Soccer is the most popular sport all over the world. It is neither divided or dominated by a single country. According to FIFA's most recent Big Count study, there are 265 million active soccer players worldwide, accounting for nearly 4% of the world's population. In Europe, soccer is widely viewed as a global game that can be played by anyone from any background or culture. Many countries have national teams composed of players of various backgrounds who get together to play against other nations.
In the summer of 2009, after months of negotiations, FIFA finally granted its consent for European clubs to form a new league called UEFA Champions League. The new league will begin in the fall of 2010 and will include only top European clubs. Previously, every year some European clubs formed associations and tried to compete with FIFA's own tournament called UEFA Club World Cup but they were always rejected by the organization that owns the rights to name competitions after winners approval.
The most prestigious club competition in soccer is the UEFA Champions League. It is an annual football (soccer) tournament sponsored by UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). The final stage of the tournament is called the "Champions League". The winner of the Champions League qualifies for the annual UEFA Super Cup match which is played one week later than the other major European football championship, the UEFA Europa League.
The other major international club competition is the FIFA Club World Cup.
How many professional football players are there in the world? According to FIFA's most recent Big Count survey, there are 265 million players actively involved in soccer around the world, roughly about 4 percent of the world's population. Of these players, a full 95 percent are amateur or semi-professional, and only 5 percent are professional.
The number of professional football players has increased dramatically over time. In 1950, there were only 250 professionals in the world; today this number is closer to 6,000. The majority of these players are located in Europe (about 2,700) with another 1,400 in North America. There are only 100 players in Africa and 20 in Oceania.
How many nations participate in soccer? Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with over 250 million people participating in over 200 nations. It is most popular in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa, however it is gaining traction in North America and Asia as well.
The world's oldest football tournament is the FIFA World Cup, an international football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. The final match was not played due to rain delays and poor weather conditions, so Sweden won the first ever World Cup on points from goal average. They also have the distinction of being the only team to have defeated all other participants during the course of the tournament.
There are currently 32 countries that have been crowned with the title of World Champion. Germany is the most successful country with six titles, followed by Brazil with five titles. Argentina, England, Italy, and France have each won the cup four times.
The largest nation to never win the World Cup is India. The Indian government banned soccer during the years 1947-1992, so India has never appeared in or won the World Cup.
Of these countries, Brazil is by far the leader in terms of total players and spectators. It is estimated that there are about 25 million people playing soccer in Brazil - that's one in four citizens! After Brazil, Germany is the next biggest country with around 5 million players. Other large countries include Argentina (3 million), Mexico (2 million), France (1 million), Spain (900,000), Italy (800,000), India (700,000), Pakistan (600,000), Turkey (500,000), Colombia (400,000), Venezuela (300,000), Egypt (200,000), and Croatia (100,000).
In terms of per capita participation, no other country comes close to Brazil. The Brazilian government estimates that there are about 3 million participants in the country's professional leagues - that's one player for every two households! In second place is Argentina with about 1 million players per 100,000 inhabitants. Other high-income countries with more than 100,000 participants include Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy. Countries where soccer is growing in popularity include United States, Canada, India, Russia, and China.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with around 250 million people participating. Because of the game's simplicity, it is popular all around the world. Soccer was invented in the 12th century and has had a global impact on sports fans ever since. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world and draws millions of viewers.
The first modern international football tournament was the 1872 Olympics. It did not become an annual event until 1920 by which time it had become synonymous with excitement and victory. The 1930s saw the emergence of football as the national sport of many countries, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 1954 FIFA (the governing body of soccer) formed a committee to consider changing the length of the ball. The idea was to make the game faster and more exciting for spectators by using a ball that was 20 inches (50 cm) instead of 30 inches (76 cm). However, this proposal was rejected by members of the committee who felt that it would make the game too simple.
In 1995 FIFA introduced the goal-line technology because some people were complaining about how easy it was to score goals these days. The idea came from the US company Catapult Technologies but now many other countries have copied it. Goal-lines are cameras that record any object that comes into contact with the ball, including players' feet.
There are 226 nations. It is the most popular sport in 226 nations throughout the world.
The highest concentration of soccer-loving countries can be found in North and South America (54 nations). Europe has 44 nations to its name. The rest of the world combined has only 16 more countries with their own national teams.
In terms of total population, Europe is still the leader with 518 million people followed by North America with 149 million people. But if we look at the number of professional players, the picture changes completely. There are more soccer players in the world than there are doctors, lawyers, and journalists combined.
The number of professionals in these three other sports is almost equal to that of soccer players. However, only about 1% of them play at a high level. In comparison, 9% of soccer players play at a high level. This means that there are more potential soccer stars waiting to be discovered!
Europe has all five major leagues: English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, and Dutch Eredivisie. They are the best leagues in the world and they are always filled with great matches.