The beautiful game is one of the most unique and interesting sports in the world. There are many cool things to know about soccer, and below are some of them. You can use them to impress your friends, or add to your knowledge.

1. Origin of Soccer

Soccer or football’s early beginnings can be traced back to as far as 3000 years ago. It is speculated to have originated in China (sorry England). It was called Tsu Chu.

2. First Football Association

The first modern football association was the English football association in 1863.

3. Earliest Type of Footballs

The earliest soccer balls were made from sewn clothes filled with stones and inflated pig’s bladders.

4. Number of People That Play

It’s thought that about 250 million people in over 200 countries and territories play soccer.

5. When was FIFA Formed?

The world body governing football Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed in 1904.

6. First Soccer Competition

The first officially recorded football competition was the Youdan cup played in 1867

7. First Football Club

The first-ever football club was the English club Sheffield Football Club founded on 24th October 1857.

8. First Football League

The first football league was created in England in 1888.

9. First FIFA World Cup

The first-ever FIFA World Cup was hosted by Uruguay in 1930. 13 teams participated in the first-ever tournament.

10. First-Ever Continental Football Competition

The first-ever continental football tournament was the Copa America which was held in 1916.

11. First Continental Club Competition

The first-ever continental club competition was the European Cup now UEFA Champions League which started in the 1955-1956 season. Real Madrid were the first winners.

12. Most Substituted Player

Ryan Giggs is the most substituted player in modern football history having been a sub in a total of 134 times

13. First African Country To Win A FIFA Tournament

Nigeria is the first African country to win a FIFA organized tournament of any level having won the Under 16 cadet tournament in 1985.

14. Largest Soccer Stadium

The Rungrado 1st of May stadium located in Rungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea is the largest football stadium in the world with a sitting capacity of 114,000.

15. Largest Attendance For A Soccer Match

The largest ever recorded attendance for a football game was 199,854 spectators at the 1950 world cup final between hosts Brazil and Uruguay.

16. Fastest Recorded Red Card

The fastest recorded red card was issued in 0 seconds in 2007. Keith Gillespie, who was brought on as a sub for his team Sheffield United, was sent off before the official restart of the game for elbowing an opponent

17. Goalkeeper With The Most Goals

Rogerio Ceni is the goalkeeper with the most goals having scored an incredible 132 goals.

18. Most Career Goals

Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo currently has the most career goals with 803 so far scored.

19. Most FIFA World Cup Attended

Brazil is the only country that has attended every single world cup. They have been to all 21 editions of the tournament.

20. First Official World Cup Mascot

The first official world cup mascot was Willie the Lion for the 1966 FIFA World Cup

21. First African To Win The Footballer Of The Year

Liberian President George Weah is the first and so far, only African to have been named the world footballer of the year in 1995.

22. Worst Football Country

According to FIFA ranking, the least ranked football country is San Marino.

23. Most Red Cards In A Soccer Match

In a 5th tier Argentinean football league match between arch-rivals Claypole and Victoriano Arenas, 36 red carded were shown. The referee Damian Rubino showed a red card to every single player on the pitch for the both teams and 14 additional red cards were given to subs and coaches.

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