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Who Invented Soccer? Origins of the Beautiful Game

The modern sport of soccer, known as football in most parts of the world, did not have a single inventor but rather evolved over many centuries. The game of soccer has ancient origins and can be traced back to various cultures throughout history.

One of the earliest forms of soccer-like games dates back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. These early versions of the game often involved kicking a ball or something resembling a ball into a goal or target area.

The standardized rules for modern association football (soccer) were developed in England in the mid-19th century. The “Laws of the Game” for soccer were codified by the Football Association (FA) in England in 1863. This event is often considered a crucial moment in the history of soccer as it established a common set of rules and regulations for the sport. The FA is not responsible for inventing soccer but for helping to organize and standardize it.

So, while soccer has a long history and evolved over time, it was not invented by a single individual. Instead, it developed through a combination of influences from various cultures and was formalized with the establishment of rules and organizations like the Football Association in England.

Table of Contents

Who Invented Soccer?

Englishman Ebenezer Cobb Morley is credited as the “Father of Soccer.” Despite this, Morley did not invent the sport. The origins of soccer are shrouded in mystery, with various claims and debates surrounding its invention.

Soccer, known as football in most parts of the world, is a sport beloved by millions and played on nearly every continent. It’s a game of skill, strategy, and teamwork, true, but have you ever wondered who invented the sport? It isn’t an easy answer. The history of soccer is a tale that takes us through centuries of evolution and innovation, and it’s a story that begins with humble beginnings.

Where Was Soccer Invented?

Soccer has been played in various countries over millennia, therefore there is no easy answer as to where soccer was invented. Just where soccer was invented is a topic that has sparked numerous debates and rivalries among football enthusiasts. While it’s challenging to pinpoint a single birthplace for the sport, historical evidence points to several regions where early versions of soccer-like games were played.

One contender in the soccer origin debate is ancient China. Some historical records suggest that a game called “ cuju ” was played in China as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Cuju involved players kicking a leather ball into a net, and it bears some resemblance to modern soccer. However, the Chinese version of the game had its own unique rules and variations.

READ MORE: A Full Timeline of Chinese Dynasties in Order

Another candidate for the birthplace of soccer is ancient Greece . The Greeks played a ball game known as “episkyros” or “phaininda,” which involved two teams trying to throw or kick a ball over the opponents’ goal line. Though different in many ways from today’s soccer, these ancient Greek games share some fundamental characteristics with the modern sport.

In Medieval Europe, particularly in England, various forms of football-like games emerged during the 12th and 13th centuries. These early versions of the game were often played between neighboring villages, and they featured different rules and ball sizes depending on the region. One such game was “mob football,” a rough and chaotic contest that resembled soccer in some ways.

So, the game’s origins are a tapestry of different cultures and historical contexts. While no single place can claim to be the sole inventor of soccer, these diverse influences have contributed to the rich and varied history of the sport.

Why is Soccer Called “Soccer?”

One of the curiosities of soccer’s history is the varied terminology used to describe the sport. Depending on where you are in the world, it might be referred to as “soccer” or “football.” The choice of terminology can often spark lively debates among fans, but there’s a historical reason behind the use of “soccer” in certain countries. It isn’t just another quirk of the United States.

The term “soccer” has its roots in England during the late 19th century. It is derived from the sport’s full name, “association football.” To distinguish it from other forms of football, such as rugby football or American football, players and fans began abbreviating it as “assoc football,” which later evolved into “soccer.”

Interestingly, the word “football” itself has a fascinating history. It comes from the sport’s emphasis on using the feet to manipulate the ball, in contrast to other sports where hands were predominantly used. This differentiation led to the various names for football in different regions, including “futbol” in Spanish-speaking countries and “calcio” in Italy.

So, why did the term “soccer” stick in some places but not in others? The answer lies in language evolution and cultural preferences. In countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, the term “soccer” gained prominence to avoid confusion with American football and Canadian football, which both have their unique rules and styles of play. It just made things easier.

Conversely, most of the world, especially in Europe, Asia, and South America, adopted the term “football” as the standard name for the sport. Since, well, foot meets ball. Pretty straightforward. This linguistic divergence is a testament to how language and culture can shape the way we refer to something as universal as soccer.

When Was Soccer Invented?

Determining the precise moment when soccer was invented is a challenging task due to the sport’s gradual evolution over the centuries. This sports game is ancient! However, historical records provide us with valuable insights into the earliest mentions of soccer-like games that laid the foundation for the modern sport.

The earliest references to a game resembling soccer date back to several ancient civilizations . In the third century BCE, the Greek philosopher Antiphanes mentioned a sport called “episkyros,” which involved players kicking a ball across a marked field. Although episkyros was more akin to rugby in terms of physicality, it displayed fundamental elements of what would later become soccer. It was a hit with the Spartans .

Moving forward, we find evidence of soccer-like games in medieval Europe. During the Middle Ages, various versions of football were played in England , each with its own set of rules and local variations. These games often took place during festivals and were known by different names, such as “mob football” or “shrovetide football.” While these early versions of the sport were rough and lacked standardized rules, they were integral in shaping the sport we know today.

As the sport continued to develop, it spread to other parts of the world. Each region adds its own unique flavor to the game. For instance, South America embraced soccer with great enthusiasm, where it is known as “fútbol,” and it rapidly became an integral part of the continent’s vibrant culture.

While there is no definitive answer to the question of when soccer was invented, historical records point to a gradual and organic evolution of the sport over centuries. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of soccer that it has transcended time and borders to become the global phenomenon we know today.

A Beautiful (and Old) Game: Soccer’s Early Days

Soccer’s earliest forms were somewhat rough around the edges, to say the least. With a lack of organization and lax rules, the sport was played as a free-for-all in some places. Historical evidence points to soccer gaining popularity sometime in the 3rd century BCE, though it likely dates as far back as the 3rd millennium BCE. Folks from ancient Egypt , ancient Greece, China’s Han Dynasty, and the Algonquin Native Americans all have a place in soccer’s illustrious history.

When Was the Football Association Established?

One crucial milestone in the evolution of soccer occurred in 1863 with the establishment of the Football Association ( FA ) in England. The Football Association formulated a set of standardized rules that laid the groundwork for modern soccer. These rules included the prohibition of using hands to touch the ball and defined the dimensions of the playing field, among other things. Ebenezer Cobb Morely has been dubbed the “Father of Soccer,” as he is the founding father of the Football Association and penned its initial 13 rules.

How Was Soccer Invented?

The invention of soccer, like many sports, was a process that involved the gradual development and refinement of rules and practices over time.

Early soccer-like games were characterized by their simplicity and informal nature. In medieval Europe, particularly in England, these games were often played in open fields and towns during festivals or special occasions. While each region had its own version of the game, there were some common features that laid the foundation for modern soccer.

  • Kicking the Ball : The most fundamental aspect of early soccer-like games was the use of the feet to manipulate the ball. Unlike other sports, like rugby, that involved handling the ball with the hands, these games focused on using the feet for passing, dribbling, and scoring goals.
  • Goals and Scoring : In most versions of these early games, the objective was to get the ball into the opposing team’s goal or in a designated area. The concept of scoring goals by putting the ball into a net or a marked space was a central element that remains unchanged in modern soccer.
  • Limited Rules : Early versions of soccer lacked the comprehensive set of rules we associate with the sport today. The games were often chaotic and physical, with minimal regulations governing player conduct. There were no standardized field dimensions, and local variations were common.
  • Community and Enduring Tradition : These early versions of soccer were deeply rooted in local communities and traditions. The games were often played between rival towns or neighborhoods, fostering a sense of camaraderie and competition.

It’s important to note that the transition from these informal games to the structured sport we know today was a gradual one. The establishment of the Football Association (FA) in England in 1863 marked a significant turning point, as it introduced standardized rules and regulations that laid the foundation for modern soccer. Meanwhile, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and acted to bridge the international soccer community.

The Evolution of Equipment

Playing soccer in its early years wasn’t exactly standardized. The balls used in early soccer-like games were typically made of materials like animal bladders or leather (or both), and their size and weight could vary significantly. As the sport evolved, improvements in ball design and materials led to a more standardized and consistent playing experience.

Along with the hectic scene of the ancient ball game, there would be a distinct lack of gear. Nowadays we have shin guards, cleats, and goalkeeper gloves. Such protection wasn’t afforded to ancient players, who worked with what they had on hand. Though cleats became mandatory by the FA ruling in 1863, shin guards weren’t introduced to the popular sport until 1874.

The Epic History of Soccer

The history of soccer is a fascinating journey that has seen the sport evolve from its ancient roots to the modern game.

1863 – The Football Association (FA) is founded in England, marking a pivotal moment in soccer’s history. The FA introduced standardized rules that emphasized using feet to manipulate the ball and laid the foundation for modern soccer.

Late 19th Century – Soccer begins to spread beyond England’s borders, with international matches played between national teams. The first game, internationally, that is, took place between England and Scotland in 1872.

1904 – FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is established in Paris, France, as the governing body for international soccer. FIFA would go on to organize the FIFA World Cup, the premier international soccer tournament that brings together professional players from around the world in competition.

1913 – The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is founded in 1913, acting as the official governing body of the sport in the United States. It is alternatively known simply as U.S. Soccer.

1930 – The first World Cup is held in Uruguay, making it the first international soccer tournament of its kind. Uruguay emerges as the champion, and the FIFA World Cup becomes a global sporting spectacle.

1954 – West Germany wins the FIFA World Cup, defeating the powerful Hungarian team in what became known as the “Miracle of Bern.” This event is pivotal in the history of German soccer, garnering a successful 2003 film of the same name and a 2014 musical adaptation at the Theater an der Elbe.

1970 – The Brazil national team, led by Pelé, wins its third World Cup, solidifying its reputation as one of the greatest soccer nations. Pelé would go on to be known as the “God of Football” internationally, winning three World Cups before becoming the Minister of Sports of Brazil. He had begun playing for the Brazil national team at only 16.

1980s – Soccer superstars like Diego Maradona and Michel Platini captivate the world with their exceptional skills and performances. In the later part of the 20th century, soccer fans begin idolizing soccer superstars like never before. The zeal continues into today’s modern game.

1991 – FIFA establishes the Women’s World Cup. The first World Cup for FIFA Women’s was hosted by China of the same year.

READ MORE: Goal: The Story of How Women’s Soccer Rose to Fame

1992 – The English Premier League (EPL) is established, ushering in a new era of commercialization and global popularity for English soccer.

1993 – Major League Soccer (MLS) is founded in the United States. Still active today, it is composed of 26 U.S. teams and three Canadian teams.

1994 – The FIFA World Cup is hosted in the United States , expanding soccer’s reach in North America. It was the first time that the FIFA World Cup was hosted in the U.S. and is counted as being the most attended FIFA event to date.

Late 1990s-2000s – The emergence of footballing giants like FC Barcelona, Manchester United, and Real Madrid, known for their dominance in domestic and international competitions.

2000s-present – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rise to prominence, setting numerous records and engaging in a historic rivalry for the title of the world’s best player. Soccer fans around the globe have their own strong opinions on the matter, especially since either player was posited by die-hard fans.

2010 – South Africa hosts the FIFA World Cup, marking the first time the tournament is held on the African continent.

Soccer continues to grow in popularity worldwide, with billions of fans, global tournaments, and a thriving club scene. Soccer’s journey is a testament to the power of sport to unite nations, inspire greatness, and capture the hearts of people around the world.

Soccer: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The invention of soccer is a story intertwined with centuries of cultural exchange, innovation, and global passion. While the precise birthplace remains elusive, the sport’s journey from ancient games to the modern spectacle we know today showcases its remarkable evolution. Whether called “soccer” or “football,” this sport’s enduring appeal transcends time and borders, uniting diverse communities in a shared love for the beautiful game.

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The Genesis and Evolution of Soccer: a Historical Perspective

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Published: Mar 8, 2024

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The inception of soccer, the evolution of soccer, the birth of modern soccer, the globalization of soccer, the universal appeal of soccer, soccer's living legacy.

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Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans Research Paper

Introduction, origin and history, the first fifa world cup, the modern version of soccer, soccer’s popularity.

This paper entails issues as it appertains to soccer. The coverage of the history of this game which is also popularly known as soccer is quite diverse and different ideas have been put across as to where the game originated and its evolution to the current state.

Soccer in America is a relatively new game when compared to other sports. Its popularity is not as in other parts of the world due to many historical factors. Other games dominate the sporting scene and only recently have there been efforts to popularize this sport among American citizens.

Different countries in the world treat soccer differently and as it turned out, it’s difficult to get one standard view on soccer or its future. Everyone who has heard about the game or who knows much about it has a personal opinion on soccer.

History holds it that many cultures played games that resembled soccer but the first format of what evolved to the modern soccer game goes way back to 3000 years ago in Japan. In Japan, a game in which a ball was kicked around a pitch, though a very small one, can be followed back to 1004 B.C. This is got from texts from way back in 50B.C that describe games played between teams from China and those from Japan. The Chinese used a leather ball that was puffed with hair and the same text explains that a soccer game between China and Japan was played in the capital of Japan in 611A.D.

The Romans also played a game that resembled soccer, though a very rough version, in the early Olympics in Rome. In this game, more than half of the players were hospitalized after the matches. It is not known as to when the sport spread from Asia to Europe since historians focused on other issues like war and tended to ignore soccer and other sports.

Later during King Edward of England’s reign of 1307-1327, soccer was banned in England due to the amount of noise the crowds were making as they cheered their teams during the matches that were played in the streets. Laws were put in place for the imprisonment of anyone who would be found playing soccer. However, these laws could not stop the fan’s love for soccer and as a result, they were sanctioned in 1681.

The modern soccer version was created from rugby and rules that governed it also followed those that governed rugby.

Soccer in America dates back to the year 1620 where native Indians used to play a game similar to soccer which they called “Pasuckquakkohwog”. This is according to Pilgrim Fathers who first settled in Portsmouth.

By the year 1820 many colleges in America were playing soccer but no intercollegiate games went on as the rules changed often.

In 1880 British immigrants brought along their soccer teams to America and other parts of the world. They played their games with a lot of enthusiasm thus making the game even more popular among Native Americans.

In 1884, in Newark, the American Football Association was established. And in 1886 it organized the first international game outside British rule, between America and Canada.

In 1904 Federation Internationale de Football (FIFA) was formed by charter members to oversee the running of soccer in the world and on August 15 1913 the United States Football Association joined FIFA as an associate member.

The first FIFA world cup was played in 1930 and it continued to be held every five years up to date. This first world cup had only thirteen teams participating and ninety thousand football fans watching. The American team which was the highest-ranked to win the cup came third overall as Argentina clinched the cup.

The British are the makers of modern soccer by creating the rules and commercializing the sport in the world. Their league turned out to be the most well organized and popular in the world due to the participation of foreign players in the teams.

The modern version of soccer was introduced to America from Britain by the early from Britain immigrants. Britain being the country that colonized America was not very popular among the Americans at the time and thus anything that was thought to have originated in Britain was also despised. To show that they were free of British rule, Americans, therefore put soccer off. Other games may be quite popular in America yet had been imported from Britain, for example, baseball which was created to be played by children and not adults in Britain, but popularized by the Americans at the time as a way of expressing their uniqueness from the British.

Traditional American “jocks” use soccer hating as their favorite pastime activity. Soccer has been unpopularised in America by anti soccer websites which are financed by other game coaches thus discouraging the youth in America from playing football. They use defaming terms “like soccer is communist”.

Again, America is not known for producing world renowned football players and thus its popularity fails. In continents like Europe and Africa very good players are produced who make a living from playing soccer especially in European clubs. The lack of professional players from America lies in the fact that Americans prefer other sports in which they only need to learn a single skill and become good over soccer where they have to be athletic and still master the skills of the game. Another factor is that Americans prefer high-scoring sports over soccer which is low scoring. The early soccer organizations in America were corrupt and the many scandals that befell soccer then made people view it as a sport that had no future in America thus focusing on other more organized sports.

The media in America gives soccer very little coverage to a level of 2-1 to other sports like baseball and basketball. Also, America is made up of immigrants with different origins who don’t have a sport that unifies them. Soccer seasons take the whole year and thus people figure it as being boring to participate in and opt for other short-season games.

In other countries like Italy and Brazil soccer is very popular and a way of life to them. Soccer in these nations is treated as a matter of life and death. People who take part in playing or in the running of soccer in such nations make good business from their activities. Popular players are usually treated as the countries heroes and run down the countries history books.

The future of soccer looks very promising the world over. Even in countries where soccer is not very popular as in America, efforts are being put in place to popularize the sport. Currently, soccer is ranked as the second most popular sport in America, which is a very good picture. Africa is also catching up with the rest of the world by producing quality players and organizing continental and subcontinental soccer competitions. The evolution of soccer is continuing with the current inclusion of modern technology in refereeing and the creation of new soccer rules by FIFA.

Soccer becomes more and more popular nowadays all over the world. First of all, it is closely connected with the process of commercialization of sports, and huge amounts are invested into the teams, stadiums, players, etc.

Soccer (or football as it is called in the continent of its origin) is considered to be the most popular sport all over the world; in South America, Brasilia, France, U.K people play football, attend football matches, watch matches on TV and discuss them with friends and read updated football news. The matches between elite football groups magnetize millions of people. For example, the capacity of Salt Lake Stadium in India is 120,000 people, and of Beaver Stadium in U.S.A – 107,282 people. In World Championship the stadiums are often filled up to the throat and lots of people can not cope to get tickets for the matches.

Football attractiveness often directs to rivalry, which occasionally enhances into hooliganism. Battles between fans of different teams generally occur after football games. Sometimes football rivalry outlines in tragedy in arenas. At the mass brawl in May 2007, hundred Liverpool followers fought each other in Athens, expecting to get a ticket for the match this way. Another disastrous occasion took place at the Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989, and resulted in the death of 96 people. The exceptional incursion of fans through a narrow tunnel leading to the stadium has originated a major crush.

Football has always supported a foothold in the fans’ eagerness. Most of the biggest stadiums in the world are built especially for football, as it is enormously popular. One of the key notices in this sport is the football move gossips part. Raising consciousness of the aggression among football fans might help to decrease the risk of tragedies and save the lawfully owned reputation of the game.

Though soccer’s popularity is unquestionably due to the exploits of the national team, the J. League is also displaying signs of recuperation. This year’s watcher numerals are previously significantly above those evidenced. With the aperture of a chain of 40,000-capacity stadiums for use in the World Cup and the endorsement of accepted regional clubs like Urawa Reds and Consadole Sapporo to J. League Division One, even places that were once abandoned are now crowded with fans.

It is not soccer itself that is popular. The J. League is not droning with enthusiasm. Watchers just feel understanding for the national team battling with other states. Yet the J. League has constantly aimed to care for clubs with profound roots in their local societies rather than concentrating on teams’ national reputation.

Benson, M. English Loan Words in Russian Sports Terminology American Speech > Vol. 33, No. 4 (1958), pp. 252-259.

Carroll S.. The Disempowerment of the Gender Gap: Soccer Moms and the 1996 Elections PS: Political Science and Politics > Vol. 32, No. 1 (1999), pp. 7-11.

Dyte. D.; Clarke R. A Ratings Based Poisson Model for World Cup Soccer Simulation The Journal of the Operational Research Society > Vol. 51, No. 8 (2000), pp. 993-998.

Edelman, R. A Small Way of Saying “No”: Moscow Working Men, Spartak Soccer, and the Communist Party, 1900-1945. The American Historical Review > Vol. 107, No. 5 (2002), pp. 1441-1474.

Giulianotti, R. Soccer Goes Glocal Foreign Policy > No. 131 (2002), pp. 82-83.

Kaulard L. The Transatlantic Soccer Bridge: How to Get a Kick out of Soccer and… German! Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German > Vol. 37, No. 1 (2004), pp. 56-57.

Kinloch, G. Changing Racial Attitudes in Zimbabwe: Colonial/Post-Colonial Dynamics Journal of Black Studies > Vol. 34, No. 2 (2003), pp. 250-271.

Koning, R. Balance in Competition in Dutch Soccer The Statistician > Vol. 49, No. 3 (2000), pp. 419-431.

Roadburg, A. Factors Precipitating Fan Violence: A Comparison of Professional Soccer in Britain and North America The British Journal of Sociology > Vol. 31, No. 2 (1980), pp. 265-276.

Stevenson, T. Football in Newly United Yemen: Rituals of Equity, Identity, and State Formation Journal of Anthropological Research > Vol. 56, No. 4 (2000), pp. 453-475.

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IvyPanda. (2021, September 1). Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans. https://ivypanda.com/essays/soccer-its-history-origin-and-evolution/

"Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans." IvyPanda , 1 Sept. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/soccer-its-history-origin-and-evolution/.

IvyPanda . (2021) 'Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans'. 1 September.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans." September 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/soccer-its-history-origin-and-evolution/.

1. IvyPanda . "Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans." September 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/soccer-its-history-origin-and-evolution/.


IvyPanda . "Soccer in America: Its History, Origin, Evolution, and Popularize This Sport Among Americans." September 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/soccer-its-history-origin-and-evolution/.

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Thrilling Soccer Essay: Here’s Your Guide To Writing!

soccer essay

Discover how you can pen down a fascinating soccer essay in minutes! Get tips and a free essay sample to kick start your journey today cozily.

One of the most-watched sport in the world is soccer. Almost everybody is aligned to one soccer team or the other regardless of age, gender, or even occupation. My grandfather still supports Manchester United until now from his youth.

So what makes an essay about soccer as impressive as the sport itself? That is why you are here. Your thirst will be quenched in a few.

Outline of Soccer Essays

Before a soccer match begins, the referee gives the rules to the players to ensure that the game runs smoothly. That is what we want to look at, the structure of a soccer essay.


Someone once said, show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are. I would rephrase the same, too, show me your intro, and I will tell you whether I will read your essay or not. What am I insinuating here?

The soccer essay introduction will have an impact on your readers. It will either ignite the readers or turn them off, just like the battery’s role in a car. Thus, the importance of soccer essay hooks, such as quotes from famous players.

Your thesis statement about soccer in the introduction should connect to the background information through a transition. Being the heart of the essay, it should, therefore, be manageable and researchable.

The body of an essay about soccer is composed of paragraphs supporting the thesis statement. It should, therefore, be concise to allow for easy readability.

The same logical connection to the thesis statement should follow in the body paragraphs. Their length varies depending on the assignment.

The 5-paragraph essay is, however, the standard recommended essay body length.

When concluding a soccer essay, try to act like the referee. Let the players know that the match has come to an end.

Briefly, let’s see some soccer essay topics that can get your piece a Wembley stadium audience.

Striking Soccer Essay Topics

  • Benefits of playing soccer essay
  • An essay on the history of soccer
  • My passion is soccer essay
  • My favorite sport is soccer essay
  • Soccer as a unifying factor essay

Using one of the topics, we are going to explore a soccer essay sample for practice.

Sample of a Soccer Essay

Benefits of Playing Soccer Essay

“God gives gifts to everyone; some can write, some can dance. He gave me the skill to play football, and I am making the most of it.” A quote by Ronaldinho. Soccer is not a sport only but an oasis that quenches the thirsty hearts of many. Dating back to the Egyptians who used to play games involving kicking a ball, soccer has now spread like wildfire globally. Both men and women can now play this sport, not forgetting, the World Cup, help after every four years. It is indeed a sport that has come with great benefits not only to humanity but the whole planet at large.

Soccer has united people now more than ever. Initially, people would only mingle at a community or country level through their unique games and sports. However, soccer has broken these limits. Different people from all walks of life, race, gender, and age, and occupation, social, and political classes have come together. During the World Cup, this phenomenon is evident. Presidents, ordinary people can be seen on the stadium stands cheering their teams. What more could unite such classes than soccer?

The society has grown healthier as a result of soccer. Unhealthy eating habits have been a significant cause of diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. The cost of treating such conditions is expensive. Soccer provides a way of staying healthy, fit, durable, and ability to endure. One can join a community club or team and engage in vigorous soccer training. They have helped many to remain healthy and keep out of hospitals for years.

Generally, soccer is beneficial. The thoughts discussed may not be exhaustive, but the point is home. Everyone, both children and adults, blacks or whites, should embrace this excellent uniting and healthy sport. To have soccer is to score big!

Soccer Essay Made Simple

From the sample above, one can note that such an essay on soccer is as easy as getting pizza from McDonald’s. Its impact and role can be seen in everyday society and, therefore, easy to relate with at any stage of your writing. As always, the jargon should remain to create the context of your essay.

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Football history

Welcome to FootballHistory.org, a website about football history including competitions, teams and players.

The history of football (soccer)

Football (or soccer as the game is called in some parts of the world) has a long history. Football in its current form arose in England in the middle of the 19th century. But alternative versions of the game existed much earlier and are a part of the football history.

Early history and the precursors of football

The first known examples of a team game involving a ball, which was made out of a rock, occurred in old Mesoamerican cultures for over 3,000 years ago. It was by the Aztecs called Tchatali , although various versions of the game were spread over large regions. In some ritual occasions, the ball would symbolize the sun and the captain of the losing team would be sacrificed to the gods. A unique feature of the Mesoamerican ball game versions was a bouncing ball made of rubber – no other early culture had access to rubber. The first known ball game which also involved kicking took place In China in the 3rd and 2nd century BC under the name cuju . Cuju was played with a round ball (stitched leather with fur or feathers inside) on an area of a square. A modified form of this game later spread to Japan and was by the name of kemari practiced under ceremonial forms. Perhaps even older than cuju was Marn Gook , played by Aboriginal Australians and according to white emigrants in the 1800s, a ball game that primarily involving kicking. The ball was made by encased leaves or roots. The rules are mostly unknown, but as with many other early versions of the game, a chief feature seems to have been to keep the ball in the air. Other variety of ball games had been known from Ancient Greece. The ball was made by shreds of leather filled with hair (the first documents of balls filled with air are from the 7th century). Ball games had, however, a low status and was not included at the Panhellenic Games. In the Ancient Rome, games with balls were not included in the entertainment on the big arenas (amphitheaters), but occurred in exercises in the military by the name of Harpastum . It was the Roman culture that would bring football to the British island (Britannica). It is, however, uncertain in which degree the British people were influenced by this variety and in which degree they had developed their own variants.

The game of football takes its form

The most admitted story tells that the game was developed in England in the 12th century. In this century, games that resembled football were played on meadows and roads in England. Besides from kicks, the game involved also punches of the ball with the fist. This early form of football was also much more rough and violent than the modern way of playing. An important feature of the forerunners to football was that the games involved plenty of people and took place over large areas in towns (an equivalent was played in Florence from the 16th century where it was called Calcio ). The rampage of these games would cause damage on the town and sometimes death to the participants. These would be among the reasons for the proclamations against the game that finally was forbidden for several centuries. But the football-like games would return to the streets of London in the 17th century. It would be forbidden again in 1835, but at this stage the game had been established in the public schools.

It took, however, long time until the features of today’s football had been taken into practice. For a long time there was no clear distinction between football and rugby. There were also many variations concerning the size of the ball, the number of players and the length of a match.

The game was often played in schools and two of the predominant schools were Rugby and Eton. At Rugby the rules included the possibility to take up the ball with the hands and the game we today know as rugby has its origin from here. At Eton on the other hand the ball was played exclusively with the feet and this game can be seen as a close predecessor to the modern football. The game in Rugby was called “the running game” while the game in Eton was called “the dribbling game”.

An attempt to create proper rules for the game was done at a meeting in Cambridge in 1848, but a final solution to all questions of rules was not achieved. Another important event in the history of football came about in 1863 in London when the first Football association was formed in England. It was decided that carrying the ball with the hands wasn't allowed. The meeting also resulted in a standardization of the size and weight of the ball. A consequence of the London meeting was that the game was divided into two codes: association football and rugby. The game would, however, continue to develop for a long time and there was still much flexibility concerning the rules. For one thing, the number of players on the pitch could vary. Neither were uniforms used to distinguish the appearance of the teams. It was also common with players wearing caps – the header was yet to be a part of the game yet. Further reading: The development of football rules . Another important difference at this stage could be noticed between English and Scottish teams. Whereas the English teams preferred to run forward with the ball in a more rugby fashion, the Scottish chose to pass the ball between their players. It would be the Scottish approach that soon became predominant. The sport was at first an entertainment for the British working class. Unprecedented amounts of spectators, up to 30,000, would see the big matches in the late 19th century. The game would soon expand by British peoples who traveled to other parts of the world and as a result to the British colonization efforts. Especially in South America and India would the interest in football become big.

The first football clubs

Football clubs have existed since the 15th century, but unorganized and without official status. It is therefore hard to decide which the first football club was. Some historians suggest that it was the Foot-Ball Club formed 1824 in Edinburgh. Early clubs were often formed by former school students and the first of this kind was formed in Sheffield in 1855. The oldest among professional football clubs is the English club Notts County that was formed in 1862 and still exists today. An important step for the emergence of teams was the industrialization that led to larger groups of people meeting at places such as factories, pubs and churches. Football teams were established in the larger cities and the new railroads could bring them to other cities. In the beginning, football was dominated by public school teams, but later, teams consisting by workers would make up the majority. Another change was successively taking place when some clubs became willing to pay the best players to join their team. This would be the start of a long period of transition, not without friction, in which the game would develop to a professional level. The motivation behind paying players was not only to win more matches. In the 1880s the interest in the game has moved ahead to a level that tickets were sold to the matches. And finally, in 1885 professional football was legalized and three years later the Football League was established. During the first season, 12 clubs joined the league, but soon more clubs became interested and the competition would consequently expand into more divisions. For a long time, the British teams would be dominant. After some decades, clubs from Prague, Budapest and Sienna would be the primarily contenders to the British dominance. As with many things in history, women were for a long time excluded from participating in games. It was not before the late 19th century that women started to play football. The first official women's game took place in Inverness in 1888.

The first competitions

Twelve years later, in 1883, the first international tournament took place and included four national teams: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Football was for a long time a British phenomenon, but it gradually spread to other European countries. The first game that took place outside Europe occurred in Argentina in 1867, but it was foreign British workers who were involved and not Argentinean citizens.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and a foundation act was signed by representatives from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. England and the other British countries did not join FIFA from the start, they had invented the game and saw no reason to subordinate to an association. Still, they joined in the following year, but would not partake in the World Cup until 1950. Domestic leagues occurred in many countries. The first was, as already mentioned, the English Football League which was established in 1888. The leagues would by time expand by more divisions, which were based on team performance. In 1908 would football for the first time be included as an official sport in the Olympic Games. Until the first FIFA World Cup was played in 1930, the Olympic Games football tournament would rank as the most prestigious on a national level. Women's football was not added until 1996.

Black players

As in many other sports the white male was predominant for a long time. In football black players started being present relatively early and in comparison with, for example, tennis, football has traditionally been known as a sport with a mix of black and white players.

In Britain, Andrew Watson is known to be the first black player, and he played in the Scottish club Queen’s Park in the 1880s.

A game of passion

Already in the late 19th century, Goodison Park was built in England in purpose of hosting football games. In 1894, the FA Cup final between Notts County and Bolton Wanderers was attended by 37,000 people. A milestone in the development of football stadiums is the construction of Maracanã Stadium. In the year of 1950 the imposing stadium in Rio de Janeiro was ready for almost 200,000 people. No other sport has seen stadiums of that capacity built to host its games. There have been two different traditions of fan culture on the arenas: the British and the South American. The British fans adopted the tradition of singing, the repertoire was inspired from pub and working songs among other areas. The South Americans on the other hand would adopt the carnival style which included firecrackers and fireworks, and also the modern phenomena of Bengali fires. Fans in other countries have later adopted a mixture of these traditions.

The great modern competitions

No other sport event besides the Summer Olympic Games can today measure itself with the FIFA World Cup . The first edition of the FIFA World Cup was played in 1930 in Uruguay and has since then returned every fourth year (with two exceptions due to the Second World War). In 1991 the first World Cup for women was held in China and has since then also returned every fourth year. Today the biggest global tournament for clubs is the Champions League (played since 1992), the former European Cup (1955–1991).

Globalization of the biggest sport in the world

In the late 19th century, only a few national football teams existed; England and Scotland had the first active teams that played games against each other in the 1870s. Today there are 211 national associations included in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body of the sport. Another proof of the globalization could be seen in the increase of nations participating in the World Cup qualifiers: from 32 in 1934 to over 200 in 2014. The world regions have been divided into six confederations: Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA), The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), and Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL). Football is definitely a global sport and without comparison the biggest in the world. A quote from David Goldblatt's book The Ball is Round present one answer:

It offers the spotlight for individual brilliance while relishing the defiance and heart of collective endeavor. It has staged tragedy and comedy, epic and pantomime, unsophisticated music hall and inaccessible experimental performances. It does imperious triumph, lucky escapes, impossible comebacks and stubborn stalemates. It captures the brilliance of unpredictability, the uncertainty of the human heart and human skill, of improvisation and chance.

The name of the game: football or soccer?

In most parts of the world, football is used as the name for the “chess of the green pitch”, the biggest sport in the world. In the United States and Canada, however, soccer is used instead as a distinction from American football. A more formal name sometimes used is association football, but in popular speech, it is either football or soccer.

More articles

› Formations and playing systems in football › The Evolution of Football Shoes › The football field and its dimensions › History of football stadiums › The name of football in various languages › Collection of links to other sites about football on the web

References: The National Encyclopedia History of Football: The Beautiful Game (2002 Documentary Series) The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football – David Goldblatt (2008) http://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/who-we-are/the-game/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_football_clubs http://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/who-we-are/history/ http://spartacus-educational.com/Fblack.htm http://spartacus-educational.com/Fstadiums.htm http://www.fifa.com/associations/ Image sources: Andrea Scoto – ItiIllustration da Francesco. Bertelli. Padua William Ralston (1848–1911) – Scanned from The Official History of The Football Association by Bryon Butler – Queen Ane Press Documentary film Alegria do Povo (1963)

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A Story of Being a Soccer Player, Essay Example

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Two years ago, soccer was not just a hobby it was like my girlfriend, my love . By the way, I have many favorite hobbies , but my top favorite of all of these is soccer. I was a little bit rebellious when I was young, and I was playing soccer everywhere like inside the house and in the street. I always bothered my neighbors, and they got mad at me and they were hollering at my family everyday about that, there was nothing on their minds except talking how my playing soccer annoyed them .

I have a basement in my house , and I was playing soccer down there . While I was playing with my brother and my sister, I broke one of my mother’s expensive masterpieces that she loved . She got upset about that , she then took me outside and she told me, “ go play soccer or bounce your ball out here , you’ve already broke one of my valuables, I don’t need you breaking anything else . The following day , she talked with her friend concerning my issue .

Fortunately, my mother’s friend’s husband is a soccer coach on the Yarmok team that is in my home country of Kuwait . My mom told her that I am interested in playing soccer for a team ; my mom’s friend said she would talk to her husband about me to see if I can be the new player to join his team .

After that, my mom talked with me about joining the Yarmok team; it made me think that I should be more assiduous in my schoolwork because I am not doing as well in school as I am in soccer.

I went to her husband and eventually he tested my skills along with those of some of the new players in order to choose the player with ability that has the potential to be the star player of the team, the coach gained a tremendous amount of satisfaction watching us .

I have been playing on that team for a long time and I am set to play in the match between my team and one of the best teams in Kuwait.

This particular match will begin in two months ; I was thinking to myself in that moment this was a great opportunity to prove myself in front of everybody especially the Kuwait soccer association.

I was practicing with my team and our coach gave us many exercises that he thought would be useful for us to know before the match. My concentration was mainly on the team ; my position on the soccer field is the striker . My soccer skills ultimately earned me my place on the soccer field; my coach’s play-by-play was set up in a way that my plausible position was to be the striker .

By the way, my team was the weakest team in Kuwait . I was looking forward to joining what I thought was one of the most excellent, and famous teams in my country as well as in the world . By winning the match, it would get the attention of the Kuwait soccer association or the team that we were going to be competing against .

They would get a chance to see my ability on the field and see how well I played not to mention seeing me playing as good as every famous soccer player in the world. That was what my desire was about all along ; I wanted my team to be the winning team in every match. When I talked with my coach about that, he told me that I am going to have to attend the training everyday and not miss one day except Saturday and Sunday because obviously there is no practice on the weekend . I listened to him very carefully about what he said in order to follow his instructions; the day of the competition was right around the corner.

The most challenging day of my life is about to begin and it is the day that everybody has been waiting for, both teams were eager as well . Most of the audience believed that the opposing team would defeat us as easily as they did the other weak teams, but we were going to play this team and I was going to show everybody that I am different from my team in order to be recruited by a better team or even the strongest team in the league .

Well, all the players were prepared to play despite the fact that there was another player on my team who was absent because he was sick at that time . A benched player had the confidence to play in this match . Everyone was getting ready for the warm up which all the teams had to do before any match to avoid injuries and to be even more active, forceful, and energetic in the match.

What my desire was about was not only winning the match, it was also about joining the Kuwait national team that I have always wanted. Actually, this team is the perfect team that I was looking to join .

The match just started with the long sound of the whistle, the stadium was full of people and my family were there too. Therefore, that motivated me even more to play my best, and this is what got me into the game .

I was playing my best to display my skills and to get everyone’s attention . Toward the end of the game, a player was nasty to me in the last additional 6 minutes . The player pushed me in a forceful way so as to keep me from not being able to finish the game with my team ; he got a red card from referee.

Unfortunately, I got a serious injury and I could not finish the match. There was an ambulance with two physiotherapists; they took me out of the game and to the infirmary to try to treat my leg injury . They were initiating natural therapy in order to help me and they were telling me what they could do to end this temporary pain fast as possible because I told them I have to complete the last 6 minutes of the match .

They said, “We will do the best as we can to lessen the pain,” but they could not. Seriously, I was feeling the pain in my leg constantly ; I could not play but I was determined to continue . They sprayed my leg with anesthetic spray and that did not help either . Not being able to finish the game with my team upset me . The coach took me out of the game so my leg can heal. The coach told me to sit on the bench; I had no choice but to obey him.

My team won the game , and the score was 1-0, it was a great game . This game is one that I will never forget and it will be stuck in my head forever . It was a special moment in my life ; it will always be a wonderful reminder because the Kuwait national team chose me to be one of the new members and gave me the opportunity to get to know the new players on the team I am going to be playing with .

At that moment specifically, I could not believe what just happened. I was asking myself, was that real? Am I really one of the Kuwait national team players? In addition, they acknowledged me as the star player in the game, and we all got gold medals . I held the cup up in front of the audience, and my family was cheering me on by clapping. I achieved all of my goals that I have wanted to accomplish . My coach told me that I was really persevering, so that is the reason why I was able to achieve my goal . In addition, he told me that I am an ambitious player but I have to work hard, work diligently . My family was very excited about my team winning the match and I was the best player in the match but they were a little unhappy about the injury .

This is not a story about soccer. This is a story about learning what makes you special , I have gotten a lot of experience from what I did . I was not made aware that know that there was some risk of injury in this sport but I quickly found out after I was injured myself and I think every sport have a different kind of danger element that damage different parts of your body .

In this sport, the most vulnerable spot is your leg . The leg is a soccer player’s greatest asset; it is what gets the soccer player goals. After playing soccer for a long time, I got to see soccer from another angle.

I used to admire people who played soccer and playing soccer myself has led me down the path to many injuries but emotionally, that was entertaining for me because that is what I love and adore . If you have a favorite hobby in any kind of sport or anything you would be good at it, just know that there are risks of injury so if that does not bother you then go for it.

Another thing that this experience has taught me was that despite the fact that a person has a love or a favorite hobby, it is always important to pursue it with some enthusiasm. The experience will not just lead to a life with that hobby but the experience gained from that hobby will follow you throughout the rest of your life.

My parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams no matter where they lead me, it makes me happy knowing that I got to live my dream and play soccer which, as I previously stated, is my favorite hobby of all time. It never ceases to amaze me how I was a boy obsessed with playing soccer for fun and I ended up playing soccer for a league team; the irony is practically impalpable.

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Essay On Football for Students and Children

500+ words essay on football.

Essay On Football- Football is a game that millions of people around the world play and love. It can be called a universal game because every small and big nation plays it.

Moreover, it’s a great relaxer, stress reliever, teacher of discipline and teamwork . Apart from that, it keeps the body and mind fit and healthy. It’s a team game that makes it a more enjoyable game as it teaches people the importance of sportsmanship. Leadership, and unity .

Essay On Football

History of Football

The history of football can be traced back to the ancient times of the Greeks. Everyone knows that the Greeks were great sportsmen and have invented many games.

Football happens to one of them. A similar game like football is played in many countries but the latest version of football that we knew originates in England. Likewise, England formulated the first rule of the game. From that day onwards the football has progressed in ways we can’t imagine.

Importance of Football

Football is an important game from the point of view of the spectator as well as the player. This 90 minutes game is full of excitement and thrill.

Moreover, it keeps the player mentally and physically healthy, and disciplined. And this ninety-minute game tests their sportsmanship, patience, and tolerance.

Besides, all this you make new friends and develop your talent. Above all, it’s a global game that promotes peace among countries.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

How to Learn Football

Learning any game is not an easy task. It requires dedication and hard work. Besides, all this the sport test your patience and insistence towards it. Moreover, with every new skill that you learn your game also improves. Above all, learning is a never-ending process so to learn football you have to be paying attention to every minute details that you forget to count or missed.

Football in India

If we look at the scenarios of a few years back then we can say that football was not a popular game in except West Bengal. Also, Indians do not take much interest in playing football. Likewise, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has some limited resources and limited support from the government.

essay story about soccer

But, now the scenario has completely changed. At this time football matches the level of cricket in the country. Apart from that, the country organizes various football tournaments every year.

Above all, due to the unpopularity of football people do not know that we have under-17 and under-23, as well as a football team.

Football Tournaments

The biggest tournament of Football is the FIFA world cup which occurs every 4 years. Apart from that, there are various other tournaments like UEFA cup, Asian Cup (AFC), African completions (CAF) and many more.

To conclude, we can say that football is very interesting that with every minute takes the viewer’s breath away. Besides, you can’t predict what’s going to happen the next second or minute in football. Apart from all this football keeps the one playing it fit and healthy. Above all, it can be a medium of spreading the message of peace in the world as it is a global game.

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Essay on Soccer Game

Students are often asked to write an essay on Soccer Game in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Soccer Game

Introduction to soccer.

Soccer is a popular sport played worldwide. It involves two teams, each with 11 players. The game’s objective is to score more goals than the opposing team within a set time.

The Gameplay

Players move the ball across the field by striking it with any part of their body except their arms and hands. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins.

The Importance of Soccer

Soccer is more than just a game. It teaches teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. It’s a fun way to stay active and make new friends.

250 Words Essay on Soccer Game


Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, is more than just a game; it’s a global phenomenon. Its simplicity, accessibility, and universal appeal make it the world’s most popular sport, transcending cultures, languages, and borders.

The Essence of the Game

At its core, soccer is a game of strategy, teamwork, and skill. Two teams, each with eleven players, compete to maneuver a ball into the opponent’s goal using any part of the body except the hands and arms. The team with the most goals at the end of the match is declared the winner.

Strategic Complexity

Despite its apparent simplicity, soccer is a complex game that requires strategic thinking. Coaches and players must constantly adapt their strategies based on the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, the current state of the game, and even the weather conditions.

Role of Teamwork

Teamwork is vital in soccer. Each player has a specific role, and the team’s success depends on how well these roles are executed. From the forwards who score goals to the defenders who protect their own goal and the goalkeeper who is the last line of defense, every player is important.

Soccer’s Global Impact

Soccer has a profound social and cultural impact. It brings people together, fosters a sense of community, and promotes values such as teamwork, discipline, and fair play. Major tournaments like the FIFA World Cup are watched by billions, demonstrating soccer’s unifying power.

In conclusion, soccer is more than just a game; it’s a strategic and social activity that promotes teamwork and unity. Its global popularity is testament to its universal appeal and its ability to transcend cultural and social barriers.

500 Words Essay on Soccer Game

The history and evolution of soccer.

Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, is a sport that has existed in various forms for over two millennia. The modern game we recognize today was formalized in England in the mid-19th century, but its roots trace back to ancient civilizations like China, Greece, and Rome. The universal appeal of soccer lies in its simplicity, requiring only a ball, a field, and two teams ready to compete.

The Rules and Structure of the Game

A standard soccer match is played by two teams of 11 players each, including a goalkeeper. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The objective is to score more goals than the opposing team within the 90-minute timeframe, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. The game’s rules, maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), govern aspects such as fouls, offside, throw-ins, and penalties.

Strategy and Tactics in Soccer

Soccer is not just a physical game but a cerebral one as well. Teams employ various strategic formations, like the 4-4-2, 4-3-3, or the 3-5-2, to maximize their strengths and exploit the opposition’s weaknesses. Tactics can vary from fast, direct play to a slower, possession-based approach. Managers and coaches play a pivotal role in devising these strategies, making soccer a fascinating blend of individual skill and collective strategy.

The Cultural Impact of Soccer

Soccer has a profound cultural impact worldwide. Major tournaments like the FIFA World Cup unite nations and create a sense of shared identity. Soccer clubs often reflect the character of their local communities, and players can become national heroes or symbols of cultural pride. The sport has also been a platform for social change, tackling issues like racism and inequality.

The Future of Soccer

The future of soccer is exciting, with technological advancements promising to revolutionize the game. Video Assistant Referees (VAR) is one such innovation, aimed at improving decision-making accuracy. Additionally, data analytics is being increasingly used to enhance player performance and tactical planning. However, these developments also raise questions about maintaining the sport’s spirit and tradition amidst rapid modernization.

In conclusion, soccer is a complex and vibrant sport that transcends beyond the boundaries of the playing field. Its simplicity, strategic depth, cultural significance, and promising future ensure its position as the world’s most popular sport. As we look forward, we can anticipate soccer continuing to evolve, captivate, and unite people across the globe.

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Writing Beginner

How to Describe a Soccer Game in Writing (100+ Examples)

Ever wondered how to put the thrill of a soccer game into words?

Here’s how to describe a soccer game in writing:

Describe a soccer game in writing by focusing on the atmosphere, player roles, game strategies, emotional highs and lows, and vivid moments. Use engaging words like “electrifying,” “strategic,” and “heartfelt.” Adjust pacing to match the cadence of each play.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to describe a soccer game in writing.

Different Types of Soccer (Football) Games and Matches

Packed stadium with fans and players under intense floodlights -- How to Describe a Soccer Game in Writing

Table of Contents

Soccer (which the rest of the world more appropriately calls “Football”), a sport celebrated worldwide, comes in various formats, each offering unique excitement and challenges.

  • The traditional association football (soccer) is globally recognized, where two teams compete to score goals in the opposing team’s net.
  • American football contrasts with its strategic plays and physical confrontations, focusing on advancing the ball to the end zone.
  • Australian rules football offers a blend of physicality and dynamic movement, played on large oval fields.
  • Rugby football , including its league and union variants, emphasizes possession, territory gain, and scoring through tries, goals, and field goals.
  • Canadian football , similar to American football but with notable differences in rules and field size, showcases strategic depth and athleticism. Each variant offers distinct storytelling opportunities, from the fluid, continuous play of soccer to the tactical, play-by-play excitement of American football.

How to Describe Soccer in Writing (13 Best Ways)

Let’s explore the best ways to describe soccer in writing, focusing on 13 key elements.

The Atmosphere

Describing the atmosphere of a soccer game involves painting a picture of the environment, emotions, and energy surrounding the event.

The atmosphere sets the stage for the narrative, giving readers a sense of being part of the crowd.

  • Example 1: The air buzzed with anticipation as chants echoed around the stadium, a sea of fans draped in team colors, their voices rising in unison.
  • Example 2: The tension was palpable, a mix of nerves and excitement, as fans clung to every move on the field, riding the rollercoaster of emotions together.
  • Example 3: The stadium was a fortress of loyalty, with banners waving and drums beating like the heart of the game, creating an electrifying sense of unity.
  • Example 4: As the match heated up, the crowd’s energy surged, a powerful force that seemed to push the players beyond their limits.
  • Example 5: In the quiet moments, the collective breath of thousands hung in the air, anticipation coiled tight, ready to explode with the next big play.

The Players

Describing the players focuses on their skills, emotions, and roles within the game.

This element highlights individual contributions and the human aspect of football.

  • Example 1: Each player, a master of their craft, moved with purpose and precision, their focus unwavering as they navigated the field.
  • Example 2: The goalkeeper, a solitary figure of calm amidst the storm, eyes locked on the ball, ready to leap into action.
  • Example 3: The striker’s determination was evident, muscles tensed for the perfect moment to strike, eyes glittering with the hunger for a goal.
  • Example 4: Midfielders, the unsung heroes, tirelessly bridged defense and attack, their strategic plays weaving the fabric of the game.
  • Example 5: Defenders stood as the last bastion, unwavering and bold, their every block and tackle a testament to their resolve.

The field is a battleground where strategy and skill are displayed.

Describing the field involves detailing its condition, layout, and the role it plays in the game’s dynamics.

  • Example 1: The lush green canvas stretched out, a pristine stage set for a clash of titans, each blade of grass glistening under the floodlights.
  • Example 2: Mud clung to the field in patches, a slippery adversary added to the mix, challenging players to adapt their game.
  • Example 3: Markings on the field, crisp and white, divided the space into zones of contention, invisible lines that guided the flow of battle.
  • Example 4: The goalposts stood tall, silent sentinels at each end, framing the objective of every player’s ambition on the field.
  • Example 5: As the game wore on, the field bore the scars of battle, trampled grass and divots marking the intensity of the contest.

The Strategy

Football is a game of strategy, where tactics and planning can turn the tide of the match.

Explain the teams’ approaches, formations, and adjustments throughout the game.

  • Example 1: The team adopted a high-press strategy, suffocating their opponents’ space, a chess match played at breakneck speed.
  • Example 2: Counterattacks became the weapon of choice, a lethal dance of precision and timing, exploiting the smallest gaps in defense.
  • Example 3: The coach’s halftime adjustments were visible on the pitch, a shift to a more defensive formation that stymied the opposition’s advances.
  • Example 4: Set pieces were orchestrated with meticulous attention to detail, each player’s movement calculated to create openings for a strike.
  • Example 5: The midfield’s control was the linchpin of the strategy, dictating the pace and flow of the game, a masterful display of spatial awareness and timing.

The Tactics

Tactics in football are the specific actions and maneuvers teams use to gain an advantage.

Describing tactics involves detailing the on-the-fly decisions, player movements, and key plays that define the match’s momentum.

  • Example 1: The winger’s overlapping runs created havoc along the flank, a tactical ploy that stretched the defense thin.
  • Example 2: Quick, short passes dissected the midfield, a tactical knife through the heart of the opposition’s formation.
  • Example 3: The decision to switch play across the field exploited the open space, a tactical vision that opened up new avenues of attack.
  • Example 4: The use of a false nine confused the defenders, a tactical mirage that left spaces for midfielders to surge into.
  • Example 5: Defensive tackles were timed with precision, a tactical barrier that thwarted numerous attacks, each intervention a critical moment of defiance.

Goals are the pinnacle of excitement in a football match, the culmination of teamwork, skill, and strategy.

Describing goals involves capturing the build-up, the action, and the aftermath of scoring.

  • Example 1: The ball arced into the net, a perfect blend of power and precision, the culmination of a relentless advance down the field.
  • Example 2: A moment of individual brilliance, a strike from outside the box that curled into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper rooted.
  • Example 3: The team executed a textbook set piece, a header that found its mark, a choreographed moment of triumph.
  • Example 4: A swift counterattack ended with a cool finish, the ball sliding under the keeper, a dagger to the heart of the opposition.
  • Example 5: The goal was a masterstroke of timing and teamwork, a tap-in that capped off a series of flawless passes.

Fans are the heart and soul of football, their passion and support a backdrop to every game.

Describe fans by capturing their emotions, reactions, and the atmosphere they create.

  • Example 1: The roar of the crowd was deafening, a tidal wave of sound that celebrated every successful play.
  • Example 2: Faces painted in team colors, fans waved scarves and flags, a vibrant mosaic of loyalty and passion.
  • Example 3: The tension among the spectators was almost tangible, every close call or missed opportunity drawing collective gasps.
  • Example 4: The jubilation following a goal was uncontained, fans embracing strangers, united in a moment of pure ecstasy.
  • Example 5: The silence that followed the opponent’s goal was poignant, a shared moment of disbelief and disappointment.

The Referee and Decisions

The referee’s decisions are pivotal in football, their judgments affecting the flow and fairness of the game.

Describe their role, the critical calls made, and the reactions to those decisions.

  • Example 1: The referee was a figure of calm authority, navigating the heated moments with a blend of firmness and fairness.
  • Example 2: A contentious penalty decision sent waves of protest through the stadium, the referee’s whistle the spark of debate.
  • Example 3: The issuing of a red card was a turning point, a decision that left the team reeling and reshaped the game’s dynamics.
  • Example 4: Offside calls were met with jeers and cheers, each decision scrutinized in the crucible of competition.
  • Example 5: The referee’s diligent oversight ensured the game’s spirit was upheld, their interventions guiding the match away from chaos.

The Emotions

Emotions in football run the gamut from exhilaration to despair, reflecting the highs and lows experienced by players and fans.

Describe the heartfelt reactions to the game’s unfolding drama.

  • Example 1: The euphoria of scoring was palpable, players and fans alike swept up in a shared celebration of achievement.
  • Example 2: Frustration simmered with every missed opportunity, the weight of what could have been a heavy burden.
  • Example 3: The tension before a penalty kick was a palpable force, a moment of collective breath-holding that captured the game’s essence.
  • Example 4: Relief washed over the team with the final whistle, a hard-fought victory secured against the odds.
  • Example 5: Despair in defeat was a bitter pill, the solemn faces a testament to the game’s emotional stakes and the depth of passion invested by all involved.

The Commentary

Commentary adds a layer of narrative and analysis to the game, enhancing the experience for viewers and readers.

Capturethe insights, excitement, and unique perspectives offered by commentators.

  • Example 1: The commentator’s voice rose in excitement with each attack, their words painting a vivid picture of the unfolding drama.
  • Example 2: Insightful analysis broke down the tactics, offering listeners a deeper understanding of the chess match played on the pitch.
  • Example 3: The joy in the commentator’s voice was infectious as they celebrated a moment of pure footballing brilliance.
  • Example 4: Critical moments were met with a mix of tension and anticipation in the commentary, each play dissected and debated in real-time.
  • Example 5: The commentator captured the emotional rollercoaster of the match, their narrative weaving through the highs and lows with the audience.

The Weather

The weather can greatly influence a football game, affecting playing conditions and strategies.

Describing the weather involves detailing its impact on the game and the players’ and fans’ experience.

  • Example 1: Rain poured down, transforming the pitch into a challenging quagmire, the ball skidding unpredictably across the surface.
  • Example 2: The sun blazed overhead, a relentless opponent that tested the stamina and resolve of every player on the field.
  • Example 3: A brisk wind added an element of unpredictability, swirling kicks and passes off their intended paths.
  • Example 4: The chill of the evening air sharpened as the game progressed, breath visible as players and fans braced against the cold.
  • Example 5: Perfect football weather, a gentle breeze and cool temperatures, set the stage for a match where only the game’s heat flourished.

The Tactics and Substitutions

Substitutions and tactical adjustments are critical tools for coaches, changing the game’s dynamics and offering fresh strategies.

Detail the decisions made and their impact on the match.

  • Example 1: The introduction of a fresh striker injected new energy into the attack, a tactical shift that signaled an offensive push.
  • Example 2: A defensive substitution in the closing minutes was a clear signal, a strategy to protect a slender lead against mounting pressure.
  • Example 3: The tactical reshuffle, moving to a more compact midfield, stifled the opponent’s creativity, a chess move played on the football field.
  • Example 4: Each substitution was a gambit, players entering with specific roles to exploit weaknesses or shore up defenses.
  • Example 5: Tactical adjustments from the sideline were constant, a dialogue of changes that adapted to the game’s ebb and flow.

The Aftermath

The aftermath of a football game is a blend of reflection, celebration, and analysis.

Describe the aftermath, the immediate reactions post-match, and the broader implications for teams and fans.

  • Example 1: Players lingered on the field, a mix of exhaustion and elation, sharing moments of camaraderie with opponents and fans.
  • Example 2: The celebration in the locker room was a private jubilee, an unbridled release of joy after a hard-fought victory.
  • Example 3: Analysis of the game’s key moments dominated the post-match discussion, each play dissected for lessons and insights.
  • Example 4: Fans departed the stadium in a buzz of conversation, debates and discussions echoing into the night, the game’s memory alive in their words.
  • Example 5: The aftermath was a time for reflection, the outcome of the game a stepping stone for future encounters, each team looking ahead with renewed determination or contemplation.

Player Roles to Describe in Stories

Here is a chart of player roles and what they mean:

Soccer Rules to Describe in Writing

Now, let’s look at a chart of soccer rules:

Here is a good video that explains the rules of soccer for you to describe in your writing:

Common Soccer Plays to Describe in Writing

You can make your soccer games come alive by showing common soccer plays in your essay, assignment, or story.

Soccer Equipment to Describe in Writing

Below I’ve included a quick chart of the most important equipment to describe in your soccer stories.

50 Best Words to Describe Soccer in Writing

The following words encapsulate the essence of soccer, enhancing the narrative and bringing the game to life in writing:

  • Heart-stopping
  • Exhilarating
  • Synchronized
  • Unpredictable
  • Celebratory
  • Breathtaking

50 Best Phrases to Describe Soccer in Writing

Phrases can paint vivid images of soccer’s ebbs and flows, capturing the game’s essence in a few words.

Here are 50 phrases that bring the drama and beauty of soccer to the forefront:

  • A ballet on grass
  • A clash of titans
  • Heartbeats synced with the ball’s rhythm
  • A dance of strategy and chance
  • Where passion meets precision
  • A rollercoaster of emotions
  • Under the floodlights drama unfolds
  • The roar of the crowd crescendos
  • A symphony of skill and strength
  • The pitch: a battleground of dreams
  • A testament to human spirit and tenacity
  • Goals that echo in history
  • Defenders standing like unbreakable walls
  • The artistry of a perfectly timed pass
  • The tension of a penalty shootout
  • A showcase of sheer willpower
  • Where every second is a fight for glory
  • The sweet agony and ecstasy of football
  • Moves as smooth as poetry
  • The thunderous applause for a masterful goal
  • A game played in the mind as much as on the field
  • The echo of victory chants
  • A whirlwind of fierce competition
  • A cauldron of collective hope and fear
  • The relentless pursuit of perfection
  • An odyssey of triumph and despair
  • The magnetic pull of the goalpost
  • A canvas painted with players’ sweat and dreams
  • The intricate ballet of footwork and finesse
  • A collision of strategy and instinct
  • The electric buzz of a goal on the horizon
  • A moment frozen in time with every goal
  • The captivating dance of offense and defense
  • The unbreakable bond between team and supporters
  • A saga written in sprints and tackles
  • The raw emotion of a last-minute save
  • The fierce whisper of the ball flying past defenders
  • An arena where legends are forged
  • The pulsating heart of a nation
  • A crucible of unparalleled intensity
  • The silent anticipation before the whistle blows
  • The explosive joy of a sudden goal
  • A duel of wits and agility
  • The sweet symphony of a well-executed play
  • The relentless march towards the opponent’s goal
  • The agony of a near miss
  • The unyielding spirit of competition
  • A testament to teamwork and determination
  • The dramatic crescendo of a match’s final moments
  • A celebration of the world’s game

How to Describe a Soccer Game in a Paragraph (Full Examples)

I always find longer examples helpful when learning how to write.

Enjoy these full examples of how to describe a soccer game in three different kinds of matches.

Example 1: The Final Whistle

The air was thick with anticipation as the final minutes ticked away. The score was tied, and every heart in the stadium beat in unison, awaiting the moment that would tip the balance.

Suddenly, a brilliant pass cut through the defense, finding the striker who, with the poise of a ballet dancer and the precision of a surgeon, directed the ball into the back of the net. The stadium erupted in a cacophony of joy, the soundwaves almost palpable. Players embraced, tears mingling with sweat, as the realization of victory set in.

The final whistle blew, marking not just the end of the game but the culmination of a journey filled with trials, triumphs, and unyielding spirit. Fans sang anthems of victory, their voices a testament to the deep connection between the team and its supporters. This moment, frozen in time, was more than just a win; it was a story of resilience, a narrative of passion transcending the confines of the pitch.

The players, now heroes, walked off the field, leaving behind footprints of legend on the sacred grass, their legacy sealed by the final whistle.

Example 2: The Underdogs Triumph

Against all odds, the underdogs had fought their way to the final, facing a team known for its unbeatable prowess.

From the first whistle, they played with a fire that could not be quenched, challenging every ball, every play with a ferocity that belied their status. The game was a battle, each side pushing and pulling in a relentless tug of war. As the clock wound down, the scoreline still read nil-nil, the tension palpable.

Then, in a moment of pure magic, a young midfielder, barely known before this tournament, broke through, weaving past defenders with a grace and determination that left spectators in awe.

With a strike that sent the ball curling into the top corner, history was made. The stadium fell silent for a heartbeat before erupting into cheers. The underdogs had triumphed, their victory a beacon of hope, a reminder that in soccer, dreams can, and do, come true.

Example 3: A Clash of Titans

It was more than a game; it was a clash of titans, a showdown between the season’s two best teams, each a mirror of the other’s excellence.

The pitch was a chessboard, the players pawns, knights, and queens in a strategic battle for supremacy. Every pass, every move was met with a counter, a parry to a thrust in a duel of wits. Midway through the second half, with the score deadlocked, tension thickened the air like fog. It was then that a veteran, whose career was a tapestry of moments like these, stepped up.

A free kick, just outside the box, a breathless pause, then a shot that traced a perfect arc over the wall and into the net.

A goal worthy of the occasion, it broke the deadlock and ultimately decided the match. As the final whistle sounded, respect and admiration were exchanged among warriors who had given their all. This match, a testament to the beautiful game’s artistry and intensity, would be remembered as a classic encounter in the annals of soccer history.

Final Thoughts: How to Describe a Soccer Game in Writing

You’re all set to make your readers feel every kick and cheer in your writing.

Before you go, check out one of our other many guides below about how to describe crowded places, feet, running, or grass.

Read This Next:

  • How To Describe A Crowded Place In Writing (21 Best Tips & Examples)
  • How To Describe Running In Writing (100+ Words & Examples)
  • How To Describe Feet In Writing (100+ Words & Examples)
  • How To Describe Grass In Writing (100 Best Words & Examples)

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Essay on Football: A Comprehensive History

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  • Updated on  
  • Oct 7, 2023

Essay on football

Writing an essay on football requires you to describe the history of this sport, its universal appeal, and other important developments. Call it football or soccer, it is undoubtedly the most popular and beloved sport on the planet. Football is not just a sport, it’s a global phenomenon which transcends boundaries, languages and cultures. Below we have mentioned some essays on football briefing you about the origin, evolution and impact of football on society.

This Blog Includes:

Essay on football in 100 words, essay on football in 200 words, essay on football in 300 words.

Also Read – Essay on Yoga

Football or Soccer can be traced back to ancient times when different types of games were played. The modern version of football emerged in 19th-century England, and later on, the Football Association (FA) was founded in 1863 which played a pivotal role in shaping the game into its current form and setting its rules and regulations.

This sport serves as a unifying force, bringing people together regardless of their differences. Football is an 11-member team sport, where the objective is to score a goal by getting the ball into the opposite team’s net. There are several football international events, such as the FIFA World Cup , and the UEFA European Championship (Europe).

Also Read – Essay on Unity in Diversity

Football is a team sport between two teams of 11 players each. The team scores the highest number of goals by getting the ball into the opposing team’s net to win the game. Modern football originated in England during the 19th century and the Football Association (FA) was established in 1863. 

The governing body of football is the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Rules include offside, fouls, free kicks, penalty kicks, and more. The game lasts for 90 minutes, divided into 2 halves of 45 minutes each. This is a multi-level sport with various international and domestic events. Some of the most popular football championships are the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship (Euro), Copa America, the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga.

Some of the football legends like Diego Maradona, Christiano Ronaldo , Pele, and Lionel Messi are common household names. These players have left an indelible mark on the sport.  Football has a significant impact on society and culture. It promotes teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. It can also serve as a platform for social change and activism. This sport continues to evolve with advancements in technology, sports science, and tactics, making it more dynamic and competitive than ever. 

Some call it football, while others call it Soccer. It’s the most popular sport on the globe with almost all countries having their national and domestic teams, sporting events, and organisations managing activities related to football. The roots of football can be traced back to ancient times, but modern football evolved in 19th-century England.

The formation of the Football Association (FA) in 1863 marked a turning point, as it laid the foundation for the organized game we know today. The journey of this sport from being modest in the beginning to its current status as the world’s most popular sport is marked by significant milestones. This game has simple rules; two teams playing with 11 players on one side and the team scoring the highest number of goals wins the game.

Thanks to international leagues and events like the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League, advancements in technology and sports science led to changes in the football world. Football is a unifying force that brings people together across divides. Stadiums become vibrant, diverse melting pots where fans from different backgrounds unite to celebrate their passion for the sport. It instils a sense of belonging, passed down through generations, creating a shared sense of identity and community among supporters.

Football also serves as an economic powerhouse. This sport generates billions of dollars in revenue annually through ticket sales, merchandise, broadcasting rights, and sponsorships. The sport sustains countless jobs, from players and coaches to administrators and support staff, making it a vital contributor to the global economy.

Here are some factors because of which football is the most popular sport:

  • It’s simplicity of rules and regulations
  • Accessibility of playing this sport
  • Global icons and popular players
  • Club loyalty by players and fans
  • Continues development with advancement in technology and science
  • Media coverage

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To write an essay on football, give a brief about this global sport, its historical background and evolution, the international and domestic events, its rules and regulations, governing bodies, popular players and recent developments.

Football is a global sport with billions of fans across the globe, cheering up for their national and regional teams. Several factors contribute to the popularity of football, some of which are the accessibility of playing this sport, its simplicity and historic roots, international competitions, media coverage, etc.

Some of the most popular international events of football are the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championship (Euro), Copa America, the English Premier League, La Liga, etc.

This was all about an essay on the football. For more information about such interesting topics, visit our essay writing website and make sure to follow Leverage Edu .

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With an experience of over a year, I've developed a passion for writing blogs on wide range of topics. I am mostly inspired from topics related to social and environmental fields, where you come up with a positive outcome.

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How to Write a Non-Cliche College Essay About Sports + Examples

What’s covered:, what makes a sports essay cliche.

  • How To Make Your Sports Essay Unique

Great Examples of College Essays About Sports

Where to get your college essay edited for free, or by an expert.

You’ve been brainstorming essay topics for your college applications, and you think you’ve finally found the right one: an extended metaphor likening your experience on the field with overcoming personal struggles. The problem: many other students have this same thought. 

The purpose of a college essay is to make yourself stand out as a unique individual, but when students write about sports, they often blend in. Because of that, students are usually advised to pick a different topic.

That being said, it is possible to write a non-cliche college essay about sports if you put in a little extra effort. Read along to learn how to make your sports essay different from all the other sports essays.

Sports essays are cliche when they follow a standard trajectory. Some of these trajectories include writing a story about:

  • An agonizing defeat
  • Forging bonds with teammates
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Overcoming an injury
  • Refusing to quit
  • Victory during a big game

Because sports essays have very similar themes and “lessons learned,” it can be difficult to make your story stand out. These trajectories also often focus too much on the sport or storyline, and not enough on the writer’s reflections and personality.

As you write your essay, try to think about what your experience says about you rather than what you learned from your experience. You are more than just one lesson you learned!

(Keep in mind that the sports essay is not the only college essay cliche. Learn about other essay cliches and how to fix them in our complete guide).

How to Make Your Sports Essay Unique

1. focus on a specific moment or reflection..

The college essay is a way for students to humanize themselves to admissions officers. You do not feel human if you are describing yourself as just another player on the field!

One important way to make your essay about you (not just about sports) is by focusing on a specific moment in time and inviting the reader to join you in that moment. Explain to the reader what it would be like to be sitting in that locker room as you questioned the values of the other players on your team. Ask your reader to sit with you on the cot in the trainer’s room as your identity was stripped away from you when they said “your body can’t take this anymore.” Bring your reader to the dinner table and involve them in your family’s conversation about how sports were affecting your mental health and your treatment of those around you.

Intense descriptions of a specific experience will evoke emotions in your reader and allow them to connect with you and feel for you.

When in doubt, avoid anything that can be covered by ESPN. On ESPN, we see the games, we see the benches, we even see the locker rooms and training rooms. Take your reader somewhere different and show them something unique.

2. Use sports to point out broader themes in your life.

The main risk when writing about sports is neglecting to write about yourself. Before you get started, think about the main values that you want to express in your sports essay. Sports are simply your avenue for telling the reader what makes you unique. 

As a test, imagine if you were a pianist. Would you be able to talk about these same values? What if you were a writer? Or a chemist? Articulating your values is the end, and sports should simply be your means.

Some values that you might want to focus on:

  • Autonomy (you want to be able to set your mind to anything and achieve it on your own)
  • Growth (you seek improvement constantly)
  • Curiosity (you are willing to try anything once)
  • Vulnerability (you aren’t afraid to fail, as long as you give it your all)
  • Community (you value the feedback of others and need camaraderie to succeed)
  • Craft (you think that with deliberate care, anything can be perfected)
  • Responsibility (you believe that you owe something to those around you and perhaps they also owe something to you)

You can use the ESPN check again to make sure that you are using sports as an avenue to show your depth.

Things ESPN covers: how a player reacts to defeat, how injuries affect a player’s gameplay/attitude, how players who don’t normally work well together are working together on their new team.

Things ESPN doesn’t cover: the conversation that a player had with their mother about fear of death before going into a big surgery (value: family and connection), the ways that the intense pressure to succeed consumed a player to the point they couldn’t be there for the people in their life (value: supporting others and community), the body image issues that weigh on a player’s mind when playing their sport and how they overcame those (value: health and growth).

3. Turn a cliche storyline on its head.

There’s no getting around the fact that sports essays are often cliche. But there is a way to confront the cliche head-on. For example, lots of people write essays about the lessons they learned from an injury, victory, and so on, but fewer students explain how they are embracing those lessons. 

Perhaps you learned that competition is overwhelming for you and you prefer teamwork, so you switched from playing basketball to playing Dungeons & Dragons. Maybe, when your softball career ended abruptly, you had to find a new identity and that’s when you became obsessed with your flower garden and decided to pursue botany. Or maybe, you have stuck with football through it all, but your junior-year mental health struggle showed you that football should be fun and you have since started a nonprofit for local children to healthily engage with sports.

If your story itself is more cliche, try bringing readers to the present moment with you and show why the cliche matters and what it did for you. This requires a fair amount of creativity. Ensure you’re not parroting a frequently used topic by really thinking deeply to find your own unique spin.

Night had robbed the academy of its daytime colors, yet there was comfort in the dim lights that cast shadows of our advances against the bare studio walls. Silhouettes of roundhouse kicks, spin crescent kicks, uppercuts and the occasional butterfly kick danced while we sparred. She approached me, eyes narrowed with the trace of a smirk challenging me. “Ready spar!” Her arm began an upward trajectory targeting my shoulder, a common first move. I sidestepped — only to almost collide with another flying fist. Pivoting my right foot, I snapped my left leg, aiming my heel at her midsection. The center judge raised one finger. 

There was no time to celebrate, not in the traditional sense at least. Master Pollard gave a brief command greeted with a unanimous “Yes, sir” and the thud of 20 hands dropping-down-and-giving-him-30, while the “winners” celebrated their victory with laps as usual. 

Three years ago, seven-thirty in the evening meant I was a warrior. It meant standing up straighter, pushing a little harder, “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am”, celebrating birthdays by breaking boards, never pointing your toes, and familiarity. Three years later, seven-thirty in the morning meant I was nervous. 

The room is uncomfortably large. The sprung floor soaks up the checkerboard of sunlight piercing through the colonial windows. The mirrored walls further illuminate the studio and I feel the light scrutinizing my sorry attempts at a pas de bourrée, while capturing the organic fluidity of the dancers around me. “Chassé en croix, grand battement, pique, pirouette.” I follow the graceful limbs of the woman in front of me, her legs floating ribbons, as she executes what seems to be a perfect ronds de jambes. Each movement remains a negotiation. With admirable patience, Ms. Tan casts me a sympathetic glance.   

There is no time to wallow in the misery that is my right foot. Taekwondo calls for dorsiflexion; pointed toes are synonymous with broken toes. My thoughts drag me into a flashback of the usual response to this painful mistake: “You might as well grab a tutu and head to the ballet studio next door.” Well, here I am Master Pollard, unfortunately still following your orders to never point my toes, but no longer feeling the satisfaction that comes with being a third degree black belt with 5 years of experience quite literally under her belt. It’s like being a white belt again — just in a leotard and ballet slippers. 

But the appetite for new beginnings that brought me here doesn’t falter. It is only reinforced by the classical rendition of “Dancing Queen” that floods the room and the ghost of familiarity that reassures me that this new beginning does not and will not erase the past. After years spent at the top, it’s hard to start over. But surrendering what you are only leads you to what you may become. In Taekwondo, we started each class reciting the tenets: honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, humility, and knowledge, and I have never felt that I embodied those traits more so than when I started ballet. 

The thing about change is that it eventually stops making things so different. After nine different schools, four different countries, three different continents, fluency in Tamil, Norwegian, and English, there are more blurred lines than there are clear fragments. My life has not been a tactfully executed, gold medal-worthy Taekwondo form with each movement defined, nor has it been a series of frappés performed by a prima ballerina with each extension identical and precise, but thankfully it has been like the dynamics of a spinning back kick, fluid, and like my chances of landing a pirouette, unpredictable. 

Why it works:

What’s especially powerful about this essay is that the author uses detailed imagery to convey a picture of what they’re experiencing, so much so that the reader is along for the ride. This works as a sports essay not only because of the language and sensory details, but also because the writer focuses on a specific moment in time, while at the same time exploring why Taekwondo is such an important part of their life.

After the emotional image is created, the student finishes their essay with valuable reflection. With the reflection, they show admissions officers that they are mature and self-aware. Self-awareness comes through with statements like “surrendering what you are only leads you to what you may become” and maturity can be seen through the student’s discussion of values “honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, humility, and knowledge, and I have never felt that I embodied those traits more so than when I started ballet.” These are the kinds of comments that should find their way into a sports essay!

essay story about soccer

“Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.” Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.

Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.

Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words. They couldn’t understand my despair at being left on the outside, and I never wanted them to understand.

Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach. Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one. 

I first approached the adults in the dojang – both instructors and members’ parents. However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. Everyone I asked told me they couldn’t devote multiple weekends per year to competitions. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself.

At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions. Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith.

Parents threw me disbelieving looks when they learned that their children’s coach was only a child herself. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities.

Despite the attack, I refused to give up. When I saw the shining eyes of the youngest students preparing for their first competition, I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. The knowledge that I could solve my dojang’s longtime problem motivated me to overcome my apprehension.

Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended. I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities.

Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past. I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we compete with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again.

In the beginning, you might think this is another cliche sports essay about overcoming adversity. But instead, it becomes a unique statement and coming-of-age tale that reads as a suspenseful narrative. 

The author connects their experience with martial arts to larger themes in their life but manages to do so without riffing off of tried-and-true themes. Through statements like “I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was” we learn about the students values and their desire to be there for those who depend on them. 

The student also brings it full circle, demonstrating their true transformation. By using the “Same, but Different” ending technique , the student places themself in the same environment that we saw in the intro, but experiences it differently due to their actions throughout the narrative. This is very compelling!

“1…2…3…4 pirouettes! New record!” My friends cheered as I landed my turns. Pleased with my progress, I gazed down at my worn-out pointe shoes. The sweltering blisters, numbing ice-baths, and draining late-night practices did not seem so bad after all. Next goal: five turns.

For as long as I can remember, ballet, in all its finesse and glamor, had kept me driven day to day. As a child, the lithe ballerinas, donning ethereal costumes as they floated across the stage, were my motivation. While others admired Messi and Adele, I idolized Carlos Acosta, principal dancer of the Royal Ballet. 

As I devoted more time and energy towards my craft, I became obsessed with improving my technique. I would stretch for hours after class, forcing my leg one inch higher in an effort to mirror the Dance Magazine cover girls. I injured my feet and ruined pair after pair of pointe shoes, turning on wood, cement, and even grass to improve my balance as I spun. At competitions, the dancers with the 180-degree leg extensions, endless turns, and soaring leaps—the ones who received “Bravos!” from the roaring audience—further pushed me to refine my skills and perfect my form. I believed that, with enough determination, I would one day attain their level of perfection. Reaching the quadruple-pirouette milestone only intensified my desire to accomplish even more. 

My efforts seemed to have come to fruition two summers ago when I was accepted to dance with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet at their renowned New York City summer intensive. I walked into my first session eager to learn from distinguished ballet masters and worldly dancers, already anticipating my improvement. Yet, as I danced alongside the accomplished ballerinas, I felt out of place. Despite their clean technique and professional training, they did not aim for glorious leg extensions or prodigious leaps. When they performed their turn combinations, most of them only executed two turns as I attempted four. 

“Dancers, double-pirouettes only.” 

Taken aback and confused, I wondered why our teacher expected so little from us. The other ballerinas seemed content, gracing the studio with their simple movements. 

As I grew closer with my Moscow roommates, I gradually learned that their training emphasized the history of the art form instead of stylistic tricks. Rather than show off their physical ability, their performances aimed to convey a story, one that embodied the rich culture of ballet and captured both the legacy of the dancers before them and their own artistry. As I observed my friends more intently in repertoire class, I felt the pain of the grief-stricken white swan from Swan Lake, the sass of the flirtatious Kitri from Don Quijote, and I gradually saw what I had overlooked before. My definition of talent had been molded by crowd-pleasing elements—whirring pirouettes, gravity-defying leaps, and mind-blowing leg extensions. This mindset slowly stripped me from the roots of my passion and my personal connection with ballet. 

With the Bolshoi, I learned to step back and explore the meaning behind each step and the people behind the scenes. Ballet carries history in its movements, from the societal values of the era to each choreographer’s unique flair. As I uncovered the messages behind each pirouette, kick, and jump, my appreciation for ballet grew beyond my obsession with raw athleticism and developed into a love for the art form’s emotive abilities in bridging the dancers with the audience. My journey as an artist has allowed me to see how technical execution is only the means to a greater understanding between dancer and spectator, between storyteller and listener. The elegance and complexity of ballet does not revolve around astonishing stunts but rather the evocative strength and artistry manifested in the dancer, in me. It is the combination of sentiments, history, tradition, and passion that has allowed ballet and its lessons of human connection to become my lifestyle both on and off stage.

This essay is about lessons. While the author is a dancer, this narrative isn’t really about ballet, per se — it’s about the author’s personal growth. It is purposefully reflective as the student shows a nice character arc that begins with an eager young ballerina and ends with a reflection on their past. The primary strength of this essay is the honesty and authenticity that the student approaches it with.

In the end, the student turns a cliche on its head as they embrace the idea of overcoming adversity and demonstrate how the adversity, in this case, was their own stereotypes about their art. It’s beautiful!

“Getting beat is one thing – it’s part of competing – but I want no part in losing.” Coach Rob Stark’s motto never fails to remind me of his encouragement on early-morning bus rides to track meets around the state. I’ve always appreciated the phrase, but an experience last June helped me understand its more profound, universal meaning.

Stark, as we affectionately call him, has coached track at my high school for 25 years. His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running. When I learned a neighboring high school had dedicated their track to a longtime coach, I felt that Stark deserved similar honors.

Our school district’s board of education indicated they would only dedicate our track to Stark if I could demonstrate that he was extraordinary. I took charge and mobilized my teammates to distribute petitions, reach out to alumni, and compile statistics on the many team and individual champions Stark had coached over the years. We received astounding support, collecting almost 3,000 signatures and pages of endorsements from across the community. With help from my teammates, I presented this evidence to the board.

They didn’t bite. 

Most members argued that dedicating the track was a low priority. Knowing that we had to act quickly to convince them of its importance, I called a team meeting where we drafted a rebuttal for the next board meeting. To my surprise, they chose me to deliver it. I was far from the best public speaker in the group, and I felt nervous about going before the unsympathetic board again. However, at that second meeting, I discovered that I enjoy articulating and arguing for something that I’m passionate about.

Public speaking resembles a cross country race. Walking to the starting line, you have to trust your training and quell your last minute doubts. When the gun fires, you can’t think too hard about anything; your performance has to be instinctual, natural, even relaxed. At the next board meeting, the podium was my starting line. As I walked up to it, familiar butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Instead of the track stretching out in front of me, I faced the vast audience of teachers, board members, and my teammates. I felt my adrenaline build, and reassured myself: I’ve put in the work, my argument is powerful and sound. As the board president told me to introduce myself, I heard, “runners set” in the back of my mind. She finished speaking, and Bang! The brief silence was the gunshot for me to begin. 

The next few minutes blurred together, but when the dust settled, I knew from the board members’ expressions and the audience’s thunderous approval that I had run quite a race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; the board voted down our proposal. I was disappointed, but proud of myself, my team, and our collaboration off the track. We stood up for a cause we believed in, and I overcame my worries about being a leader. Although I discovered that changing the status quo through an elected body can be a painstakingly difficult process and requires perseverance, I learned that I enjoy the challenges this effort offers. Last month, one of the school board members joked that I had become a “regular” – I now often show up to meetings to advocate for a variety of causes, including better environmental practices in cafeterias and safer equipment for athletes.

Just as Stark taught me, I worked passionately to achieve my goal. I may have been beaten when I appealed to the board, but I certainly didn’t lose, and that would have made Stark proud.

This essay uses the idea of sports to explore a more profound topic—growing through relationships. They really embrace using sports as an avenue to tell the reader about a specific experience that changed the way they approach the world. 

The emphasis on relationships is why this essay works well and doesn’t fall into a cliche. The narrator grows not because of their experience with track but because of their relationship with their coach, who inspired them to evolve and become a leader.

Have a draft of your college essay? We’re here to help you polish it. Students can participate in a free Peer Review, or they can sign up for a paid review by CollegeVine’s experts. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to start improving your essay and your chances of acceptance!

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essay story about soccer

How American players are helping fuel a renaissance in Italy’s top soccer league

AC Milan's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring against Empoli in a Serie A match on March 10.

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If the U.S. makes a deep run in the next World Cup — or even in this summer’s Copa América — Italy might deserve part of the credit.

Since 2022, a record 10 Americans have played in Italy; six of them were on the 23-man roster for last week’s CONCACAF Nations League final . And five of the 20 teams in Italy’s top-tier Serie A have American owners.

For Luigi De Siervo, the league’s chief executive, that’s a relationship that favors both sides.

“It’s not a coincidence,” he said. “Italian clubs are closely watching the development of soccer in the U.S.”

For the Italians, it has been a financial boon. Since Serie A followed the German Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga by opening a business office in New York two years ago, De Siervo says the league has seen “exponential” growth in its U.S. fan base, growth he credits to the presence of so many U.S. players in Italy.

Luigi De Siervo, chief executive of the Italian soccer league, Serie A.

For the U.S., meanwhile, having players in key roles in the league UEFA says is now the strongest in Europe is making the national team better. USMNT captain Christian Pulisic has a career-high 12 goals in 40 games in all competition for second-place AC Milan while Weston McKennie leads third-place Juventus with nine assists.

“Pulisic literally changed the way AC Milan plays,” Luca Bianchin, a sports writer with La Gazzetta dello Sport in Milan, wrote in an email interview. “For sure he is one of the best newcomers in the league. But also McKennie established himself as a starter for Juventus. Yunus Musah [AC Milan] and Timothy Weah [Juventus] are useful role players too.”

The growing synergy between U.S. and Italian soccer extends beyond the playing field to the executives suites. A quarter of the Serie A teams — Atalanta, Fiorentina, Genoa, AC Milan and Roma — have American owners, who are valued as much for their capital as for their experience in turning the game-day experience, both inside and outside the stadium, into something special.

In addition, Bologna has a Canadian owner, and Serie B sides Parma and Venezia, who both have U.S. owners, are likely to be promoted to the top flight next season, swelling the North American influence.

“The primary attraction for American ownership is, first and foremost, sporting,” De Siervo said. “After all, we are at the top of European football. [But] acquiring an Italian club also means becoming stewards of the great passion of our fans, a passion that represents the distinctive trait of our country and therefore of the excellence ‘made in Italy’ represents.”

A generation ago, Serie A was what the English Premier League is now: the richest, most popular league in the world. In the 1980s and ‘90s it was home to players such as Diego Maradona, Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane, Marco van Basten and Lothar Matthaus. It had the most money and the most challenging competition, which is why its teams won Europe’s top club competition five times and finished second four times between 1985 and 1996.

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No other league was even close. And the national team benefited. Of the seven World Cup finals between 1982 and 2006, Italy played in three of them, winning two and losing on penalty kicks in the other.

But the level of spending that made that possible couldn’t be sustained. In the summer of 2002, Fiorentina went into administration because of huge debts its owners couldn’t repay and six months later, the Cirio group, a majority shareholder in Lazio, defaulted on its loans. A year after that, Parmalat, the main backers of Parma, collapsed and in 2004, Napoli was declared bankrupt.

The final nail in the coffin came two years later when executives with five teams were accused of communicating with refereeing authorities to have specific referees officiate their respective fixtures.

Serie A was pretty much done.

Then last spring, as Italy prepared to send teams to the finals of Europe’s three main club competitions — the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League — Serie A launched a new campaign, “ Calcio is Back,” built around the Italian word for soccer.

“From a sporting perspective, we can legitimately say that our slogan is even more relevant today,” De Siervo said.

Now the league is looking to continue that momentum.

Weston McKennie of Juventus is challenged by Genoa's Albert Gudmundsso during a Serie A match on March 17.

“Where we need to improve concerns our stadium infrastructure,” he said. “A modern stadium not only allows for increased match-day revenues, but also ensures more engaging television broadcasts. Sport is entertainment in every sense. And this is the point where investments from American owners and their experience in creating modern stadiums will help us.”

Thirteen of the league’s 20 teams play in stadiums that opened before 1967; seven date to before World War II. That makes this season’s average attendance — which was 30,757 entering last weekend, the best league-wide mark since the halcyon days of 1998-99 — even more remarkable.

Bringing Serie A’s infrastructure into the 21st century could boost broadcast revenues as well. In October, the league agreed to a domestic TV deal with DAZN and Sky worth $4.8 billion over the next five seasons, but that’s about half of what the Premier League will earn from its most recent domestic broadcast contract, which runs just four seasons. The Bundesliga and La Liga also outearn Serie A, getting more than $1 billion a season for the broadcast rights to their games.

“The influence is growing,” Bianchin, the Milan journalist, said of American ownership. “However you have to consider that laws and political and cultural habits make it very difficult to reform Serie A and change the habits of our football.

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“I am curious to see what is going to change in the next five years. The use of data is a good example. Some American owners use data massively and I am sure this will persuade at least part of the Italian owners to have data analysts and change their vision on sabermetrics.”

Not all the recent news has been good, though. Last fall another controversy engulfed Italian soccer when more than 40 players, including some in Serie A, were linked to an illegal gambling scandal, leading to fines, multiple-month bans and conjuring up memories of the league’s fall from grace.

So is calcio really back? Is Italy ready to lead the soccer world again?

Bianchin isn’t holding his breath.

“I don’t think the league is getting back to its old self,” he wrote. “The level of football we experienced in the ‘80s and ‘90s was too good to be repeated.”

But this level, he conceded, isn’t bad.

⚽ You have read the latest installment of On Soccer with Kevin Baxter. The weekly column takes you behind the scenes and shines a spotlight on unique stories. Listen to Baxter on this week’s episode of the Corner of the Galaxy podcast .

essay story about soccer

Kevin Baxter writes about soccer and other things for the Los Angeles Times, where he has worked for 27 years. He has covered seven World Cups, four Olympic Games, six World Series and a Super Bowl and has contributed to three Pulitzer Prize-winning series at The Times and Miami Herald. An essay he wrote in fifth grade was voted best in the class. He has a cool dog.

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That Viral Essay Wasn’t About Age Gaps. It Was About Marrying Rich.

But both tactics are flawed if you want to have any hope of becoming yourself..

Women are wisest, a viral essay in New York magazine’s the Cut argues , to maximize their most valuable cultural assets— youth and beauty—and marry older men when they’re still very young. Doing so, 27-year-old writer Grazie Sophia Christie writes, opens up a life of ease, and gets women off of a male-defined timeline that has our professional and reproductive lives crashing irreconcilably into each other. Sure, she says, there are concessions, like one’s freedom and entire independent identity. But those are small gives in comparison to a life in which a person has no adult responsibilities, including the responsibility to become oneself.

This is all framed as rational, perhaps even feminist advice, a way for women to quit playing by men’s rules and to reject exploitative capitalist demands—a choice the writer argues is the most obviously intelligent one. That other Harvard undergraduates did not busy themselves trying to attract wealthy or soon-to-be-wealthy men seems to flummox her (taking her “high breasts, most of my eggs, plausible deniability when it came to purity, a flush ponytail, a pep in my step that had yet to run out” to the Harvard Business School library, “I could not understand why my female classmates did not join me, given their intelligence”). But it’s nothing more than a recycling of some of the oldest advice around: For women to mold themselves around more-powerful men, to never grow into independent adults, and to find happiness in a state of perpetual pre-adolescence, submission, and dependence. These are odd choices for an aspiring writer (one wonders what, exactly, a girl who never wants to grow up and has no idea who she is beyond what a man has made her into could possibly have to write about). And it’s bad advice for most human beings, at least if what most human beings seek are meaningful and happy lives.

But this is not an essay about the benefits of younger women marrying older men. It is an essay about the benefits of younger women marrying rich men. Most of the purported upsides—a paid-for apartment, paid-for vacations, lives split between Miami and London—are less about her husband’s age than his wealth. Every 20-year-old in the country could decide to marry a thirtysomething and she wouldn’t suddenly be gifted an eternal vacation.

Which is part of what makes the framing of this as an age-gap essay both strange and revealing. The benefits the writer derives from her relationship come from her partner’s money. But the things she gives up are the result of both their profound financial inequality and her relative youth. Compared to her and her peers, she writes, her husband “struck me instead as so finished, formed.” By contrast, “At 20, I had felt daunted by the project of becoming my ideal self.” The idea of having to take responsibility for her own life was profoundly unappealing, as “adulthood seemed a series of exhausting obligations.” Tying herself to an older man gave her an out, a way to skip the work of becoming an adult by allowing a father-husband to mold her to his desires. “My husband isn’t my partner,” she writes. “He’s my mentor, my lover, and, only in certain contexts, my friend. I’ll never forget it, how he showed me around our first place like he was introducing me to myself: This is the wine you’ll drink, where you’ll keep your clothes, we vacation here, this is the other language we’ll speak, you’ll learn it, and I did.”

These, by the way, are the things she says are benefits of marrying older.

The downsides are many, including a basic inability to express a full range of human emotion (“I live in an apartment whose rent he pays and that constrains the freedom with which I can ever be angry with him”) and an understanding that she owes back, in some other form, what he materially provides (the most revealing line in the essay may be when she claims that “when someone says they feel unappreciated, what they really mean is you’re in debt to them”). It is clear that part of what she has paid in exchange for a paid-for life is a total lack of any sense of self, and a tacit agreement not to pursue one. “If he ever betrayed me and I had to move on, I would survive,” she writes, “but would find in my humor, preferences, the way I make coffee or the bed nothing that he did not teach, change, mold, recompose, stamp with his initials.”

Reading Christie’s essay, I thought of another one: Joan Didion’s on self-respect , in which Didion argues that “character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.” If we lack self-respect, “we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out—since our self-image is untenable—their false notions of us.” Self-respect may not make life effortless and easy. But it means that whenever “we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un- comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves,” at least we can fall asleep.

It can feel catty to publicly criticize another woman’s romantic choices, and doing so inevitably opens one up to accusations of jealousy or pettiness. But the stories we tell about marriage, love, partnership, and gender matter, especially when they’re told in major culture-shaping magazines. And it’s equally as condescending to say that women’s choices are off-limits for critique, especially when those choices are shared as universal advice, and especially when they neatly dovetail with resurgent conservative efforts to make women’s lives smaller and less independent. “Marry rich” is, as labor economist Kathryn Anne Edwards put it in Bloomberg, essentially the Republican plan for mothers. The model of marriage as a hierarchy with a breadwinning man on top and a younger, dependent, submissive woman meeting his needs and those of their children is not exactly a fresh or groundbreaking ideal. It’s a model that kept women trapped and miserable for centuries.

It’s also one that profoundly stunted women’s intellectual and personal growth. In her essay for the Cut, Christie seems to believe that a life of ease will abet a life freed up for creative endeavors, and happiness. But there’s little evidence that having material abundance and little adversity actually makes people happy, let alone more creatively generativ e . Having one’s basic material needs met does seem to be a prerequisite for happiness. But a meaningful life requires some sense of self, an ability to look outward rather than inward, and the intellectual and experiential layers that come with facing hardship and surmounting it.

A good and happy life is not a life in which all is easy. A good and happy life (and here I am borrowing from centuries of philosophers and scholars) is one characterized by the pursuit of meaning and knowledge, by deep connections with and service to other people (and not just to your husband and children), and by the kind of rich self-knowledge and satisfaction that comes from owning one’s choices, taking responsibility for one’s life, and doing the difficult and endless work of growing into a fully-formed person—and then evolving again. Handing everything about one’s life over to an authority figure, from the big decisions to the minute details, may seem like a path to ease for those who cannot stomach the obligations and opportunities of their own freedom. It’s really an intellectual and emotional dead end.

And what kind of man seeks out a marriage like this, in which his only job is to provide, but very much is owed? What kind of man desires, as the writer cast herself, a raw lump of clay to be molded to simply fill in whatever cracks in his life needed filling? And if the transaction is money and guidance in exchange for youth, beauty, and pliability, what happens when the young, beautiful, and pliable party inevitably ages and perhaps feels her backbone begin to harden? What happens if she has children?

The thing about using youth and beauty as a currency is that those assets depreciate pretty rapidly. There is a nearly endless supply of young and beautiful women, with more added each year. There are smaller numbers of wealthy older men, and the pool winnows down even further if one presumes, as Christie does, that many of these men want to date and marry compliant twentysomethings. If youth and beauty are what you’re exchanging for a man’s resources, you’d better make sure there’s something else there—like the basic ability to provide for yourself, or at the very least a sense of self—to back that exchange up.

It is hard to be an adult woman; it’s hard to be an adult, period. And many women in our era of unfinished feminism no doubt find plenty to envy about a life in which they don’t have to work tirelessly to barely make ends meet, don’t have to manage the needs of both children and man-children, could simply be taken care of for once. This may also explain some of the social media fascination with Trad Wives and stay-at-home girlfriends (some of that fascination is also, I suspect, simply a sexual submission fetish , but that’s another column). Fantasies of leisure reflect a real need for it, and American women would be far better off—happier, freer—if time and resources were not so often so constrained, and doled out so inequitably.

But the way out is not actually found in submission, and certainly not in electing to be carried by a man who could choose to drop you at any time. That’s not a life of ease. It’s a life of perpetual insecurity, knowing your spouse believes your value is decreasing by the day while his—an actual dollar figure—rises. A life in which one simply allows another adult to do all the deciding for them is a stunted life, one of profound smallness—even if the vacations are nice.

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College newspaper sweeps up 2 tiny publications in a volley against growing news deserts

Executive Editor Sabine Martin works in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. With many small town newspapers closing, student journalists across the country are heading to school board meetings and covering local elections to fill the void. But now an effort at the University of Iowa has taken it one step further, with the student paper buying two struggling weeklies in what is believed to be a first. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

Executive Editor Sabine Martin works in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. With many small town newspapers closing, student journalists across the country are heading to school board meetings and covering local elections to fill the void. But now an effort at the University of Iowa has taken it one step further, with the student paper buying two struggling weeklies in what is believed to be a first. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

Sports Editor Kenna Roering works with sports reporters in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. With many small town newspapers closing, student journalists across the country are heading to school board meetings and covering local elections to fill the void. But now an effort at the University of Iowa has taken it one step further, with the student paper buying two struggling weeklies in what is believed to be a first. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

Editors talk in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. With many small town newspapers closing, student journalists across the country are heading to school board meetings and covering local elections to fill the void. But now an effort at the University of Iowa has taken it one step further, with the student paper buying two struggling weeklies in what is believed to be a first. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

A designer puts a page together in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. With many small town newspapers closing, student journalists across the country are heading to school board meetings and covering local elections to fill the void. But now an effort at the University of Iowa has taken it one step further, with the student paper buying two struggling weeklies in what is believed to be a first. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

Executive Editor Sabine Martin, right, passes a drafted paper to Managing Editor Parker Jones in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

A designer puts a page together in The Daily Iowan newsroom, Feb. 29, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Emily Nyberg/The Daily Iowan via AP)

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With hundreds of U.S. newspaper closings leaving legions with little access to local news, a college newspaper in Iowa has stepped up to buy two struggling weekly publications.

The move by The Daily Iowan, a nonprofit student paper for the University of Iowa, is believed to be a first, though other universities are stepping up to fill America’s news void in different ways.

Students will work alongside the papers’ existing one- or two-person reporting staffs and put themselves to work covering the small communities of Mount Vernon, Lisbon and Solon, Iowa. The weeklies’ owner proposed the buyout to save the publications, which have a combined circulation of 1,900.

“It’s a really great way to help the problem of news deserts in rural areas,” said Sabine Martin, executive editor of The Daily Iowan , who will copy edit stories for one of the papers. She already oversees editorial operations for a school paper whose most recent tax filings show had more than $2 million in net assets.

Since 2005, the U.S. has lost about 70% of newsroom jobs and one-third of all newspapers, said Zach Metzger, director of the State of Local News Project at Northwestern University. He described the industry’s downfall as a “cliff dive.”

FILE - Students and passers-by walk past an entrance to Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, Nov. 29, 2018, in Boston. As more than 2 million graduating high school students from across the United States finalize their decisions on what college to attend this fall, many are facing jaw-dropping costs — in some cases, as much as $95,000. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Traditional media has been in that dive since big tech and social media began siphoning off the monster share of advertising dollars.

Richard Watts, director for the Center for Community News at the University of Vermont, said his group has identified 120 university-led student reporting programs that provide local news.

A handful of college publications had already been heavily invested in local news, including the University of Missouri, where professional editors supervise journalism students who have produced a community newspaper for decades.

“There’s lots of examples of programs stepping in because the local media ecosystem doesn’t exist in the way it once did,” said Watts, whose school oversees a service that provides student stories to professional news outlets.

It’s a microcosm of industry experimentation, said Barbara Allen, director of college programming at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.

“I don’t think anybody out there is bold enough yet to say, you know, this is the magic bullet,” she said. “We now believe in a magic shotgun ... it’s going to take hundreds of pellets.”

Each college newspaper attack on news deserts — wide swaths of U.S. communities with no dedicated source of local news — looks different. Some report on state legislatures and distribute the stories statewide. Others produce stories for Spanish-language publications or expand their coverage beyond campus events so they can circulate their papers throughout the community, Watts said.

The man behind selling the two Iowa papers is Bob Woodward, no relation to the Watergate scandal reporter. His family’s business, Woodward Communications, was trying to figure out what to do with two properties that “weren’t performing very well.”

Woodward knew that journalism students at the University of Kansas run an online news site for a nearby community that lost its newspaper. He also knew that the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication saved a 148-year-old weekly, The Oglethorpe Echo, in 2021 by taking it over and turning it into a nonprofit that students write stories for. The deal went through virtually for free, distinguishing it from The Daily Iowan transaction.

And then there is the University of Oregon, where students stepped up to help the Eugene Weekly after it fell victim to an embezzlement scheme in late 2023 that forced layoffs. The students even helped break a story that led to the local school superintendent being outsted, said Peter Laufer, chair of the university’s journalism school.

With these stories in mind, Woodward approached The Daily Iowan’s publisher, Jason Brummond, and asked if it would be interested in a deal.

“We don’t like being in the business of closing newspapers, frankly, or even selling them, but we just felt like they probably deserved a better home,” said Woodward, who stepped down as vice president of the news business earlier this year to oversee fundraising to pay reporters.

Brummond took the proposal to Student Publications Inc., the non-profit that manages The Daily Iowan, and its board approved it unanimously. (The board’s chair, Ryan J. Foley, is an AP correspondent in Iowa City who graduated from the university in 2003.)

The deal was finalized in February, with the nonprofit that runs The Daily Iowan taking over the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun and the Solon Economist.

Neither Woodward nor Brummond disclosed the sale price, though Woodward described it as “a fairly nominal amount.” Brummond said Student Publications may ultimately be required to disclose the amount as part of a tax filing.

Interviews will start soon for interns for the two Iowa papers, said Brummond, who also is serving as publisher of the two weeklies. So far the work has been mainly behind the scenes, absorbing the papers’ half dozen part- and full-time reporters and ad employees and redesigning the publications’ print and online editions.

By fall, university reporting classes will assign stories on the two communities and the editors will decide whether to use them. Ultimately, non-journalism majors might be enlisted to help with the business side of operations.

“Our hope for this is that these are sustainable models that are producing really good journalism,” Brummond said.

Nathan Countryman, the editor at the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun, is eager for the help covering meetings, graduation and beloved community events like Sauerkraut Days. More importantly, though, the deal means the paper won’t close.

“We know what that means for our community,” he said.

essay story about soccer

Six presumed dead in bridge collapse were immigrants, soccer fans, family men

Maynor suazo sandoval, from honduras, was about to turn 39. miguel luna, from el salvador, was a father of three..

The Key Bridge, now twisted wreckage submerged in the Patapsco, once held six men high above the river. They were fathers, husbands and hard workers who had traveled to this country for lives they hoped would be prosperous and long.

Then a container ship lost power and slammed into a concrete pier, and the Baltimore bridge plunged into the water. With it went the six men, officials said, all of them construction workers with Brawner Builders, repairing masonry and potholes. They are now presumed dead. Divers on Wednesday found a red pickup truck beneath 25 feet of water. Inside of it, two of the men.

Baltimore bridge collapse

essay story about soccer

More than a day after the disastrous collapse, there was still little known about their deaths: why the ship crashed, why the bridge fell and what happened in those final moments when the men were suspended in the air. But their losses have left an international trail of grief — the victims were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — and from the web of people who loved them have come stories about their lives.

Maynor Suazo Sandoval, from Honduras, was about to turn 39. Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, was a father of three. Both were members of the immigrant organization Casa. Both loved soccer. Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, from Mexico, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, from Guatemala, were found together, inside the pickup truck. As of Wednesday afternoon, the two other victims had not been publicly identified, and authorities said additional vehicles in the water around the bridge are probably surrounded by rubble from the collapse.

Hector Guardado had seen the news: A search-and-rescue mission for his uncle had been turned into a recovery effort. The odds of survival were slim. But he was not ready to give up hope that Suazo Sandoval might be found alive.

“Until we have his body, we will be hoping and praying that he is alive,” Guardado said in Spanish by phone from Honduras, where Suazo Sandoval grew up before coming to the United States. “In the end, the last word is God’s.”

Suazo Sandoval left their small town of Azacualpa in Honduras’s Santa Bárbara department nearly two decades ago. After short stints in Virginia and North Carolina — working in construction and as a truck driver — he arrived in Baltimore. He met his wife, Berenice, also from Honduras, and they have a daughter, now 5. Eventually he brought over his son, 17.

Their life in Maryland was anchored by his grit and optimism. Although getting by day-to-day was harder — there were nights working on a bridge in the cold and harassment from past employers — it also meant he could better support his family, the one in Maryland and the one he had left behind in Honduras.

“He was always so happy to be able to share what little he was able to make over there in the United States,” Guardado said. “Everyone else always came first.”

His ties to home never frayed, Guardado said.

He called and video-chatted for every baptism and wedding and could often be seen shedding tears of joy. On birthdays, he would buy cakes for faraway relatives. When someone got sick, he would help pay for medicine.

A lifelong fan of the soccer team F.C. Motagua, he followed every match he could, dressed in his dark blue jersey. He sent money to Azacualpa to support a youth soccer league, helping to purchase jerseys not just for his relatives, but also for plenty of others, and he worked with Guardado to open up a hotel in town.

“We’re distraught. We’re hurt. It’s the kind of tragic death you never imagine,” he said. “Living so far away, there’s only so much you can do.”

Suazo Sandoval’s mother, an otherwise healthy 80-year-old named Emerita, has been fainting and losing consciousness since she first heard the news Tuesday morning. Family members in Maryland have been in touch with the Honduran Consulate to receive updates.

Luna’s family has also been searching for answers.

Marvin Luna, his son, said he knew his father was on the Key Bridge overnight but did not learn it had collapsed until friends called him and said, “The bridge is … gone.”

Marvin Luna then called his father, who had worked for the construction company for about 15 years, but no one answered.

On Tuesday evening, not long before officials would say the six men, including Miguel Luna, were presumed dead, his family was at home in Glen Burnie, Md., desperate for news.

“We’re okay right now because we don’t know yet, nothing about my dad,” Marvin Luna said at the time. “But we still wait.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Gustavo Torres, the executive director of the Latino and immigrant organization Casa, said he had been in touch with the families of Luna and Suazo Sandoval.

“Maynor and Miguel are just two stories, two specific examples of thousands and thousands of Baltimoreans that are making a contribution to this beautiful country,” Torres said. “In a time when there is so much hatred against the immigrant community, we look to the quiet leadership of Maynor and Miguel and appreciate how they uphold our society so that Americans can live comfortably.”

Guardado said that his uncle, Suazo Sandoval, who was undocumented, had been in touch with lawyers to eventually try to obtain citizenship and be able to see his family in Honduras.

“The kind of work he did is what people born in the U.S. won’t do,” he said. “People like him travel there with a dream. They don’t want to break anything or take anything. It’s the only opportunity he had.”

The United States “opened many doors for him,” he said, “but he always wanted to return to his country.”

Even if it was in a casket, Guardado said, he prayed that could happen.

Leer en español aquí.

María Luisa Paúl, Danny Nguyen and Scott Dance contributed to this report.

How it happened: Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by a cargo ship . The container ship lost power shortly before hitting the bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said. Video shows the bridge collapse in under 40 seconds.

Victims: Divers have recovered the bodies of two construction workers , officials said. They were fathers, husbands and hard workers . A mayday call from the ship prompted first responders to shut down traffic on the four-lane bridge, saving lives.

Economic impact: The collapse of the bridge severed ocean links to the Port of Baltimore, which provides about 20,000 jobs to the area . See how the collapse will disrupt the supply of cars, coal and other goods .

Rebuilding: The bridge, built in the 1970s , will probably take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild , experts said.

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essay story about soccer

Lionel Messi returns to Inter Miami practice. Will he play vs. Monterrey in Champions Cup?

essay story about soccer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Inter Miami star Lionel Messi returned to practice with his teammates Tuesday, but coach Tata Martino said he will be a game-day decision for Wednesday’s highly anticipated Concacaf Champions Cup match.

Messi has been sidelined since March 13 with a right hamstring injury, with a targeted return date of Wednesday for the first of two matches against LIGA MX powerhouse Monterrey in the Champions Cup quarterfinals. 

It's unclear whether Messi is ready to return, with Martino suggesting Inter Miami must keep the length of the MLS season in mind despite the significance of the Monterrey match. It's also important to note if Messi plays, it's unclear how much he will participate, and whether he would start or come off the bench.

“Tomorrow. Tomorrow, we’ll figure it out. He trained today. We still have 24 hours,” Martino said with a smile during a news conference Tuesday. “The first thing is Leo has been injured, and to manage that injury. We know we’re going to have a very important game.

“We just began April. This is just the beginning for us, and we can’t risk the physical condition of our players. We’re going to decide what’s best for Leo, and we’re going to make the appropriate decisions.”

Messi was hampered by his hamstring injury during Inter Miami’s win over Nashville SC in the quarterfinal of the tournament early last month. Messi played 50 minutes of the second-leg match before an early exit March 13, and was seen getting his hamstring massaged by trainers during the first leg one week earlier. 

Along with missing three Inter Miami matches, which resulted in a win, loss and draw for the MLS regular season, Messi missed two friendlies with Argentina in Philadelphia and Los Angeles late last month to rehab the injury. 

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Monterrey live stream? 

Inter Miami and Monterrey will begin at 8 p.m. ET at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The game will air on FS1 in English, and TUDN in Spanish.

WATCH :  Messi and Inter Miami host Monterrey on Fubo (free trial available)

TICKETS :  Experience Messi and Inter Miami in person against Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinal

SHOP :  Get the latest Messi and Inter Miami gear from the MLS Store

What to know about Inter Miami vs. Monterrey?

Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup title shortly after Messi’s arrival last August, which granted the club a berth into the Champions Cup and a chance to compete for a second title in the Messi era. 

Monterrey is tied for first place in the LIGA MX Clasura table with Club América, which will compete against MLS club New England Revolution on Tuesday night in another Champions Cup quarterfinal matchup. 

Monterrey enters the match coming off its first loss in 13 matches (with eight previous wins and four draws) to start the calendar year after a 2-0 loss to Guadalajara on Saturday. 

How to watch Champions Cup quarterfinals live stream? 

The first leg of the quarterfinals are on Tuesday and Wednesday. The second legs will be played on April 9 and 10. All matches will be available on FS1. 

∎Tuesday: Columbus Crew (USA) vs. Tigres UANL (MEX), 7 p.m. ET

∎Tuesday: New England Revolution (USA) vs. Club America (MEX), 9 p.m. ET

∎Wednesday: Inter Miami CF (USA) vs. CF Monterrey (MEX), 8 p.m. ET

∎Wednesday: CS Herediano (CRC) vs. CF Pachuca (MEX), 10 p.m. ET

Second leg matchups: 

∎April 9: Tigres UANL (MEX) vs. Columbus Crew (USA), 8 p.m. ET

∎April 9: Club America (MEX) vs. New England Revolution (USA), 10:20 p.m. ET

∎April 10: CF Pachuca (MEX) vs CS Herediano (CRC), 8 p.m. ET

∎April 10: CF Monterrey (MEX) vs Inter Miami CF (USA), 10:20 p.m. ET

What is Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule? 

Expect Inter Miami to prioritize their Champions Cup matches, with Messi likely limited for MLS regular season matches in the next two weeks. 

∎Wednesday: Inter Miami vs. Monterrey in Champions Cup, 8 p.m. ET

∎April 6: Inter Miami vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. ET

∎April 10: Inter Miami at Monterrey in Champions Cup, 10:30 p.m. ET

∎April 13: Inter Miami at Sporting Kansas City at Aarowhead Stadium, 8:30 p.m. ET 

∎April 20: Inter Miami vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m. ET 


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