep everyone engaged till the end.

It can bring out the Jackie Chan in you.

In football, what you can do on the pitch is always limitless, that’s what keeps the players and fans excited about the beautiful game. When you’re allowed to use any part of your body, even players themselves are in a suspense as to how they'll play the next ball. Football involves both physicality and skills. No other games combine these two combinations so beautifully. And because of this, even though it’s a team sports, it allows individual players to shine and mesmerise the fans with their skills.

You simply won’t get to see such a variety in any other game.

Carli Lloyd's Goal From The Center

Robin van Persie’s Flying Header

Zlatan’s Insane Overhead Kick

An Acrobatic Throw In And Assist By Leah

Who doesn't like an underdog?

Leicester City winning the title during the 2015-16 Premier League season may go down as the biggest long shot championship in sports history. The club went against all the odds, literally, as the bookmakers gave 5,000–1 odds on them winning the title. And the extraordinary nature of Leicester's title led to a flood of coverage from across the globe.

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