Russia 2018 World Cup Rubles Coin Silver Sealed in Commemorative Pack RARE UNC

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Verkoper: Top-Rated Seller anddownthewaterfall (17.691) 99.3%, Objectlocatie: Manchester, Verzending naar: Worldwide, Objectnummer: 362492426146 World Cup RubleRussia 2018 Sealed in Presention Packet This is a Uncirculated 2018 25 Ruble Coin from Russia It is Silver Coloured made of Cupro Nickle One side has the Official Russia 2018 World Cup Logo and the other side has the Russian Two Headed Eagle Emblem They were produced by The Central Bank of Russia It is inside a sealed packet. The pictures of the loose coin I got from the internet A Must-Have Football Souvenir This was brought back from the World Cup in Russia Add the 25 rouble coin issued for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia to your coin collection today! The commemorative coin pays tribute to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. It features the famous official emblem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with the caption 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA. The coin's reverse features the coat of arms of the Russian Federation. This must-have coin has been designed and crafted by the leading experts in their field. It's struck in copper nickel, and is the perfect keepsake for the biggest event in football's calendar. Limited EditionYear of Issue: 2018 Country of Issue: Russia Metal: Copper-Nickel Quality: Uncirculated Currency: Rouble Diameter: 27mm Weight: 10g In Excellent Condition Starting at a Penny...With No Reserve..If your the only bidder you win it for 1p....Grab a Bargain!!!! Would make an Excellent Gift or Collectable Keepsake souvineer of the worlds biggest sporting event I have a lot of World Cup Memorabilia on Ebay so Check out my other items! 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Fortunately, we've done just that below. Here are our favourite 50 moments from this year's tournament50. Yoko Ono's tweet revivalOn Valentine's Day 2017, Yoko Ono tweeted something about the World Cup. It was weird then and it became weird again when football fans rediscovered it this summer and began tweeting it again and again and again. Yoko Ono✔@yokoono Who will win the World Cup?A child who believes in a peaceful world. 7:40 PM - Feb 14, 20173,4642,263 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy Nooruddean✔@BeardedGenius I hope England finish second in the group. Would prefer to avoid Brazil, Germany and child who believes in a peaceful world Yoko Ono✔@yokoonoWho will win the World Cup?A child who believes in a peaceful world. 11:45 AM - Jun 25, 20181,797495 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy Jon [email protected] To think, I was annoyed when I got them in the sweepstake. Yoko Ono✔@yokoonoWho will win the World Cup?A child who believes in a peaceful world. 9:55 AM - Jun 25, 201822650 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy49. Senegal coach's fist pumpThis is Senegal coach Aliou Cisse celebrating. He's officially the coolest man on the planet. Mikey [email protected] Me when plans get cancelled. #AliouCisse #WorldCup 11:40 PM - Jun 19, 20183,8741,115 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy48. Japan's tactical 'masterplan'With everything still to play for against Poland, and no guarantee of qualifying from the group stages, Japan deployed some of the strangest tactics at this World Cup. Despite the knowledge that a second Poland goal - it was 1-1 at the time - or a Senegal equaliser against Colombia would have sent his team crashing out, Japan manager Akira Nishino decided his team would run down the clock for the final 10 minutes of the match amid a cacophony of boos inside the Volgograd Arena. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– View image on TwitterView image on Twitter Ali Tweedale✔@alitweedale Japan absolutely desperate to find an equaliser at the end of that game. 5:01 PM - Jun 28, 2018804396 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy47. Kalinic sent homeCroatia have enjoyed a remarkable World Cup. But there was one blip. Nikola Kalinic was sent home by head coach Zlatko Dalic after the AC Milan forward refused to come on as a second-half substitute during the 2-0 defeat of Nigeria. Kalinic, 30, who was starting his fourth successive international on the bench, claimed he had a back injury before telling a furious Dalic he was unable to play. Not the best idea. Nikola Kalinic is sent home in disgraceNikola Kalinic was sent home in disgrace CREDIT: TASS46. Really bad lookalikesThe World Cup has seen a number of lookalikes crawl out from the woodwork to tap into England's success. To be fair, Gareth Southgate impersonator Neil Rowe wasn't too bad. Here he is out in Moscow posing for photos with fans... Neil RoweBut then Harry Kanes started popping up on morning breakfast shows and it all got a bit weird... View image on TwitterView image on Twitter [email protected] 😂 NOT EVEN CLOSE 😂 Life as a Harry Kane lookalike... 10:44 AM - Jul 11, 20184See 188BET's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy45. Peru fan puts on weight to get ticketPeru supporters went to extraordinary lengths, and in great numbers, to watch their country play in their first World Cup for 36 years, but one went a little too far. "There was a guy who was worried he wouldn't get a ticket for a Peru match, so he said he would try to put on 24kg so that he could apply for one of the special (easy-access extra-width) seats that are much easier to get," said Guillermo Espinoza, an English teacher from Lima. "You get a good view as well from those seats." Whether the individual's enforced gluttony worked or did him a fat lot of good remains unclear. Peru fans in good voice CREDIT: TASS44. No thanks matéPhil Neville has never come across as the most worldly-wise individual so, when offered to sample the South American caffeine-rich infused drink maté by fellow BBC pundit Pablo Zabaleta, his reaction was as unsurprising as it was embarrassing. While Didier Drogba politely gave it a sip and nodded in approval, Neville's initial reaction was to liken the drink to hot water before calling it disgusting, much to the delight of Zabaleta who burst out laughing. Neal [email protected] This clip of Phil Neville being forced into trying maté then hating it is basically Brexit in nutshell 🏴 🇦🇷🇪🇺 6:13 PM - Jun 24, 2018300113 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy43. He's got the lookYou'll never believe what the kid from Stavros Flatley looks like now. Or is it Louie Spence attending a fancy-dress party as Phil Collins? Or is it Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli? Who really knows... Jorge Sampaoli's signature look CREDIT: AFPJorge Sampaoli shows off his sleeve CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES42. Pepe being PepePortugal defender Pepe has a bad rep. He's like Sergio Ramos, but worse. And during the World Cup he was branded a "d***" by BBC pundits for his theatrical dive at the end of Portugal's 1-0 win over Morocco. Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Cesc Fabregas and Martin Keown all took aim at the former Real Madrid centre-back for throwing himself to the floor following a tap on the back from Mehdi Benatia. It genuinely is quite embarrassing. [email protected] IS PEPE OKAY? #PORMOR 2:59 PM - Jun 20, 20189See Jeremiah's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy41. The internet claps back at Evra ITV pundit Patrice Evra found himself the subject of criticism when accused of patronising Eni Aluko during her analysis of the Serbia-Costa Rice game. The Frenchman appeared taken aback by Aluko's excellent insight into Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and applauded her point, prompting accusations of sexism from viewers. The left-back repeated this moments later, after Aluko complimented the Serbia player Sergej Milinković-Savić. Presenter Jacqui Oatley then asked: "Are you going to sit here applauding Eni's punditry all day?" To which Evra replied: "This is just amazing. I think we should leave, Henrik, because she knows about more football than us! I'm really impressed, you know." Evra was back on ITV a few days later alongside Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Henrik Larsson, but ITV chiefs had clearly had a word in Evra's ear. Ry [email protected] Evra: “Sorry, no claps any more” 😂 9:23 PM - Jun 23, 20184See Ry Crow's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy40. 'Slabhead'Harry Maguire was arguably England's player of the tournament, dominating opposition defences. And thanks to Jamie Vardy he already has a nickname - 'Slabhead' - in honour of his enormous melon. To be fair, Maguire has taken this in good grace, even if Vardy has taken the p*** as often as he can - he even interrupted an England press conference to ask Maguire how big his head is! "Mr Maguire..." called out a voice from amongst the throng of British journalists. "Mr Maguire", the voice repeated. "Mr Maguire... it's Jamie Vardy here from the Vardy Express. Just how big is the diameter of your head?" Harry Maguire's head CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES39. Senegal's warm-up danceIf this wasn't the best warm-up routine already, someone added the Ducktales theme to it... Kristian✔@vonstrenginho The Senegal warm-up is even better with Ducktales music. 9:35 AM - Jun 25, 2018181K83.6K people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy38. Colombia fans in a different classIf there was an award for fans at the World Cup, it would be a straight shoot-out between Colombia and Peru. Both brought numbers, noise and no end of colour to Russia. But the prize goes to Colombia on the back of this video uploaded by a Poland fan. Iain Meiklejohn is seen desperately trying to cheer up his young son after the Poles are humbled 3-0 by Colombia in the group stages. All around them are jubilant Colombia fans, but instead of laying it on thick they try their best to cheer the boy up, patting him on the head and chanting, "Polska, Polska". Meiklejohn tweeted: "The Colombian fans were absolutely fantastic with him after the game - easily the best group of supporters I've ever sat with. Amazing support." Iain [email protected] Wee man was in tears after Poland getting eliminated from the World Cup. The Colombian fans were absolutely fantastic with him after the game - easily the best group of supporters I’ve ever sat with. Amazing support 👏 🇨🇴🇵🇱 #monpolska #fifaworldcup #colombia 11:20 PM - Jun 24, 2018 · Kazan, Russia12.5K5,450 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy37. 'Referee asks for Ronaldo's shirt'In the end it was a storm in a teacup. And a complete lie. None too pleased with referee Mark Geiger after he made a few dubious calls during Morocco's clash with Portugal, Watford midfielder Nordin Amrabat claimed the Fifa official had asked Portuguese defender Pepe if he could have Ronaldo's shirt. "He was very impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo, I heard him ask Pepe at half-time if he could have Ronaldo's shirt," Amrabat said, according to Marca. "I don't know what he normally does, but what are we talking about here? This is the World Cup, this isn't a circus." As you can imagine this caused a bit of a fuss, with Fifa strongly refuting the claims and adding a rebuke in the direction of Morocco. Mark Geiger was in charge of Portugal-Morocco CREDIT: REUTERS36. Messi's penalty miss against IcelandAll eyes were on the Argentina superstar to see how he would react following his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning opening-round hat-trick - but he couldn't find a way to penetrate the wall of ice in front of him. Lionel Messi sees his penalty saved by Hannes Por Halldorsson CREDIT: REUTERS35. Mexico fans party with Korean ambassadorEuphoric Mexico fans hunted down a South Korean ambassador and encouraged him to drink tequila shots with them in celebration of Germany's unexpected defeat. Hundreds of Mexican gathered outside the South Korean embassy in Mexico City to rejoice at South Korea's unlikely World Cup victory over the defending champions. New York Times reporter James Wagner shared a video of the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, dancing with the Mexican fans before having a swig. ESPN FC✔@ESPNFC Mexico fans went to the South Korean embassy and made the ambassador come out and drink tequila 😂 12:01 PM - Jun 28, 201815.7K7,113 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy34. Belgium's comeback against JapanIt looked like the easier of the two quarter-finals when Belgium and England qualified first and second from Group G, but Roberto Martinez's men almost became the latest big name brought back down to size with an almighty jolt by a relative minnow. Trailing 2-0, after two Japan goals inside four minutes early in a second half, the 'golden generation' suddenly stood on the brink of another ignominious failure, braced for more headlines about bottlers and manager Martinez gearing up to collect his P45. And then two Belgium substitutes were introduced to dazzling effect and a game that had threatened to spark a brutal inquest back in Belgium instead became a story about a jaw-dropping comeback, deep wells of character and a couple of inspired changes. Nacer Chadli celebrates scoring Belgium's third goal CREDIT: REUTERS33. Ronaldo loses his coolCristiano Ronaldo will be remembered for two things at this World Cup. The first will be his amazing hat-trick against Spain, and the second will be completely losing it with referee Cesar Arturo Ramos as Portugal crashed out of the World Cup to Uruguay. Cristiano Ronaldo screams at referee Cesar Arturo Ramos CREDIT: REUTERS32. Nigeria dress to impressNigeria's striking home kit proved incredibly popular in the run up to this summer's World Cup, and they touched down in Russia with a similar sense of sartorial panache. The Super Eagles landed in the city of Mineralnye Vody, close to the Georgian border in the far south of the country, wearing traditional Nigerian dress, a knee-length garment with a green eagle embroidered into the fabric combined with matching hat and white slip-on shoes. Nobody else could have pulled this off. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter Ndidi Wilfred✔@Ndidi25 Off to Russia 🇳🇬 18:05 - 11 Jun 201819.7K3,875 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads information and privacy31. Piggy in the middleThe World Cup kicked off with Russia beating Saudi Arabia, 5-0, in the opening match. Which in itself was a great moment. Better still was the sight of Fifa president Gianni Infantino sat inbetween a shrugging Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the goals rained in. Better the devil you know. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter Caiphus [email protected]_11 Putin: "I bet you half my gas reserves Trump signs a free trade agreement with me first."Crown Prince: "You are on."Gianni: *thinking* my heroes. 4:43 PM - Jun 14, 20188See Caiphus Kgosana's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy30. Early goal rushDenmark and Croatia set a World Cup record when both teams scored inside four minutes in their last-16 clash. Mathias Jorgensen gave Denmark the lead after just 57 seconds, before Mario Mandzukic answered for Croatia after 3mins and 40secs. That broke the record for the fastest time in which both teams have scored at a World Cup match - by seven seconds. The previous mark was set by Argentina and Nigeria in a group-stage match in 2014, when Lionel Messi scored in the third minute, only for Ahmed Musa to respond on 3mins and 47secs. Denmark defender Mathias Jorgensen scores early CREDIT: AFP29. Beiranvand denies RonaldoAs far as feel-good stories go, this takes some beating. When Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand leapt to his left and pushed away a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, it inspired his team to a shock 1-1 draw against the European champions. It also meant a quick Google search to find out more about this new Iranian hero, and it is quite literally rags to riches. It turns out Iran's keeper was born to a nomadic family who moved around the country looking for grassland for their sheep. He played football as a kid, but his family disapproved. So Beiranvand ran away from home and took a bus to Tehran as a teenager. He struggled to afford a place to sleep, and he worked in a dressmaking factory, a car wash, a pizza shop, and as a street cleaner. But he continued to play with local clubs, was eventually spotted and he made his professional debut with Naft Tehran as a 19-year-old. The rest is history. Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand saves Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty CREDIT: AP28. Robbie Williams flips the birdSo much has happened in Russia it's probably hard to remember much about the opening ceremony, but before a ball was kicked Robbie Williams worked the crowd and crooned karaoke-style to get this show on the road. Marking the start of the 21st global football feast, Williams swaggered cockily into Moscow's 80,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium wearing a red leopardskin suit, as if Morrissey had gone to Vegas, and launched into a medley of his hits: Let Me Entertain You (at least its lyrics fitted the occasion), Feel and Angels (the latter two, not so much). Sadly, there was no Party Like a Russian. ITV cut away from the festivities at the earliest opportunity, denying viewers the chance to watch Williams belt out Rock DJ while the stage was dismantled behind him in time for kick-off. However, he was captured by a Fox network camera raising his middle finger, forcing the major US broadcaster to apologise to its affronted viewers. Robbie Williams salutes the camera CREDIT: ITV27. Pavard's wonderstrikeCREDIT: GETTY IMAGESFrance full-back Benjamin Pavard was largely unknown on the international scene going into this World Cup but scored one of the goals of the tournament. A barely credible strike of a bouncing ball, cutting across it with the outside of his boot to send it flying into the Argentina net in one of the most memorable games of the tournament. Magnifique! 26. Sergio Ramos' tearsThe sight of a grown man crying is never a good look... unless it's Sergio Ramos. He is one of football's bête noires. So when the Spain captain was filmed in floods of tears following a penalty shoot-out defeat to host nation Russia, there was little sympathy for the Real Madrid defender, especially in Liverpool and Cairo. Many Liverpool supporters still hold Ramos responsible for Mohamed Salah's injury in the Champions League final, and Egyptians hate him for harming their best player - all were quick to lay the boot into the Spaniard on Twitter. Sergio Ramos crying after Spain knocked out CREDIT: AFPJust looked at Sergio Ramos' crying face and I feel a wee bit better. — Saima / サイマ (@SamsterSB) July 2, 2018 [email protected] No matter who wins the world cup the highlight for me will always be seeing Sergio Ramos crying 22:19 - 2 Jul 20187See Scotsman's other TweetsTwitter Ads information and privacy25. Wright vs KeaneIt ended, as these things tend to, with people getting irritated with Ian Wright, and a sad montage during which you could just about make out the sound of a nation ripping up its St George's Cross flags, deleting their downloads of 'Football's Coming Home' and putting the kettle on. Nothing much new there, you might think, although in the first instance, there was some novelty in seeing the anger being funnelled towards Wright by one of his fellow pundits. True, it was Roy Keane - perhaps less surprising - but it still offered some much-needed high jinks after England's grimly predictable extra-time defeat to Croatia. 24. Mexico fans cause an earthquake (maybe)It was the first major upset of the World Cup as Mexico defeated defending champions Germany. The final score was 1-0 and when that sole goal was scored by Hirving Lozano, something quite extraordinary apparently happened. Seismologists took to Twitter to report they detected a 4.3 magnitude earthquake just after Lozano sent the ball flying into the back of Manuel Neuer's net in the 35th minute. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter [email protected] El #sismo detectado en la Ciudad de México se originó de manera artificial. Posiblemente por saltos masivos durante el Gol de la selección de #México en el mundial. Por lo menos dos sensores dentro de la Ciudad lo detectaron a las 11:32. 4:44 PM - Jun 17, 201841.7K30.1K people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyExperts at National Geographic later discredited the claim... but why let fact get in the way of a good story. 23. Panama's first ever World Cup goalYes, they didn't pick up a single point. Yes, some of their defending in that first-half against England was more like rugby tackling. Yes, the got stuffed 6-1 by Gareth Southgate's boys. But that '1' meant so much to the Panama fans it brought many of them to tears. Felipe Baloy, at 37 the oldest member of the squad, turned the ball home from a free-kick to become the first player in the nation's history to score a goal at the World Cup. It was a moment thousands of Panamanians will never forget. COPA90 US✔@COPA90US Tears of joy were shed by #PAN fans across the globe after Los Canaleros scored their first ever #WorldCup goal. This is what ⚽️ is all about! 2:54 PM - Jun 24, 20181,370884 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy22. Spain pass themselves to deathIt started as one of Spain's typical grand passing rondos and it grew over 120 minutes into one of the biggest mountains of possession amassed since World Cup records began. This was the remnants of the great world champions of 2010 passing the ball 1,114 times but unable to score more goals than a Russia team who refused to be passed to death in the way that so many opponents have in the past. The host nation held out in the face of 71 per cent Spanish possession, exhausting conditions and fewer Spanish efforts on goal than you might expect, to survive at 1-1, take the tie to a penalty shoot-out and cause an almighty upset. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter OptaJose✔@OptaJose 141 - Sergio Ramos completed 141 passes against Russia, the most of any player in a World Cup game since at least 1966. Captain. #ESP #RUS #ESPRUS #WorldCup 4:59 PM - Jul 1, 2018265301 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy21. Second-quickest red card in WC historyColombia's Carlos Sanchez created a little bit of unwanted history as he received the second-quickest red card in World Cup history. Just 2mins and 56secs had elapsed of Colombia's Group H encounter with Japan when the Espanyol midfielder blocked a goalbound effort from Shinji Kagawa with his right arm inside the box. Despite typically flamboyant protests from the South Americans, Sanchez was given his marching orders by referee Damir Skomina, leaving his side to face the remaining 87 minutes a man light. Carlos Sanchez sits down in a huff after being shown red CREDIT: AP20. Messi's first touchAbsolute class. BBC Sport✔@BBCSport Messi gonna Messi.#WorldCup #bbcworldcup 23:55 - 26 Jun 2018690162 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads information and privacy19. Swiss eagle celebration rowIt threatened to break out into a diplomatic incident. Serbia, furious that Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri had marked their goals for Switzerland with a pointed reference to their Kosovan-Albanian heritage, issued a formal complaint and even politicians got involved. Fortunately for all of us who get very bored of politics in sport, it blew over fairly quickly. Xherdan Shaqiri's eagle celebration CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES18. Messi coaches ArgentinaWe all know that it's the big players who wield the power, especially if you're Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. So maybe it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise when Argentina's beleaguered manager, Jorge Sampaoli, was accused of asking Lionel Messi if he should or shouldn't send on Sergio Aguero in a do-or-die World Cup game with Nigeria. Footage emerged of a brief exchange between a frantic Sampaoli and Messi during which he was said to have inquired: "Flea. What do I do? I put it to Kun?" The alleged incident, compounded by pre-match talk of a mutiny in the Argentina camp, occurred after Messi walked straight past his manager when approaching the bench to talk to other members of his coaching staff while the score was 1-1. [email protected] ”Lo pongo al Kun?” (Do I sub on Kun?) Sampaoli asks Messi. Sampaoli is clowning #ARG 14:17 - 27 Jun 2018See cruijffista's other TweetsTwitter Ads information and privacy17. England go goal crazyThis was England as we have rarely seen them, 5-0 at half-time against Panama, a place in the second round with a match to spare and a general feeling of abandon that anything could happen. Harry Kane scored only the third World Cup hat-trick in English history, and then there was an unfamiliar competence observed on the basics of the game, especially two set-piece goals created for John Stones that demonstrated actual planning. England fans couldn't believe what they were seeing. Michael Deacon✔@MichaelPDeacon Call the rest of the matches off, hand the trophy over now 8:54 PM - Jun 23, 201846See Michael Deacon's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy16. Senegal go out on yellow cardsSenegal were eliminated from the competition in a World Cup first - Fifa's fair play rule. Aliou Cisse's team finished with exactly the same points, goal difference and goals scored as Japan in Group H - the first three categories that decide the ranking in a pool. And because the two sides drew 2-2 in their group fixture, meaning their head-to-head record was also identical, it went to the next deciding factor - fair play. In this tournament, teams were given minus one point for a yellow card, minus three for a sending off for two bookings and minus four for a straight red. Neither Senegal nor Japan had a player sent off, but Senegal had six players booked in their three games compared to Japan's four - meaning the Japanese went through to the last 16, and Senegal became the first side ever eliminated from a World Cup on fair play. The referee shows a yellow card to Senegal's Idrissa Gana Gueye CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES15. Kroos' last-gasp thunderboltAt the time there were just 18 seconds between Germany facing the very real prospect of exiting a World Cup at the first hurdle for the first time in 80 years and possible salvation. The clock read 95 minutes. This was it. And then up stepped Toni Kroos to send jaws dropping to the floor and Sweden nursing an acute sense of injustice. Toni Kroos puts it in the top corner CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES14. Clean-up jobI don't know if you've ever been to Japan, but it is one of the tidiest places in the world. And now we all know why. Japanese fans cemented their reputation as one of the politest sets of supporters around by helping to clean up the Mordovia Arena after their side's 2-1 victory over Colombia. Christopher [email protected] This is my favourite moment of the World Cup so far; Japan fans picking up litter after their victory vs Columbia. The lessons in life we can take from the game. Why I support 🇯🇵 #class✅#respect✅#WorldCup 9:55 PM - Jun 19, 20186,6603,588 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyYou might say to yourself, 'Ah, but that's just because their team won. Bet they wouldn't feel like tidying if they lost'. Wrong! Japan's fans even stayed behind to clean the stadium following their last-gasp defeat to Belgium, and the players did likewise in the dressing room. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter Tancredi Palmeri✔@tancredipalmeri Amazing from Japan.This is how they left the changing room after losing v Belgium: cleaned it all.And in the middle, have left a message to Russia: “Spasibo” (Thank you) 7:20 AM - Jul 3, 201830K12K people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyIt even started a trend, as Senegal fans were also seen tidying up after themselves following their victory over Poland. [email protected] Senegal fans cleaning their section, class ❤️ 7:30 PM - Jun 19, 201816.7K7,397 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy13. The world's worst throw-inIt was one of those moments when you had to grab the Sky remote and rewind just to be sure your mind hadn't just played tricks on you. Yes, Iran's Milad Mohammadi did actually try this... The [email protected] My absolute highlight of the World Cup so far is the failed front flip throw in by Iran in the last minute of #irn v #esp #IRNSPA 9:01 PM - Jun 20, 2018322188 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy12. Mbappe's coronationThe "Mbappé soap opera", as Kylian Mbappé himself refers to the clamour for information and stories about him, moved to an even bigger stage with his remarkable performance in France's last-16 victory over Argentina in the sweltering heat of Kazan. The forward is already the second-most valuable player in the world, after PSG paid €180m for him, and after ripping the Argentine defence to shreds, that fee now looked a bargain. It was one of those games in which a player walks on to the pitch as someone and, thanks to his enormous talent, walks off again as someone else. The next Lionel Messi. 11. 'It's coming home / Southgate you're the one'As the 2018 World Cup progressed, for better or worse two songs became omnipresent across the country. First, everyone's old favourite by the Lightning Seeds - 'Three Lions' - the one that goes: "It's coming home / It's coming home / It's coming / Football's coming home", except swap 30 years of hurt for 52! However, and to many people's surprise, a rival popped up. A very unexpected rival. Atomic Kitten's 'Whole Again'. Thanks to Gareth Southgate's success, the 2001 hit was re-purposed as a celebration of the waistcoat-wearing phenomenon. Altogether now: "Looking back on when we first met / I cannot escape and I cannot forget / Southgate you're the one / You still turn me on / Football's coming home again." Southgate you’re the one...#Walkabout#EngCol #FootballsComingHome pic.twitter.com/HrC6beZqMG — Ryan Goodinson (@RyanGoodo) July 4, 201810. VAR - love it or hate it?The Video Assistant Referee has been a hot topic of discussion at this World Cup, inspiring both anger and applause in equal measure. Some are fans of the technology... Life is [email protected] I love the impact VAR has had on players,it is nice to see that players are getting used to it being around. We rarely see stupid off the ball incidents. #WorldCup 18:12 - 12 Jul 2018See Life is Good's other TweetsTwitter Ads information and privacyOthers are questioning just what the officials are up to on that screen... View image on TwitterView image on Twitter [email protected]:29 PM - Jun 18, 20189,2702,894 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyWhile others just think it's "bulls***"... [email protected] “I’m coming, hold on. I’m just going to speak to the bouncer...” 9:40 PM - Jun 25, 2018682163 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy9. Germany have a stinkerThe national team had just been knocked out of the World Cup by South Korea and back home in Germany, the soul-searching began immediately. Newspaper Bild copied their front page from four years ago when Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals. "No words," was the simple headline that summed up the shock in both cases. View image on TwitterView image on Twitter BILD✔@BILD Links: unsere Seite 1 nach dem 7:1 2014.Rechts: unsere Seite 1 nach dem WM-Aus 2018. 6:46 PM - Jun 27, 20182,5561,425 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyRheinische Post also kept it simple, with the headline: "Out". View image on TwitterView image on Twitter Gianni Costa✔@_giannicosta Aus. #WM2018 @rponline @rpo_sport 9:50 PM - Jun 27, 201822See Gianni Costa's other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacySimilarly, Die Welt said: "Out and over". View image on TwitterView image on Twitter WELT✔@welt Unsere Seite 1 nach dem deutschen WM-Aus. #KORGER #WM2018 6:38 PM - Jun 27, 20181831 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyThe front page of the Hamburger Morgenpost played with the word Vaterland - the fatherland - to declare "Germany, a country hungover". The Hamburger MorgenpostThe online editions were also just as scathing. "Out! But we didn't deserve more," Bild said on its website. "This is the biggest disgrace in German World Cup history!" 8. Mental MaradonaDuring a World Cup full of weird and wonderful stories, Diego Maradona's bizarre behaviour at one stage threatened to overshadow them all. Invited to attend the tournament as one of Fifa's 'Legends', Maradona so embarrassed his hosts that Fifa eventually urged the TV cameramen to stop panning onto to him in the stands whenever Argentina played for fear of what me might be caught doing. Christian [email protected] Diego Maradona is ON one at the World Cup 6:55 PM - Jun 28, 2018179103 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy7. Southgate's waistcoatGareth Southgate's new-found reputation as a style icon has been one of the unlikeliest developments of an unpredictable World Cup and fans paid him the ultimate fashion compliment with 'Waistcoat Wednesday'. The surprise trend gripped the nation, with M&S selling out of most sizes of its signature blue waistcoats, after being appointed the official tailors for the England football team. The craze even hit Russia, where Moscow's branch of M&S ran out too. Gareth Southgate, dressed to impress CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES6. Neymar dives his way into infamyBrazil may have crashed out of the World Cup earlier than expected but one of their players managed to leave an enduring legacy in Russia, and coin a billion memes. Neymar's attempts to con referees into giving out free-kicks and cards by rolling around like a flopping fish failed in their original purpose... but has provided us with these: The Football [email protected] If Neymar was a rat http://twitter.com/LifeOfSalman/status/1013372315428630528/video/1 … 20:57 - 6 Jul 20182See The Football Schedule's other TweetsTwitter Ads information and privacy Troll [email protected] Kids training and the coach shouts: "NEYMAR!" 10:19 AM - Jul 8, 20189,9887,478 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyView image on TwitterView image on Twitter [email protected]_ L'alphabet selon Neymar 😂😂(📷http://lucianojacob.com ) 06:00 - 13 Jul 20182,1881,307 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads information and privacy5. Perisic keeps his head Imagine the horrible pressure of playing in the World Cup final. The biggest possible stage, the biggest possible number of people watching you, the highest possible potential for embarrassment. Ivan Perisic cares not for these trifling obstacles. His calmness to bring down a tricky ball, expertly manouvere it away from N'golo Kante and steer a superb shot past Hugo Lloris to equalise for Croatia was the spark for a wonderful final. A superb goal in a superbly entertaining game. 4. Hugo Lloris's brainfartAbout that enormous potential for embarrassment... Only the France goalkeeper will know what he was thinking when, with his team cruising, he attempted to turn away from an incoming Mario Mandzukic by, erm, turning towards him. The subsequent goal could have brought Croatia back into the game but France held firm, and guaranteed Lloris will be able to tell the story with glee at dinner parties for the rest of this life, rather than to a therapist. 3. Ronaldo's hat-trickAll World Cups need great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. On the day of his 151st cap for Portugal, against Spain, it was one of those moments when he insisted the world stopped what it was doing to watch. Lining up a free-kick for his hat-trick, he hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right-foot shot around the wall so accurately that David de Gea did not even spring for it. Cristiano Ronaldo lines up his free-kick against Spain CREDIT: AFP2. England end penalty curseFinally! England overcame nearly 30 years of penalty pain when they beat Colombia 4-3 in their last-16 shoot-out. Beginning with their 1990 semi-final heartache against West Germany, England had previously lost all three World Cup shoot-outs, and three out of four in the European Championship, and they looked on course for another nightmare when midfielder Jordan Henderson saw his spot-kick saved by David Ospina. But Colombia's Mateus Uribe hit the bar and Jordan Pickford saved from Carlos Bacca, leaving Eric Dier to score the decisive penalty and earn a quarter-final against Sweden. Jordan Pickford is mobbed by his delirious England team-mates CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES1. Bat-shuayi crazyMichy Batshuayi likes to call himself Batman - he once even said the Caped Crusader influenced his move to Borussia Dortmund because he wears black and yellow - but those legendary superhero skills badly let him down during Belgium's group-stage victory over England. Pumped up to the max after Belgium took the lead, the striker collected the ball with the aim of emphatically drilling in into the back of the net in celebration. Instead he missed, hit the post and the ball rebounded into his own face. KAPPOW! He ended up looking a bit of a wally, and Twitter made sure he knew it - repeatedly. Still, we must give thanks for one of the greatest moments in World Cup history. A fitting winner. Michy Batshuayi The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018,[1] after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2 December 2010. This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tournament in Germany, the first ever to be held in Eastern Europe and the eleventh time that it was held in Europe. All of the stadium venues are in European Russia, to keep travel time manageable. The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team. Of the 32 teams, 20 will be making back-to-back appearances following the last tournament in 2014, including defending champions Germany, while Iceland and Panama will both be making their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.[2][3][4] The winners of the World Cup will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stadiums of FIFA World Cup 2018.Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg.[39] All the cities are in or just outside European Russia to reduce travel time for the teams in the huge country. The bid evaluation report stated: "The Russian bid proposes 13 host cities and 16 stadiums, thus exceeding FIFA's minimum requirement. Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed."[40] In October 2011, Russia decreased the number of stadiums from 16 to 14. Construction of the proposed Podolsk stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and also in the capital, Otkrytiye Arena was competing with Dynamo Stadium over which would be constructed first.[41] The final choice of host cities was announced on 29 September 2012. The number of cities was further reduced to 11 and number of stadiums to 12 as Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were dropped from the final list. Of the 12 stadiums used for the tournament, 3 (Luzhniki, Yekaterinburg and Sochi) have been extensively renovated and the other 9 stadiums to be used are brand new; $11.8 billion has been spent on hosting the tournament.[42] Sepp Blatter stated in July 2014 that due to concerns over the completion of venues in Russia, the number of venues for the tournament may be reduced from 12 to 10. He also said, "We are not going to be in a situation, as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa, where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums".[43] In October 2014, on their first official visit to Russia, FIFA's inspection committee and its head Chris Unger visited St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and both Moscow venues. They were satisfied with the progress.[44] On 8 October 2015, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee agreed on the official names of the stadiums used during the tournament.[45] Of the 12 venues used, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium (the two largest stadiums in Russia) will be used most, with 7 matches being played at each of these stadiums. Sochi, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara will host 6 matches including one quarter-final match apiece, and the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don will host 5 matches apiece including one round of 16 match each. Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg, and Saransk will host 4 matches each and none of these cities will host any knockout stage games. StadiumsA total of 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities have been built and renovated for the FIFA World Cup. Samara. Samara Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The construction officially started on 21 July 2014. The project was completed on 21 April 2018.Nizhny Novgorod. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The construction of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium commenced in 2015. The project was completed in December 2017.[46]Volgograd. Volgograd Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The main arena of Volgograd was built on the demolished Central Stadium site, at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The stadium was commissioned on 3 April 2018.[47]Ekaterinburg. Ekaterinburg Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 35,000). The Central Stadium of Ekaterinburg has been renovated for the FIFA World Cup. The arena's stands will have a capacity of 35,000 spectators. The renovation project was completed in December 2017.Saransk. Mordovia Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 44,000). The stadium in Saransk was scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 in time for the opening of the all-Russian Spartakiad, but the plan was revised. The opening was rescheduled to 2017. The arena hosted its first match on 21 April 2018.Rostov-on-Don. Rostov Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The stadium is located on the left bank of the Don River. The stadium construction was completed on 22 December 2017.Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 35,000). The first piles were driven into the ground in September 2015. On 11 April 2018 the new stadium hosted its first match.Kazan. Kazan Arena (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The stadium was built for the 2013 Summer Universiade. It has since hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championship and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The stadium serves as a home arena to FC Rubin Kazan.Moscow. Spartak Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The stadium is a home arena to its namesake FC Spartak Moscow. In accordance with the FIFA requirements, during the 2018 FIFA World Cup it will be called Spartak Stadium instead of its usual name Otkritie Arena. The stadium hosted its first match on 5 September 2014.Sochi. Fisht Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 45,000). The stadium is one of 22 arenas in history to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. After Sochi 2014, the arena was renovated in preparation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup.Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 67,000). The construction of the stadium commenced in 2007. The project was officially completed on 29 December 2016.[48]The stadium has hosted games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and will serve as a venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.Moscow. Luzhniki Stadium (seating capacity during the FIFA World Cup: 80,000). The largest stadium in the country was closed for renovation in 2013. The stadium was commissioned in November 2017. Marketing The typeface used for brandingBrandingThe tournament logo was unveiled on 28 October 2014 by cosmonauts at the International Space Station and then projected onto Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre during an evening television programme. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the logo was inspired by "Russia's rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation", and FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that it reflected the "heart and soul" of the country.[64] For the branding, a typeface called Dusha (from Душа, Russian for soul) was created by Portuguese design agency Brandia Central in 2014. MascotMain article: Zabivaka Tournament mascot, wolf ZabivakaThe official FIFA World Cup mascot for the 2018 tournament, a wolf named Zabivaka ("the one who scores" in Russian), was unveiled on 21 October 2016. Representing an anthropomorphic wolf with brown and white wool T-shirt with the words "RUSSIA 2018" and orange sport glasses. The combination of white, blue and red T-shirt and shorts are the national colors of the Russian team. The student designer is Ekaterina Bocharova, and the mascot was selected by Internet voting. The election results were announced on 22 October 2016, in the Evening Urgant on Channel One Russia. Wolf, named Zabivaka, scored 53% of the vote, ahead of Tiger (27%). Cat, with 20% of the vote, was third. More than 1 million people participated in the voting, which took place during September 2016 on the FIFA platforms, as well as during the live broadcast on Channel One, where the results of the creative competition were announced.[65] TicketingThe first phase of ticket sales started on 14 September 2017, 12:00 Moscow Time, and lasted until 12 October 2017.[66] The general visa policy of Russia will not apply to the World Cup participants and fans, who will be able to visit Russia without a visa right before and during the competition regardless of their citizenship.[67] Fans attending the matches will be required to avail of a FAN ID.[66] In 6 April 2018, the design of the ticket was unveiled. The ticket design contain security features such as a barcode, a hologram next to the stadium sector map, and the name of the ticketholder.[68] Match ball Match ball "Telstar 18"The official match ball of the 2018 World Cup is called "Telstar 18" and is based on the name and design of the first Adidas World Cup ball from 1970. It was introduced on 9 November 2017.[69] MerchandiseSee also: FIFA World Cup video gamesOn 30 April 2018, EA announced a free expansion for FIFA 18 based on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, featuring all 32 participating teams and all 12 stadiums used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[70] Official songMain article: Live It Up (Nicky Jam song)The official song of the tournament is "Live It Up" with vocals from Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi. The song was released on 25 May. The FIFA World Cup Official Music Video will be available as of 7 June.[71] Preparations and costsThe Russian Government has earmarked a budget of around 20 billion dollars[72] which was later slashed to 10 billion dollars for the preparations of the World Cup of which half is spent on transport infrastructure.[73] A special emphasis was made on airports, with many of those in the host cities were renovated and modernised. In Samara, new tram lines were laid.[74] The city of Saransk got two new hotels, Mercure Saransk Centre and Four Points by Sheraton Saransk as well as few other smaller accommodation facilities.[75] ControversiesMain article: List of 2018 FIFA World Cup controversiesAs with the 2014 Winter Olympics, the choice of Russia as host has been challenged. Controversial issues have included the level of racism in Russian football,[76][77] and discrimination against LGBT people in wider Russian society.[78][79] Russia's involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has also caused calls for the tournament to be moved, particularly following the annexation of Crimea.[80][81] In 2014, FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that "The World Cup has been given and voted to Russia and we are going forward with our work".[82] Allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups caused threats from England's FA to boycott the tournament.[83] FIFA appointed Michael J. Garcia, a US attorney, to investigate and produce a report on the corruption allegations. Although the report was never published, FIFA released a 42-page summary of its findings as determined by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. Eckert's summary cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing, but was denounced by critics as a whitewash.[84] Garcia criticised the summary as being "materially incomplete" with "erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions", and appealed to FIFA's Appeal Committee.[85][86] The committee declined to hear his appeal, so Garcia resigned in protest of FIFA's conduct, citing a "lack of leadership" and lack of confidence in the independence of Eckert.[87] On 3 June 2015, the FBI confirmed that the federal authorities were investigating the bidding and awarding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.[88][89] In an interview published on 7 June 2015, Domenico Scala, the head of FIFA's Audit And Compliance Committee, stated that "should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled".[90][91] Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and former British Prime Minister David Cameron attended a meeting with FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon in which a vote-trading deal for the right to host the 2018 World Cup was discussed.[92][93] Due to the financial crisis in the Russian economy, in June 2015 a government decree cut the budget by $560 million, to a total of $11.8 billion.[94] The budget for the preparations was cut a few times, but in 2017 were again risen by $600 million to $11.8 billion.[95] After Morocco qualified for the tournament with a 2–0 victory over Ivory Coast, the celebrations by the Moroccan community in Brussels turned into a riot with cars burnt, shops looted by some 300 rioters and 20 police officers injured.[96][97] Firefighters sent to put out the fires were also attacked by the rioters.[97] 33 footballers who are alleged to be part of the steroid program are listed in the McLaren Report.[98] On 22 December 2017, it was reported that FIFA fired a doctor who had been investigating doping in Russian football.[99] On 22 May 2018 FIFA confirmed that the investigations concerning all Russian players named for the provisional squad of the FIFA World Cup in Russia had been completed, with the result that insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation.[100] FIFA also decided to exclude Russians from drug testing procedures at the tournament, to make sure that samples would not be tampered with.[101] Response to Skripal poisoningSee also: Reactions to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia SkripalIn response to the March 2018 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that no British ministers or members of the royal family would attend the World Cup, and issued a warning to any travelling England fans.[102] Furthermore, Iceland has decided to diplomatically boycott the Russia-held 2018 FIFA World Cup.[103] Russia responded to the comments from the UK Parliament claiming that "the west are trying to deny Russia the World Cup".[104] Terrorist threatsPrior to the tournament, ISIS made a threat that they would bomb fans via drones. Information came to light after ISIS members posted video clips and photos on an encrypted app, Telegram.[105] The first threats started in October 2017, when a pro-ISIS page posted a picture of Argentina star, Lionel Messi, seemingly in a jail cell with blood on his face and a mock up of Nikes tagline "Just Do It" replaced with "Just Terrorism".[106] Broadcasting rightsSee also: 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasting rightsFIFA, through several companies, sold the broadcasting rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to various local broadcasters. In the United States, the 2018 World Cup will be the first men's World Cup whose English rights will be held by Fox Sports, and Spanish rights held by Telemundo. The elimination of the U.S. national team in qualifying led to concerns that U.S. interest and viewership of this World Cup would be reduced (especially among "casual" viewers interested in the U.S. team), especially noting how much Fox paid for the rights, and that U.S. games at the 2014 World Cup peaked at 16.5 million viewers. During a launch event prior to the elimination, Fox stated that it had planned to place a secondary focus on the Mexican team in its coverage to take advantage of their popularity among U.S. viewers (factoring Hispanic and Latino Americans). Fox stated that it was still committed to broadcasting a significant amount of coverage for the tournament.[107][108][109] In February 2018, Ukrainian rightsholder UA:PBC stated that it would not broadcast the World Cup. This came in the wake of growing boycotts of the tournament among the Ukraine Football Federation and sports minister Ihor Zhdanov. SponsorshipFIFA partnersFIFA World Cup sponsorsAsian supportersEuropean supportersAdidas[112]Coca-Cola[113]Gazprom[114]Hyundai–Kia[115]Qatar Airways[116]VISA[117]Wanda Group[118]Anheuser-Busch InBev[119]Hisense[120]McDonald's[121]Mengniu Dairy[122]Vivo[123]Yadea[124]Alfa-Bank[125]Alrosa[126]Rostelecom[127]Russian Railways[128] 2018 FIFA World CupStagesGroup stage Group A Group B Group C Group D Group E Group F Group G Group H Knockout stage FinalGeneral information Qualification Awards Bids Broadcasting rights Controversies Discipline Marketing Mascot Officials Opening ceremony Preparations Seeding Squads Statistics VenuesOfficial symbolsAdidas Telstar 18 (ball) "Live It Up" (song)v t e2018 FIFA World Cup finalistsGroup A Egypt Russia Saudi Arabia UruguayGroup B Iran Morocco Portugal SpainGroup C Australia Denmark France PeruGroup D Argentina Croatia Iceland NigeriaGroup E Brazil Costa Rica Serbia SwitzerlandGroup F Germany Mexico South Korea SwedenGroup G Belgium England Panama TunisiaGroup H Colombia Japan Poland Senegal1930 1934 1938 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018v t e2018 FIFA World Cup stadiumsKaliningrad Stadium (Kaliningrad) Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg) Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow) Otkritie Arena (Moscow) Kazan Arena (Kazan) Nizhny Novgorod Stadium (Nizhny Novgorod) Cosmos Arena (Samara) Volgograd Arena (Volgograd) Mordovia Arena (Saransk) Rostov Arena (Rostov-on-Don) Fisht Olympic Stadium (Sochi) Central Stadium (Yekaterinburg)v t eFIFA World CupTournamentsUruguay 1930 Italy 1934 France 1938 Brazil 1950 Switzerland 1954 Sweden 1958 Chile 1962 England 1966 Mexico 1970 West Germany 1974 Argentina 1978 Spain 1982 Mexico 1986 Italy 1990 United States 1994 France 1998 South Korea/Japan 2002 Germany 2006 South Africa 2010 Brazil 2014 Russia 2018 Qatar 2022 2026 2030 2034Qualification1930 1934 1938 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018Finals1930 1934 1938 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018Squads1930 1934 1938 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018Seedings1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018Broadcasters1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018Bids2014 2018 and 2022 2026 2030Records and statisticsAll-time table Goalscorers top goalscorers finals goalscorers hat-tricks own goals Penalty shoot-outs Player appearances Red cards Referees Team appearances Teams with no appearancesMiscellaneousAwards Balls Economics Final draw History Hosts Mascots Official films Official songs Organisers Trophy Video gamesNotes: There was no qualification for the 1930 World Cup as places were given by invitation only. In 1950, there was no final; the article is about the decisive match of the final group stage.v t eWorld championships in 2018« 20172019 »Summer sportsArchery (indoor) Association football (men) Athletics (indoor) Badminton individual team Basketball women Basketball (3x3) Beach handball Bowls Boxing (women) Cycling road track mountain bike & trials cyclo-cross BMX Floorball (men) Fencing Gymnastics artistic rhythmic trampoline acrobatic aerobic Karate Quidditch Rowing Rugby sevens men women Sailing Squash men women's team Swimming (25 m) Table tennis Volleyball men womenWinter sportsBandy men women Curling men women mixed mixed doubles Figure skating Ice hockey men women Ski flying Speed skating allround sprint short trackCue & mind sportsChess open women Darts BDO PDC Snooker six-redMotor sportsAir race Endurance racing F1 Powerboat Formula E 2017–18 2018–19 Formula One F2 GP3 Motocross MotoGP Moto2 Moto3 Rally WRC-2 WRC-3 Rallycross Speedway individual team Sidecarcross Superbike Supersport Touring carFootballSOCCERFootball, also called association football or soccer, game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.Football is the world’s most popular ball game in numbers of participants and spectators. Simple in its principal rules and essential equipment, the sport can be played almost anywhere, from official football playing fields (pitches) to gymnasiums, streets, school playgrounds, parks, or beaches. Football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), estimated that at the turn of the 21st century there were approximately 250 million football players and over 1.3 billion people “interested” in football; in 2010 a combined television audience of more than 26 billion watched football’s premier tournament, the quadrennial month-long World Cup finals. Torres, Carlos AlbertoTorres, Carlos AlbertoCaptain Carlos Alberto Torres holding the Jules Rimet trophy aloft after Brazil's triumph at the 1970 World Cup.APFor a history of the origins of football sport, see football. READ MORE ON THIS TOPICLondonLondon: FootballFootball (soccer) tops the lists of both participant and spectator sports in London. Amateur players turn out in the hundreds for games in every park and open space. Hackney Marsh, along the River Lea in the east of London, has a swath of 100… HistoryThe early yearsModern football originated in Britain in the 19th century. Since before medieval times, “folk football” games had been played in towns and villages according to local customs and with a minimum of rules. Industrialization and urbanization, which reduced the amount of leisure time and space available to the working class, combined with a history of legal prohibitions against particularly violent and destructive forms of folk football to undermine the game’s status from the early 19th century onward. However, football was taken up as a winter game between residence houses at public (independent) schools such as Winchester, Charterhouse, and Eton. Each school had its own rules; some allowed limited handling of the ball and others did not. The variance in rules made it difficult for public schoolboys entering university to continue playing except with former schoolmates. As early as 1843 an attempt to standardize and codify the rules of play was made at the University of Cambridge, whose students joined most public schools in 1848 in adopting these “Cambridge rules,” which were further spread by Cambridge graduates who formed football clubs. In 1863 a series of meetings involving clubs from metropolitan London and surrounding counties produced the printed rules of football, which prohibited the carrying of the ball. Thus, the “handling” game of rugby remained outside the newly formed Football Association (FA). Indeed, by 1870 all handling of the ball except by the goalkeeper was prohibited by the FA. The new rules were not universally accepted in Britain, however; many clubs retained their own rules, especially in and around Sheffield. Although this northern English city was the home of the first provincial club to join the FA, in 1867 it also gave birth to the Sheffield Football Association, the forerunner of later county associations. Sheffield and London clubs played two matches against each other in 1866, and a year later a match pitting a club from Middlesex against one from Kent and Surrey was played under the revised rules. In 1871 15 FA clubs accepted an invitation to enter a cup competition and to contribute to the purchase of a trophy. By 1877 the associations of Great Britain had agreed upon a uniform code, 43 clubs were in competition, and the London clubs’ initial dominance had diminished. ProfessionalismThe development of modern football was closely tied to processes of industrialization and urbanization in Victorian Britain. Most of the new working-class inhabitants of Britain’s industrial towns and cities gradually lost their old bucolic pastimes, such as badger-baiting, and sought fresh forms of collective leisure. From the 1850s onward, industrial workers were increasingly likely to have Saturday afternoons off work, and so many turned to the new game of football to watch or to play. Key urban institutions such as churches, trade unions, and schools organized working-class boys and men into recreational football teams. Rising adult literacy spurred press coverage of organized sports, while transport systems such as the railways or urban trams enabled players and spectators to travel to football games. Average attendance in England rose from 4,600 in 1888 to 7,900 in 1895, rising to 13,200 in 1905 and reaching 23,100 at the outbreak of World War I. Football’s popularity eroded public interest in other sports, notably cricket. Leading clubs, notably those in Lancashire, started charging admission to spectators as early as the 1870s and so, despite the FA’s amateurism rule, were in a position to pay illicit wages to attract highly skilled working-class players, many of them hailing from Scotland. Working-class players and northern English clubs sought a professional system that would provide, in part, some financial reward to cover their “broken time” (time lost from their other work) and the risk of injury. The FA remained staunchly elitist in sustaining a policy of amateurism that protected upper and upper-middle class influence over the game. The issue of professionalism reached a crisis in England in 1884, when the FA expelled two clubs for using professional players. However, the payment of players had become so commonplace by then that the FA had little option but to sanction the practice a year later, despite initial attempts to restrict professionalism to reimbursements for broken time. The consequence was that northern clubs, with their large supporter bases and capacity to attract better players, came to prominence. As the influence of working-class players rose in football, the upper classes took refuge in other sports, notably cricket and rugby union. Professionalism also sparked further modernization of the game through the establishment of the Football League, which allowed the leading dozen teams from the North and Midlands to compete systematically against each other from 1888 onward. A lower, second division was introduced in 1893, and the total number of teams increased to 28. The Irish and Scots formed leagues in 1890. The Southern League began in 1894 but was absorbed by the Football League in 1920. Yet football did not become a major profit-making business during this period. Professional clubs became limited liability companies primarily to secure land for gradual development of stadium facilities. Most clubs in England were owned and controlled by businessmen but shareholders received very low, if any, dividends; their main reward was an enhanced public status through running the local club. Later national leagues overseas followed the British model, which included league championships, at least one annual cup competition, and a hierarchy of leagues that sent clubs finishing highest in the tables (standings) up to the next higher division (promotion) and clubs at the bottom down to the next lower division (relegation). A league was formed in the Netherlands in 1889, but professionalism arrived only in 1954. Germany completed its first national championship season in 1903, but the Bundesliga, a comprehensive and fully professional national league, did not evolve until 60 years later. In France, where the game was introduced in the 1870s, a professional league did not begin until 1932, shortly after professionalism had been adopted in the South American countries of Argentina and Brazil. International organizationBy the early 20th century, football had spread across Europe, but it was in need of international organization. A solution was found in 1904, when representatives from the football associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland founded the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Although Englishman Daniel Woolfall was elected FIFA president in 1906 and all of the home nations (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) were admitted as members by 1911, British football associations were disdainful of the new body. FIFA members accepted British control over the rules of football via the International Board, which had been established by the home nations in 1882. Nevertheless, in 1920 the British associations resigned their FIFA memberships after failing to persuade other members that Germany, Austria, and Hungary should be expelled following World War I. The British associations rejoined FIFA in 1924 but soon after insisted upon a very rigid definition of amateurism, notably for Olympic football. Other nations again failed to follow their lead, and the British resigned once more in 1928, remaining outside FIFA until 1946. When FIFA established the World Cup championship, British insouciance toward the international game continued. Without membership in FIFA, the British national teams were not invited to the first three competitions (1930, 1934, and 1938). For the next competition, held in 1950, FIFA ruled that the two best finishers in the British home nations tournament would qualify for World Cup play; England won, but Scotland (which finished second) chose not to compete for the World Cup. Brazil's Ronaldo (yellow shirt) maneuvering around opposing German players during the final match of the 2002 World Cup, held in Yokohama, Japan; Brazil defeated Germany, 2–0.Brazil's Ronaldo (yellow shirt) maneuvering around opposing German players during the final match of the 2002 World Cup, held in Yokohama, Japan; Brazil defeated Germany, 2–0.Thomas Kienzle/APDespite sometimes fractious international relations, football continued to rise in popularity. It made its official Olympic debut at the London Games in 1908, and it has since been played in each of the Summer Games (except for the 1932 Games in Los Angeles). FIFA also grew steadily—especially in the latter half of the 20th century, when it strengthened its standing as the game’s global authority and regulator of competition. Guinea became FIFA’s 100th member in 1961; at the turn of the 21st century, more than 200 nations were registered FIFA members, which is more than the number of countries that belong to the United Nations. The World Cup finals remain football’s premier tournament, but other important tournaments have emerged under FIFA guidance. Two different tournaments for young players began in 1977 and 1985, and these became, respectively, the World Youth Championship (for those 20 years old and younger) and the Under-17 World Championship. Futsal, the world indoor five-a-side championship, started in 1989. Two years later the first Women’s World Cup was played in China. In 1992 FIFA opened the Olympic football tournament to players aged under 23 years, and four years later the first women’s Olympic football tournament was held. The World Club Championship debuted in Brazil in 2000. The Under-19 Women’s World Championship was inaugurated in 2002. Lloyd, CarliLloyd, CarliCarli Lloyd (left) of the United States scoring a penalty goal during the semifinal match against Germany in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.Carmen Jaspersen/AP ImagesFIFA membership is open to all national associations. They must accept FIFA’s authority, observe the laws of football, and possess a suitable football infrastructure (i.e., facilities and internal organization). FIFA statutes require members to form continental confederations. The first of these, the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (commonly known as CONMEBOL), was founded in South America in 1916. In 1954 the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) were established. Africa’s governing body, the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), was founded in 1957. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) followed four years later. The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) appeared in 1966. These confederations may organize their own club, international, and youth tournaments, elect representatives to FIFA’s Executive Committee, and promote football in their specific continents as they see fit. In turn, all football players, agents, leagues, national associations, and confederations must recognize the authority of FIFA’s Arbitration Tribunal for Football, which effectively functions as football’s supreme court in serious disputes. Until the early 1970s, control of FIFA (and thus of world football) was firmly in the hands of northern Europeans. Under the presidencies of the Englishmen Arthur Drewry (1955–61) and Stanley Rous (1961–74), FIFA adopted a rather conservative patrician relationship to the national and continental bodies. It survived on modest income from the World Cup finals, and relatively little was done to promote football in developing countries or to explore the game’s business potential within the West’s postwar economic boom. FIFA’s leadership was more concerned with matters of regulation, such as confirming amateur status for Olympic competition or banning those associated with illegal transfers of players with existing contracts. For example, Colombia (1951–54) and Australia (1960–63) were suspended temporarily from FIFA after permitting clubs to recruit players who had broken contracts elsewhere in the world. Growing African and Asian membership within FIFA undermined European control. In 1974 Brazilian João Havelange was elected president, gaining large support from developing nations. Under Havelange, FIFA was transformed from an international gentlemen’s club into a global corporation: billion-dollar television deals and partnerships with major transnational corporations were established during the 1980s and ’90s. While some earnings were reinvested through FIFA development projects—primarily in Asia, Africa, and Central America—the biggest political reward for developing countries has been the expansion of the World Cup finals to include more countries from outside Europe and South America. Greater professionalization of sports also forced FIFA to intercede in new areas as a governing body and competition regulator. The use of performance-enhancing drugs by teams and individual players had been suspected since at least the 1930s; FIFA introduced drug tests in 1966, and occasionally drug users were uncovered, such as Willie Johnston of Scotland at the 1978 World Cup finals. But FIFA regulations were tightened in the 1980s after the sharp rise in offenses among Olympic athletes, the appearance of new drugs such as the steroid nandrolone, and the use of drugs by stars such as Argentina’s Diego Maradona in 1994. While FIFA has authorized lengthy worldwide bans of players who fail drug tests, discrepancies remain between nations and confederations over the intensity of testing and the legal status of specific drugs. Diego Maradona of Argentina and a South Korean defender in a 1986 World Cup football (soccer) game.Diego Maradona of Argentina and a South Korean defender in a 1986 World Cup football (soccer) game.ColorsportAs the sport moved into the 21st century, FIFA came under pressure to respond to some of the major consequences of globalization for international football. During the corrupt tenure of Switzerland’s Sepp Blatter as president from 1998 to 2015, the political bargaining and wrangling among world football’s officials gained greater media and public attention. Direct conflicts of interest among football’s various groups have also arisen: players, agents, television networks, competition sponsors, clubs, national bodies, continental associations, and FIFA all have divergent views regarding the staging of football tournaments and the distribution of football’s income. Regulation of player representatives and transfers is also problematic. In UEFA countries, players move freely when not under contract. On other continents, notably Africa and Central and South America, players tend to be tied into long-term contracts with clubs that can control their entire careers. FIFA now requires all agents to be licensed and to pass written examinations held by national associations, but there is little global consistency regarding the control of agent powers. In Europe, agents have played a key role in promoting wage inflation and higher player mobility. In Latin America, players are often partially “owned” by agents who may decide on whether transfers proceed. In parts of Africa, some European agents have been compared to slave traders in the way that they exercise authoritarian control over players and profit hugely from transfer fees to Western leagues with little thought for their clients’ well-being. In this way, the ever-widening inequalities between developed and developing nations are reflected in the uneven growth and variable regulations of world football. Blatter, SeppBlatter, SeppSepp Blatter, 2006.© 360b/Shutterstock.comRichard C. GiulianottiJack RollinBernard JoyFootball Around The WorldRegional traditionsEuropeEngland and Scotland had the first leagues, but clubs sprang up in most European nations in the 1890s and 1900s, enabling these nations to found their own leagues. Many Scottish professional players migrated south to join English clubs, introducing English players and audiences to more-advanced ball-playing skills and to the benefits of teamwork and passing. Up to World War II, the British continued to influence football’s development through regular club tours overseas and the Continental coaching careers of former players. Itinerant Scots were particularly prominent in central Europe. The interwar Danubian school of football emerged from the coaching legacies and expertise of John Madden in Prague and Jimmy Hogan in Austria. Before World War II, Italian, Austrian, Swiss, and Hungarian teams emerged as particularly strong challengers to the British. During the 1930s, Italian clubs and the Italian national team recruited high-calibre players from South America (mainly Argentina and Uruguay), often claiming that these rimpatriati were essentially Italian in nationality; the great Argentinians Raimondo Orsi and Enrique Guaita were particularly useful acquisitions. But only after World War II was the preeminence of the home nations (notably England) unquestionably usurped by overseas teams. In 1950 England lost to the United States at the World Cup finals in Brazil. Most devastating were later, crushing losses to Hungary: 6–3 in 1953 at London’s Wembley Stadium, then 7–1 in Budapest a year later. The “Magical Magyars” opened English eyes to the dynamic attacking and tactically advanced football played on the Continent and to the technical superiority of players such as Ferenc Puskás, József Bozsik, and Nándor Hidegkuti. During the 1950s and ’60s, Italian and Spanish clubs were the most active in the recruitment of top foreign players. For example, the Welshman John Charles, known as “the Gentle Giant,” remains a hero for supporters of the Juventus club of Turin, Italy, while the later success of Real Madrid was built largely on the play of Argentinian Alfredo Di Stefano and the Hungarian Puskás. European football has also reflected the wider political, economic, and cultural changes of modern times. Heightened nationalism and xenophobia have pervaded matches, often as a harbinger of future hostilities. During the 1930s, international matches in Europe were often seen as national tests of physical and military capability. In contrast, football’s early post-World War II boom witnessed massive, well-behaved crowds that coincided with Europe’s shift from warfare to rebuilding projects and greater internationalism. More recently, racism became a more prominent feature of football, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s: many coaches projected negative stereotypes onto black players; supporters routinely abused nonwhites on and off the fields of play; and football authorities failed to counteract racist incidents at games. In general terms, racism at football reflected wider social problems across western Europe. In postcommunist eastern Europe, economic decline and rising nationalist sentiments have marked football culture too. The tensions that exploded in Yugoslavia’s civil war were foreshadowed during a match in May 1990 between the Serbian side Red Star Belgrade and the Croatian team Dynamo Zagreb when violence involving rival supporters and Serbian riot police spread to the pitch to include players and coaches. Club football reflects the distinctive political and cultural complexities of European regions. In Britain, partisan football has been traditionally associated with the industrial working class, notably in cities such as Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle. In Spain, clubs such as FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are symbols of strong nationalist identity for Catalans and Basques, respectively. In France, many clubs have facilities that are open to the local community and reflect the nation’s corporatist politics in being jointly owned and administered by private investors and local governments. In Italy, clubs such as Fiorentina, Inter Milan, SSC Napoli, and AS Roma embody deep senses of civic and regional pride that predate Italian unification in the 19th century. Wayne Rooney jumping to control the ball during a Premier League football match between Manchester United and Manchester City, April 17, 2010.Wayne Rooney jumping to control the ball during a Premier League football match between Manchester United and Manchester City, April 17, 2010.Andrew Yates—AFP/Getty ImagesThe dominant forces in European national football have been Germany, Italy, and, latterly, France; their national teams have won a total of seven World Cups and six European Championships. Success in club football has been built largely on recruitment of the world’s leading players, notably by Italian and Spanish sides. The European Cup competition for national league champions, first played in 1955, was initially dominated by Real Madrid; other regular winners have been AC Milan, Bayern Munich (Germany), Ajax of Amsterdam, and Liverpool FC (England). The UEFA Cup, first contested as the Fairs Cup in 1955–58, has had a wider pool of entrants and winners. Henry, ThierryHenry, ThierryFrench footballer Thierry Henry controlling the ball during a World Cup 2010 qualifying match against Austria, October 14, 2009.Franck Fife—AFP/Getty ImagesSince the late 1980s, topflight European football has generated increasing financial revenues from higher ticket prices, merchandise sales, sponsorship, advertising, and, in particular, television contracts. The top professionals and largest clubs have been the principal beneficiaries. UEFA has reinvented the European Cup as the Champions League, allowing the wealthiest clubs freer entry and more matches. In the early 1990s, Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman sued the Belgian Football Association, challenging European football’s traditional rule that all transfers of players (including those without contracts) necessitate an agreement between the clubs in question, usually involving a transfer fee. Bosman had been prevented from joining a new club (US Dunkerque) by his old club (RC Liège). In 1995 the European courts upheld Bosman’s complaint, and at a stroke freed uncontracted European players to move between clubs without transfer fees. The bargaining power of players was strengthened greatly, enabling top stars to multiply their earnings with large salaries and signing bonuses. Warnings of the end of European football’s financial boom came when FIFA’s marketing agent, ISL, went bust in 2001; such major media investors in football as the Kirch Gruppe in Germany and ITV Digital in the United Kingdom collapsed a year later. Inevitably, the financial boom had exacerbated inequalities within the game, widening the gap between the top players, the largest clubs, and the wealthiest spectators and their counterparts in lower leagues and the developing world. North and Central America and the CaribbeanFootball was brought to North America in the 1860s, and by the mid-1880s informal matches had been contested by Canadian and American teams. It soon faced competition from other sports, including variant forms of football. In Canada, Scottish émigrés were particularly prominent in the game’s early development; however, Canadians subsequently turned to ice hockey as their national sport. In the United States, gridiron football emerged early in the 20th century as the most popular sport. But, beyond elite universities and schools, soccer (as the sport is popularly called in the United States) was played widely in some cities with large immigrant populations such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland (Ohio), and St. Louis (Missouri), as well as New York City and Los Angeles after Hispanic migrations. The U.S. Soccer Federation formed in 1913, affiliated with FIFA, and sponsored competitions. Between the world wars, the United States attracted scores of European emigrants who played football for local teams sometimes sponsored by companies. Football in Central America struggled to gain a significant foothold in competition against baseball. In Costa Rica, the football federation founded the national league championship in 1921, but subsequent development in the region was slower, with belated FIFA membership for countries such as El Salvador (1938), Nicaragua (1950), and Honduras (1951). In the Caribbean, football traditionally paled in popularity to cricket in former British colonies. In Jamaica, football was highly popular in urban townships, but it did not capture the imagination of the country until 1998, when the national team—featuring several players who had gained success in Britain and were dubbed the “Reggae Boyz”—qualified for the World Cup finals. North American leagues and tournaments saw an infusion of professional players in 1967, beginning with the wholesale importation of foreign teams to represent American cities. The North American Soccer League (NASL) formed a year later and struggled until the New York Cosmos signed the Brazilian superstar Pelé in 1975. Other aging international stars soon followed, and crowds grew to European proportions, but a regular fan base remained elusive, and NASL folded in 1985. An indoor football tournament, founded in 1978, evolved into a league and flourished for a while but collapsed in 1992. In North America football did establish itself as the relatively less-violent alternative to gridiron football and as a more socially inclusive sport for women. It is particularly popular among college and high school students across the United States. After hosting an entertaining World Cup finals in 1994, the United States possessed some 16 million football players nationwide, up to 40 percent of whom were female. In 1996 a new attempt at establishing a professional outdoor league was made. Major League Soccer (MLS) was more modest in ambition than NASL, being originally played in only 10 U.S. cities, with greater emphasis on local players and a relatively tight salary cap. The MLS proved to be the most successful American soccer league, expanding to 20 teams (with two in Canada) by 2016 while also signing a number of lucrative broadcasting deals with American television networks and some star players from European leagues. The United States hosted and won the Women’s World Cup finals in 1999, attracting enthusiastic local support. The success of the MLS and the Women’s World Cup led to the creation of a women’s professional league in 2001. The Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) began with eight teams and featured the world’s star player, Mia Hamm, but it disbanded in 2003. Donovan, LandonDonovan, LandonThe Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan chasing down the ball during a Major League Soccer (MLS) game against D.C. United, August 22, 2009.Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty ImagesNorth American national associations are members of the continental body, CONCACAF, and Mexico is the traditional regional powerhouse. Mexico has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup four times since it was first contested in 1991, and Mexican clubs have dominated the CONCACAF Champions Cup for clubs since it began in 1962. British influence in mining and railroads encouraged the founding of football clubs in Mexico in the late 19th century. A national league was established in 1903. Mexico is exceptional in that its mass preference for football runs counter to the sporting tastes of its North American neighbours. The national league system is the most commercially successful in the region and attracts players from all over the Western Hemisphere. Despite high summer humidity and stadiums at high elevations, Mexico has hosted two of the most memorable World Cup finals, in 1970 and 1986, from which Brazil and Argentina (led by the game’s then greatest players, Pelé and Maradona, respectively) emerged as the respective winners. While the national team has been ranked highly by FIFA, often figuring in the top ten, Mexico has not produced the world-class calibre of players expected of such a large football-crazed nation. Hugo Sanchez (at Real Madrid) has been the only Mexican player to reach the highest world level in modern times. Richard C. GiulianottiSouth AmericaFootball first came to South America in the 19th century through the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where European sailors played the game. Members of the British community there formed the first club, the Buenos Aires Football Club (FC), in 1867; about the same time, British railway workers started another club, in the town of Rosario, Argentina. The first Argentinian league championship was played in 1893, but most of the players belonged to the British community, a pattern that continued until the early 20th century. Brazil is believed to be the second South American country where the game was established. Charles Miller, a leading player in England, came to Brazil in 1894 and introduced football in São Paulo; that city’s athletic club was the first to take up the sport. In Colombia, British engineers and workers building a railroad near Barranquilla first played football in 1903, and the Barranquilla FBC was founded in 1909. In Uruguay, British railway workers were the first to play, and in 1891 they founded the Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club (now the famous Peñarol), which played both cricket and football. In Chile, British sailors initiated play in Valparaíso, establishing the Valparaíso FC in 1889. In Paraguay, Dutchman William Paats introduced the game at a school where he taught physical education, but the country’s first (and still leading) club, Olimpia, was formed by a local man who became enthusiastic after seeing the game in Buenos Aires in 1902. In Bolivia the first footballers were a Chilean and students who had studied in Europe, and in Peru they were expatriate Britons. In Venezuela, British miners are known to have played football in the 1880s. Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira), star of the Brazilian national football (soccer) team, 2006.Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira), star of the Brazilian national football (soccer) team, 2006.TM and © Nike, Inc., all rights reserved/PR NewsFoto/AP ImagesSoon local people across South America began taking up and following the sport in ever greater numbers. Boys, mostly from poorer backgrounds, played from an early age, with passion, on vacant land and streets. Clubs and players gained popularity, and professionalism entered the sport in most countries around the 1930s—although many players had been paid secretly before then by their clubs. The exodus of South American players to European clubs that paid higher salaries began after the 1930 World Cup and has steadily increased. By the late 1930s, football had become a crucial aspect of popular culture in many South American nations; ethnic and national identities were constructed and played out on an increasingly international stage. In South American nations, nonwhite players fought a successful struggle to play at the top level: in Rio de Janeiro, Vasco da Gama was the first club to recruit black players and promptly stormed to the league championship in 1923, encouraging other clubs to follow suit. In Uruguay, a nation of largely mixed European descent, local players learned both the physical style played by the English and the more refined passing game of the Scots, producing a versatility that helped their national team win two Olympic championships and the World Cup between 1924 and 1930. In 1916, South American countries were the first to hold a regular continental championship—later known as the Copa América. In 1960 the South American club championship (Libertadores Cup) was started; it has been played annually by the continent’s leading clubs (with the winner playing the European club champion), and, as a result of its popularity, various other international competitions have also been held between clubs. Domestic league championships are split into two or more tournaments each season with frequent variations in format. Eric WeilRichard C. GiulianottiAfricaEuropean sailors, soldiers, traders, engineers, and missionaries brought football with them to Africa in the second half of the 19th century. The first documented match took place in Cape Town in 1862, after which the game spread rapidly throughout the continent, particularly in the British colonies and in societies with vibrant indigenous athletic traditions. During the interwar period, African men in cities and towns, railroad workers, and students organized clubs, associations, and regional competitions. Teams from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia competed in the North African championship, established in 1919, and vied for the North African Cup, introduced in 1930. South of the Sahara, Kenya and Uganda first played for the Gossage Trophy in 1924, and the Darugar Cup was established on the island of Zanzibar. In the mining centre of Élisabethville (now Lubumbashi, Congo) a football league for Africans was begun in 1925. In South Africa the game was very popular by the early 1930s, though it was organized in racially segregated national associations for whites, Africans, Coloureds (persons of mixed race), and Indians. In the colonies of British West Africa, the Gold Coast (now Ghana) launched its first football association in 1922, with Nigeria’s southern capital of Lagos following suit in 1931. Enterprising clubs and leagues developed across French West Africa in the 1930s, especially in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. Moroccan forward Larbi Ben Barek became the first African professional in Europe, playing for Olympique de Marseille and the French national team in 1938. After World War II football in Africa experienced dramatic expansion. Modernizing colonial regimes provided new facilities and created attractive competitions, such as the French West Africa Cup in 1947. The migration of talented Africans to European clubs intensified. Together with his older compatriot Mario Coluña, Mozambican sensation Eusébio, European player of the year in 1965, starred for European champions Benfica of Lisbon and led Portugal to third place in the 1966 World Cup, where he was the tournament’s leading scorer. Algerian stars Rachid Mekhloufi of Saint-Étienne and Mustafa Zitouni of AS Monaco represented France before joining the team of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1958. The FLN eleven, who lost only 4 of 58 matches during the period 1958–62, embodied the close relations between nationalist movements and football in Africa on the eve of decolonization. With colonialism’s hold on Africa slipping away, the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) was established in February 1957 in Khartoum, Sudan, with the first African Cup of Nations tournament also played at that time. Independent African states encouraged football as a means of forging a national identity and generating international recognition. In the 1960s and early ’70s, African football earned a reputation for a spectacular, attacking style of play. African and European coaches emphasized craft, creativity, and fitness within solid but flexible tactical schemes. Salif Keita (Mali), Laurent Pokou (Côte d’Ivoire), and François M’Pelé (Congo [Brazzaville]) personified the dynamic qualities of football in postcolonial Africa. In the late 1970s, the migration of talented players overseas began hampering domestic leagues. The effects of this player exodus were somewhat tempered by the rise of “scientific football” and defensive, risk-averting tactics, an international trend that saw African players fall out of favour with European clubs. Even so, the integration of Africa and Africans into world football accelerated in the 1980s and ’90s. Cameroon’s national team, known as the Indomitable Lions, was a driving force in this process. After being eliminated without losing a match at the 1982 World Cup in Spain (tied with Italy in its group, Cameroon lost the tiebreaker on the basis of total goals scored), Cameroon reached the quarterfinals at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, thereby catapulting African football into the global spotlight. Nigeria then captured the Olympic gold medal in men’s football at the Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., in 1996; in 2000 Cameroon won its first Olympic gold medal in men’s football at the Games in Sydney, Australia. Success also came at youth level as Nigeria (1985) and Ghana (1991 and 1995) claimed under-17 world titles. Moreover, Liberian striker George Weah of Paris St. Germain received the prestigious FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1995. In recognition of African football’s success and influence, FIFA awarded Africa five places in the 32-team 1998 World Cup finals. This achievement bears witness to African football’s phenomenal passion, growth, and development. This rich and complex history is made more remarkable by the continent’s struggles to cope with a fragile environment, scarce material resources, political conflicts, and the unpleasant legacy of imperialism. Ghana's Michael Essien heading the ball in a 2006 World Cup match against the United States.Ghana's Michael Essien heading the ball in a 2006 World Cup match against the United States.© Jonathan Larsen/Shutterstock.comPeter Christopher AlegiAsia and OceaniaFootball quickly entered Asia and Oceania in the latter half of the 19th century, but, unlike in Europe, it failed to become a unifying national sport. In Australia it could not dislodge the winter games of Australian rules football (codified before soccer) and rugby. British immigrants to Australia did relatively little to develop football locally. Because southern European immigrants were more committed to founding clubs and tournaments, football became defined as an “ethnic game.” As a result, teams from Melbourne and Sydney with distinctive Mediterranean connections were the most prominent members of the National Soccer League (NSL) when it started in 1977. The league has widened its scope, however, to include a highly successful Perth side, plus a Brisbane club and even one from Auckland, N.Z. The NSL collapsed in 2004, but a new league, known as the A-League, emerged the next year. In New Zealand, Scottish players established clubs and tournaments from the 1880s, but rugby became the national passion. In Asia, during the same germinal period, British traders, engineers, and teachers set up football clubs in such colonial outposts as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Burma (Myanmar). Yet football’s major problem across Asia, until the 1980s, was its failure to establish substantial roots among indigenous peoples beyond college students returning from Europe. Football in India was particularly prominent in Calcutta (Kolkata) among British soldiers, but locals soon adopted cricket. In Japan, Yokohama and Kobe housed large numbers of football-playing foreigners, but local people retained preferences for the traditional sport of sumo wrestling and the imported game of baseball. At the turn of the 21st century, football became increasingly important in Asian societies. In Iran, national team football matches became opportunities for many to express their reformist political views as well as for broad public celebration. The Iraqi men’s team’s fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens struck a chord of hope for their war-torn homeland. The Asian game is organized by the Asian Football Confederation, comprising 46 members in 2011 and stretching geographically from Lebanon in the Middle East to Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. The Asian Cup for national teams has been held quadrennially since 1956; Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Japan have dominated, with South Korea a regular runner-up. These countries have also produced the most frequent winners of the annual Asian Club Championship, first contested in 1967. Asian economic growth during the 1980s and early 1990s and greater cultural ties to the West helped cultivate club football. Japan’s J-League was launched in 1993, attracting strong public interest and a sprinkling of famous foreign players and coaches (notably from South America). Attendance and revenue declined from 1995, but the league survived and was reorganized into two divisions of 16 and 10 clubs, respectively, by 1999. The league grew to 30 teams by 2005. Some memorable international moments have indicated the potential of football in Asia and Oceania. Asia’s first notable success was North Korea’s stunning defeat of Italy at the 1966 World Cup finals. In 1994 Saudi Arabia became the first Asian team to qualify for the World Cup’s second round. The entertaining 2002 World Cup hosted by Japan and South Korea and the on-field success of the host nations’ national teams (South Korea reached the semifinals; Japan reached the second round) stood as the region’s brightest accomplishment in international football. Football’s future in Asia and Oceania depends largely upon regular competition with top international teams and players. Increased representation in the World Cup finals (since 1998 Asia has sent four teams, and since 2006 Oceania has had a single automatic berth) has helped development of the sport in the region. Meanwhile, domestic club competitions across Asia and Oceania have been weakened by the need for top national players to join better clubs in Europe or South America to test and improve their talents at a markedly higher level. One promising development for the continent came in 2010 when Qatar was announced as the host of the 2022 World Cup, which will be the first World Cup held in the Middle East. Spectator problemsThe spread of football throughout the globe has brought together people from diverse cultures in celebration of a shared passion for the game, but it has also spawned a worldwide epidemic of spectator hooliganism. High emotions that sometimes escalate into violence, both on and off the field, have always been a part of the game, but concern with fan violence and hooliganism has intensified since the 1960s. The early focus of this concern was British fans, but the development of the anti-hooligan architecture of football grounds around the world points to the international scope of the problem. Stadiums in Latin America are constructed with moats and high fences. Many grounds in Europe now ban alcohol and no longer offer sections where fans can stand; those “terraces,” which charged lower admission than ticketed seating, were the traditional flash points of fan violence. Some of the first modern hooligan groups were found in Scotland, where religious sectarianism arose among the supporters of two Glasgow teams: Rangers, whose fans were predominantly Protestant unionists, and Celtic, whose fans were drawn largely from the city’s sizeable Irish Catholic community. Between the World Wars, “razor gangs” fought street battles when these two clubs met. Since the late 1960s, however, English fan hooliganism has been even more notorious, especially when English supporters have followed their teams overseas. The nadir of fan violence came during the mid-1980s. At the European Cup final in 1985 between Liverpool and the Italian club Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, 39 fans (38 Italian, 1 Belgian) died and more than 400 were injured when, as Liverpool supporters charged opposing fans, a stadium wall collapsed under the pressure of those fleeing. In response, English clubs were banned from European competition until 1990, but by then hooliganism had become established in many other European countries. By the turn of the 21st century, self-identifying hooligans could be found among German, Dutch, Belgian, and Scottish supporters. Elsewhere, militant fans included the ultras in Italy and southern France, and the various hinchadas of Spain and Latin America, whose levels of violence varied from club to club. Argentina has experienced perhaps the worst consequences, with an estimated 148 deaths between 1939 and 2003 from violent incidents that often involved security forces. The causes of football hooliganism are numerous and vary according to the political and cultural context. High levels of alcohol consumption can exaggerate supporter feelings and influence aggression, but this is neither the single nor the most important cause of hooliganism, given that many heavily intoxicated fans instead behave gregariously. In northern Europe fan violence has acquired an increasingly subcultural dimension. At major tournaments, self-identifying hooligans sometimes can spend weeks pursuing their distinctive peers among opposing supporters to engage in violence; the most successful combatants earn status within the subcultural network of hooligan groups. Research in Britain suggests these groups do not hail from society’s poorest members but usually from more-affluent working-class and lower middle-class backgrounds, depending upon regional characteristics. In southern Europe, notably in Italy, spectator violence can also reflect deep-seated cultural rivalries and tensions, especially between neighbouring cities or across the divide between north and south. In Latin America fan violence has been understood in relation to the modern politics of dictatorship and repressive state methods of social control. Moreover, the upsurge in violence in Argentina beginning in the late 1990s has been explained according to the severe decline of the national economy and the political system. In some circumstances, football hooliganism has forced politicians and the judiciary to intercede directly. In England the Conservative government of the 1980s targeted football hooligans with legislation, and the subsequent Labour administration unveiled further measures to control spectator behaviour inside stadiums. In Argentina, football matches were briefly suspended by the courts in 1999 in a bid to halt the violence. Football authorities have also recognized fan violence as a major impediment to the game’s economic and social health. In England attempts at reducing hooliganism have included all-seated stadiums and the creation of family-only stands. These measures have helped attract new, wealthier spectators, but critics have argued that the new policies have also diminished the colour and atmosphere at football grounds. More liberal anti-hooligan strategies encourage dialogue with supporters: the “fan projects” run by clubs and local authorities in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden are the strongest illustrations of this approach. Still, the major threats to spectator safety tend to involve not fighting among supporters but rather a mixture of factors such as disorderly crowd responses to play in the match, unsafe facilities, and poor crowd-control techniques. In the developing world, crowd stampedes have caused many disasters, such as the 126 deaths in Ghana in 2001. Police attempts to quell disorderly crowds can backfire and exacerbate the dangers, as was the case in Peru in 1964 when 318 died and in Zimbabwe in 2000 when 13 died. Disastrous crowd management strategies and facilities that some have characterized as inhumane were at the root of the tragedy in Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, in 1989, in which 96 were fatally injured when they were crushed inside the football ground. It would be quite wrong, however, to portray the vast majority of football fans as inherently violent or xenophobic. Since the 1980s, organized supporter groups, along with football authorities and players, have waged both local and international campaigns against racism and (to a lesser extent) sexism within the game. Football supporters with the most positive, gregarious reputations—such as those following the Danish, Irish, and Brazilian national sides—tend to engage in self-policing within their own ranks, with few calls for outside assistance. As part of their Fair Play campaigns, international football bodies have introduced awards for the best-behaved supporters at major tournaments. In more challenging circumstances, English fan organizations such as the Football Supporters’ Federation have sought to improve the behaviour of their compatriots at matches overseas by planning meetings with local police officials and introducing “fan embassies” for visiting supporters. Across Europe, international fan networks have grown up to combat the racism that has also been reflected in some hooliganism. More generally, since the mid-1980s, the production of fanzines (fan magazines) across Britain and some other parts of Europe have served to promote the view that football fans are passionate, critical, humorous, and (for the great majority) not at all violent. Such fanzines have been supplemented by—and in many ways surpassed by—Internet fan sites in the 21st century. Britannica logoSPOTLIGHT DEMYSTIFIED QUIZZES GALLERIES LISTS ON THIS DAY BIOGRAPHIESSTART YOUR FREE TRIALSEARCH BRITANNICAWhat are you looking for?SearchSearch Britannica Articles and Images... CLICK HERE TO SEARCHBROWSE POPULAR TOPICS:Ramadan Amazon Rainforest British Empire Eyjafjallajökull volcano SocratesEnhance your search results page with Britannica’s FREE Chrome extension. INSTALL NOW – FACTS MATTER. chrome store logo Play Of The GameThe rules of football regarding equipment, field of play, conduct of participants, and settling of results are built around 17 laws. The International Football Association Board, consisting of delegates from FIFA and the four football associations from the United Kingdom, is empowered to amend the laws. Equipment and field of playThe object of football is to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms. The side scoring more goals wins. The ball is round, covered with leather or some other suitable material, and inflated; it must be 27–27.5 inches (68–70 cm) in circumference and 14.5–16 ounces (410–450 grams) in weight. A game lasts 90 minutes and is divided into halves; the halftime interval lasts 15 minutes, during which the teams change ends. Additional time may be added by the referee to compensate for stoppages in play (for example, player injuries). If neither side wins, and if a victor must be established, “extra-time” is played, and then, if required, a series of penalty kicks may be taken. football (soccer); ballfootball (soccer); ballExplore the chemistry of the football (soccer ball) used in the 2014 World Cup.© American Chemical SocietyThe penalty area, a rectangular area in front of the goal, is 44 yards (40.2 metres) wide and extends 18 yards (16.5 metres) into the field. The goal is a frame, backed by a net, measuring 8 yards (7.3 metres) wide and 8 feet (2.4 metres) high. The playing field (pitch) should be 100–130 yards (90–120 metres) long and 50–100 yards (45–90 metres) wide; for international matches, it must be 110–120 yards long and 70–80 yards wide. Women, children, and mature players may play a shorter game on a smaller field. The game is controlled by a referee, who is also the timekeeper, and two assistants who patrol the touchlines, or sidelines, signaling when the ball goes out of play and when players are offside. Players wear jerseys with numbers, shorts, and socks that designate the team for whom they are playing. Shoes and shin guards must be worn. The two teams must wear identifiably different uniforms, and goalkeepers must be distinguishable from all players and match officials. FoulsFree kicks are awarded for fouls or violations of rules; when a free kick is taken, all players of the offending side must be 10 yards (9 metres) from the ball. Free kicks may be either direct (from which a goal may be scored), for more serious fouls, or indirect (from which a goal cannot be scored), for lesser violations. Penalty kicks, introduced in 1891, are awarded for more serious fouls committed inside the area. The penalty kick is a direct free kick awarded to the attacking side and is taken from a spot 12 yards (11 metres) from goal, with all players other than the defending goalkeeper and the kicker outside the penalty area. Since 1970, players guilty of a serious foul are given a yellow caution card; a second caution earns a red card and ejection from the game. Players may also be sent off directly for particularly serious fouls, such as violent conduct. RulesThere were few major alterations to football’s laws through the 20th century. Indeed, until the changes of the 1990s, the most significant amendment to the rules came in 1925, when the offside rule was rewritten. Previously, an attacking player (i.e., one in the opponent’s half of the playing field) was offside if, when the ball was “played” to him, fewer than three opposing players were between him and the goal. The rule change, which reduced the required number of intervening players to two, was effective in promoting more goals. In response, new defensive tactics and team formations emerged. Player substitutions were introduced in 1965; teams have been allowed to field three substitutes since 1995. More recent rule changes have helped increase the tempo, attacking incidents, and amount of effective play in games. The pass-back rule now prohibits goalkeepers from handling the ball after it is kicked to them by a teammate. “Professional fouls,” which are deliberately committed to prevent opponents from scoring, are punished by red cards, as is tackling (taking the ball away from a player by kicking or stopping it with one’s feet) from behind. Players are cautioned for “diving” (feigning being fouled) to win free kicks or penalties. Time wasting has been addressed by forcing goalkeepers to clear the ball from hand within six seconds and by having injured players removed by stretcher from the pitch. Finally, the offside rule was adjusted to allow attackers who are level with the penultimate defender to be onside. Interpretation of football’s rules is influenced heavily by cultural and tournament contexts. Lifting one’s feet over waist level to play the ball is less likely to be penalized as dangerous play in Britain than in southern Europe. The British game can be similarly lenient in punishing the tackle from behind, in contrast to the trend in recent World Cup matches. FIFA insists that “the referee’s decision is final,” and it is reluctant to break the flow of games to allow for video assessment on marginal decisions. However, the most significant future amendments or reinterpretations of football’s rules may deploy more efficient technology to assist match officials. Post-match video evidence is used now by football’s disciplinary committees, particularly to adjudicate violent play or to evaluate performances by match officials. Strategy and tacticsUse of the feet and (to a lesser extent) the legs to control and pass the ball is football’s most basic skill. Heading the ball is particularly prominent when receiving long aerial passes. Since the game’s origins, players have displayed their individual skills by going on “solo runs” or dribbling the ball past outwitted opponents. But football is essentially a team game based on passing between team members. The basic playing styles and skills of individual players reflect their respective playing positions. Goalkeepers require agility and height to reach and block the ball when opponents shoot at goal. Central defenders have to challenge the direct attacking play of opponents; called upon to win tackles and to head the ball away from danger such as when defending corner kicks, they are usually big and strong. Fullbacks are typically smaller but quicker, qualities required to match speedy wing-forwards. Midfield players (also called halfs or halfbacks) operate across the middle of the field and may have a range of qualities: powerful “ball-winners” need to be “good in the tackle” in terms of winning or protecting the ball and energetic runners; creative “playmakers” develop scoring chances through their talent at holding the ball and through accurate passing. Wingers tend to have good speed, some dribbling skills, and the ability to make crossing passes that travel across the front of goal and provide scoring opportunities for forwards. Forwards can be powerful in the air or small and penetrative with quick footwork; essentially, they should be adept at scoring goals from any angle. Fabio Cannavaro of Italy heading the ball during a football match against Cameroon, March 3, 2010.Fabio Cannavaro of Italy heading the ball during a football match against Cameroon, March 3, 2010.Valery Hache—AFP/Getty ImagesTactics reflect the importance of planning for matches. Tactics create a playing system that links a team’s formation to a particular style of play (such as attacking or counterattacking, slow or quick tempo, short or long passing, teamwork or individualistic play). Team formations do not count the goalkeeper and enumerate the deployment of players by position, listing defenders first, then midfielders, and finally attackers (for example, 4-4-2 or 2-3-5). The earliest teams played in attack-oriented formations (such as 1-1-8 or 1-2-7) with strong emphasis on individual dribbling skills. In the late 19th century, the Scots introduced the passing game, and Preston North End created the more cautious 2-3-5 system. Although the English were associated with a cruder kick-and-rush style, teamwork and deliberate passing were evidently the more farsighted aspects of an effective playing system as playing skills and tactical acumen increased. Between the wars, Herbert Chapman, the astute manager of London’s Arsenal club, created the WM formation, featuring five defenders and five attackers: three backs and two halves in defensive roles, and two inside forwards assisting the three attacking forwards. Chapman’s system withdrew the midfield centre-half into defense in response to the 1925 offside rule change and often involved effective counterattacking, which exploited the creative genius of withdrawn forward Alex James as well as Cliff Bastin’s goal-scoring prowess. Some teams outside Britain also withdrew their centre-half, but others (such as Italy at the 1934 World Cup, and many South American sides) retained the original 2-3-5 formation. By the outbreak of World War II, many clubs, countries, and regions had developed distinctive playing styles—such as the powerful combative play of the English, the technical short-passing skills of the Danubian School, and the criollo artistry and dribbling of Argentinians. Positions of the players for the withdrawn centre forward attack.Positions of the players for the withdrawn centre forward attack.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.After the war, numerous tactical variations arose. Hungary introduced the deep-lying centre-forward to confuse opposing defenders, who could not decide whether to mark the player in midfield or let him roam freely behind the forwards. The complex Swiss verrou system, perfected by Karl Rappan, saw players switch positions and duties depending on the game’s pattern. It was the first system to play four players in defense and to use one of them as a “security bolt” behind the other three. Counterattacking football was adopted by top Italian clubs, notably Internazionale of Milan. Subsequently, the catenaccio system developed by Helenio Herrera at Internazionale copied the verrou system, playing a libero (free man) in defense. The system was highly effective but made for highly tactical football centred on defense that was often tedious to watch. The catenaccio defense, showing the positions of the players and the range of the sweeper.The catenaccio defense, showing the positions of the players and the range of the sweeper.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.Several factors contributed to the generation of more defensive, negative playing styles and team formations. With improved fitness training, players showed more speed and stamina, reducing the time and space for opponents to operate. The rules of football competitions (such as European club tournaments) often have encouraged visiting teams to play for draws, while teams playing at home are very wary of conceding goals. Local and national pressures not to lose matches have been intense, and many coaches discourage players from taking risks. As football’s playing systems became more rationalized, players were no longer expected to stay in set positions but to be more adaptable. The major victim was the wing-forward, the creator of attacking openings, whose defensive limitations were often exposed. Internationally, Brazil became the greatest symbol of individualistic, flowing football. Brazil borrowed the 4-2-4 formation founded in Uruguay to win the 1958 World Cup; the tournament was widely televised, thus helping Brazil’s highly skilled players capture the world’s imagination. For the 1962 tournament in Chile, Brazil triumphed again, withdrawing one winger into midfield to create 4-3-3. England’s “Wingless Wonders” won the 1966 tournament with a more cautious variant of 4-3-3 that was really 4-4-2, employing no real wingers and a set of players more suited to work than creative passing or dribbling skills. In the early 1970s, the Dutch “total football” system employed players with all-around skills to perform both defensive and attacking duties, but with more aesthetically pleasing consequences. Players such as Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens provided the perfect outlets for this highly fluent and intelligent playing system. Holland’s leading club—Ajax of Amsterdam—helped direct total football into a 3-4-3 system; Ajax’s long-term success was also built upon one of the world’s leading scouting and coaching systems, creating a veritable conveyor belt of educated, versatile players. However, hustling playing styles built around the now classic 4-4-2 formation have been especially prominent in Europe, notably as a result of the successes of English clubs in European competition from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. The great Milan team of the late 1980s recruited the talented Dutch triumvirate of Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, and Marco van Basten, but their national and European success was founded too upon a “pressing” system in which opponents were challenged relentlessly for every loose ball. Krol, RuudKrol, RuudRuud Krol playing for Ajax.Land of Lost Content/Heritage-ImagesThe move towards efficient playing systems such as 4-4-2 saw changes in defensive tactics. Zonal defending, based on controlling specific spaces, became more prominent. Conversely, the classic catenaccio system had enabled greater man-to-man marking of forwards by defenders, with the libero providing backup when required. Subsequently, some European clubs introduced 3-5-2 formations using wingbacks (a hybrid of fullback and attacking winger) on either side of the midfield. Players such as Roberto Carlos of Real Madrid and Brazil are outstanding exponents of this new role, but for most wingbacks their attacking potential is often lost in midfield congestion and compromised by their lack of dribbling skills. After 1990, as media coverage of football increased in Europe and South America and as the game enjoyed a rise in popularity, playing systems underwent closer analysis. They are now often presented in strings of four: 1-3-4-2 features a libero, three defenders, four midfielders and two forwards; 4-4-1-1 calls for four defenders, four midfielders, and a split strike force with one forward playing behind the other. The different roles and playing spaces of midfield players have become more obvious: for example, the four-player midfield diamond shape has one player in an attacking role, two playing across the centre, and one playing a holding role in front of the defenders. Differences in playing systems between Latin American and European teams have declined markedly. During the 1960s and ’70s, Brazilian and Argentinian teams went through “modernizing” phases in which the European values of efficiency, physical strength, and professionalism were promoted in place of more traditional local styles that emphasized greater individualism and display of technical skills. South American national teams are now very likely to be composed entirely of players who perform for European clubs and to play familiar 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 systems. For all these tactical developments, football’s finest players and greatest icons remain the brilliant individualists: the gifted midfield playmakers, the dazzling wingers, or the second forwards linking the midfield to the principal attacker. Some leading postwar exponents have included Pelé, Rivaldo, and Ronaldo (Brazil), Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi (Argentina), Roberto Baggio and Francesco Totti (Italy), Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane (France), George Best (Northern Ireland), Stanley Matthews and Paul Gascoigne (England), Ryan Giggs (Wales), Luis Figo, Eusébio, and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), and Jim Baxter and Derek Johnstone (Scotland). Richard C. GiulianottiJack RollinBernard JoyFIFA Men’s World Cup WinnersWinners of the FIFA men’s World Cup are provided in the table. FIFA World Cup—men*Won after extra time (AET).**Won on penalty kicks.yearresult1930Uruguay4Argentina21934 Italy*2Czechoslovakia11938Italy 4Hungary21950Uruguay2Brazil11954 West Germany3Hungary21958Brazil 5Sweden21962Brazil3 Czechoslovakia11966 England*4West Germany21970Brazil4Italy11974West Germany2Netherlands11978Argentina*3 Netherlands11982 Italy3West Germany11986Argentina 3West Germany21990West Germany1Argentina01994 Brazil**0Italy01998France 3Brazil02002Brazil2 Germany02006Italy**1France 12010Spain*1Netherlands02014Germany*1 Argentina0FIFA Women’s World Cup WinnersWinners of the FIFA women’s World Cup are provided in the table. FIFA World Cup—women*Won on penalty kicks.yearresult1991United States2Norway11995Norway2Germany01999 United States*0China02003Germany 2Sweden12007Germany2Brazil02011 Japan*2United States22015United States 5Japan2UEFA Champions League WinnersWinners of the UEFA Champions League are provided in the table. UEFA Champions League**Known as the European Cup from 1955–56 to 1991–92.**Final replayed after first match ended in a 1–1 draw.***Won in a penalty kick shoot-out.seasonwinner (country)runner-up (country)score1955–56Real Madrid (Spain)Stade de Reims (France)4–31956–57 Real Madrid (Spain)Fiorentina (Italy)2–01957–58Real Madrid (Spain) AC Milan (Italy)3–2 (OT)1958–59Real Madrid (Spain)Stade de Reims (France)2–01959–60Real Madrid (Spain)Eintracht Frankfurt (W.Ger.)7–31960–61Benfica (Port.)FC Barcelona (Spain)3–21961–62Benfica (Port.)Real Madrid (Spain)5–31962–63AC Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.)2–11963–64Inter Milan (Italy)Real Madrid (Spain)3–11964–65Inter Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.)1–01965–66Real Madrid (Spain)Partizan Belgrade (Yugos.)2–11966–67Celtic (Scot.)Inter Milan (Italy)2–11967–68Manchester United (Eng.)Benfica (Port.)4–1 (OT)1968–69AC Milan (Italy)Ajax (Neth.)4–11969–70Feyenoord (Neth.)Celtic (Scot.)2–1 (OT)1970–71Ajax (Neth.)Panathinaikos (Greece)2–01971–72Ajax (Neth.)Inter Milan (Italy)2–01972–73Ajax (Neth.)Juventus (Italy)1–01973–74Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)Atlético Madrid (Spain)4–0**1974–75Bayern Munich (W.Ger.) Leeds United (Eng.)2–01975–76Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)AS Saint-Étienne (France)1–01976–77Liverpool FC (Eng.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)3–11977–78Liverpool FC (Eng.)Club Brugge (Belg.)1–01978–79Nottingham Forest (Eng.)Malmö FF (Swed.)1–01979–80Nottingham Forest (Eng.)Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)1–01980–81 Liverpool FC (Eng.)Real Madrid (Spain)1–01981–82Aston Villa (Eng.) Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)1–01982–83Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)Juventus (Italy) 1–01983–84Liverpool FC (Eng.)AS Roma (Italy)1–1***1984–85Juventus (Italy)Liverpool FC (Eng.)1–01985–86Steaua Bucharest (Rom.)FC Barcelona (Spain)0–0***1986–87FC Porto (Port.)Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)2–11987–88 PSV Eindhoven (Neth.)Benfica (Port.)0–0***1988–89AC Milan (Italy) Steaua Bucharest (Rom.)4–01989–90AC Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.) 1–01990–91Red Star Belgrade (Yugos.)Olympique de Marseille (France)0–0***1991–92FC Barcelona (Spain)Sampdoria (Italy)1–0 (OT)1992–93 Olympique de Marseille (France)AC Milan (Italy) 1–01993–94AC Milan (Italy) FC Barcelona (Spain)4–01994–95Ajax (Neth.)AC Milan (Italy)1–01995–96Juventus (Italy) Ajax (Neth.)1–1***1996–97 Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)Juventus (Italy)3–11997–98Real Madrid (Spain) Juventus (Italy)1–01998–99 Manchester United (Eng.)Bayern Munich (Ger.) 2–11999–2000Real Madrid (Spain)Valencia CF (Spain)3–02000–01Bayern Munich (Ger.)Valencia CF (Spain)1–1***2001–02Real Madrid (Spain)Bayer Leverkusen (Ger.)2–12002–03AC Milan (Italy)Juventus (Italy)0–0***2003–04FC Porto (Port.)AS Monaco (France)3–02004–05Liverpool FC (Eng.)AC Milan (Italy)3–3***2005–06FC Barcelona (Spain)Arsenal (Eng.)2–12006–07AC Milan (Italy)Liverpool FC (Eng.)2–12007–08Manchester United (Eng.)Chelsea FC (Eng.)1–1***2008–09FC Barcelona (Spain) Manchester United (Eng.)2–02009–10Inter Milan (Italy)Bayern Munich (Ger.) 2–02010–11FC Barcelona (Spain)Manchester United (Eng.)3–12011–12Chelsea FC (Eng.)Bayern Munich (Ger.)1–1***2012–13Bayern Munich (Ger.)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)2–12013–14Real Madrid (Spain)Atlético Madrid (Spain)4–1 (OT)2014–15FC Barcelona (Spain)Juventus (Italy)3–12015–16Real Madrid (Spain)Atlético Madrid (Spain)1–1***2016–17 Real Madrid (Spain)Juventus (Italy)4–1UEFA Europa League WinnersWinners of the UEFA Europa League are provided in the table. UEFA Europa League**UEFA Cup until 2009–10.**Won in a penalty kick shoot-out.season winner (country)runner-up (country) scores1971–72Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)Wolverhampton Wanderers (Eng.)2–1, 1–11972–73Liverpool FC (Eng.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)3–0, 0–21973–74Feyenoord (Neth.)Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)2–2, 2–01974–75Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)FC Twente (Neth.)0–0, 5–11975–76Liverpool FC (Eng.)Club Brugge (Belg.)3–2, 1–11976–77 Juventus (Italy)Athletic Club Bilbao (Spain) 1–0, 1–21977–78PSV Eindhoven (Neth.)SC Bastia (France)0–0, 3–01978–79Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.) Red Star Belgrade (Yugos.)1–1, 1–01979–80Eintracht Frankfurt (W.Ger.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)2–3, 1–01980–81 Ipswich Town (Eng.)AZ Alkmaar (Neth.)3–0, 2–41981–82IFK Göteborg (Swed.)Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)1–0, 3–01982–83RSC Anderlecht (Belg.)Benfica (Port.)1–0, 1–11983–84Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)RSC Anderlecht (Belg.)1–1, 1–1(4–3**)1984–85Real Madrid (Spain)Videoton (Hung.)3–0, 0–11985–86Real Madrid (Spain)FC Cologne (W.Ger.)5–1, 0–21986–87IFK Göteborg (Swed.)Dundee United (Scot.)1–0, 1–11987–88Bayer Leverkusen (W.Ger.) RCD Espanyol (Spain)0–3, 3–0(3–2**)1988–89SSC Napoli (Italy)VfB Stuttgart (W.Ger.)2–1, 3–31989–90 Juventus (Italy)Fiorentina (Italy)3–1, 0–01990–91Inter Milan (Italy) AS Roma (Italy)2–0, 0–11991–92Ajax (Neth.)Torino Calcio (Italy) 2–2, 0–01992–93Juventus (Italy)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)3–1, 3–01993–94Inter Milan (Italy)SV Austria Salzburg (Austria)1–0, 1–01994–95Parma AC (Italy)Juventus (Italy)1–0, 1–11995–96Bayern Munich (Ger.)FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France)2–0, 3–11996–97FC Schalke 04 (Ger.)Inter Milan (Italy) 1–0, 0–1(4–1**)1997–98Inter Milan (Italy)SS Lazio (Italy)3–01998–99Parma AC (Italy)Olympique de Marseille (France)3–01999–2000 Galatasaray SK (Tur.)Arsenal (Eng.)0–0 (4–1**)2000–01Liverpool FC (Eng.) Deportivo Alavés (Spain)5–42001–02Feyenoord (Neth.)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)3–22002–03FC Porto (Port.)Celtic (Scot.)3–22003–04Valencia CF (Spain)Olympique de Marseille (France)2–02004–05CSKA Moscow (Russia)Sporting Clube de Portugal (Port.)3–12005–06Sevilla FC (Spain)Middlesbrough FC (Eng.)4–02006–07Sevilla FC (Spain)RCD Espanyol (Spain)2–2 (3–1**)2007–08FC Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia) Rangers (Scot.)2–02008–09 Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr.)Werder Bremen (Ger.) 2–12009–10Atlético de Madrid (Spain)Fulham FC (Eng.)2–12010–11FC Porto (Port.)SC Braga (Port.) 1–02011–12Atlético de Madrid (Spain)Athletic Club Bilbao (Spain)3–02012–13Chelsea FC (Eng.)Benfica (Port.)2–12013–14Sevilla FC (Spain)Benfica (Port.)0–0 (4–2**)2014–15Sevilla FC (Spain)Dnipro (Ukr.)3–22015–16Sevilla FC (Spain)Liverpool FC (Eng.)3–12016–17Manchester United (Eng.)Ajax (Neth.)2–0Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup WinnersWinners of the MLS Cup are provided in the table. Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup*Won on penalty kicks.year winnerrunner-upscore1996DC UnitedLos Angeles Galaxy3–2 (OT)1997DC UnitedColorado Rapids2–11998Chicago FireDC United 2–01999DC UnitedLos Angeles Galaxy2–02000Kansas City WizardsChicago Fire1–02001San Jose EarthquakesLos Angeles Galaxy2–1 (OT)2002Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution1–02003San Jose EarthquakesChicago Fire4–22004DC UnitedKansas City Wizards3–22005Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution1–0 (OT)2006 Houston DynamoNew England Revolution1–1*2007Houston Dynamo New England Revolution2–12008Columbus CrewNew York Red Bulls 3–12009Real Salt Lake Los Angeles Galaxy1–1*2010 Colorado RapidsFC Dallas2–1 (OT)2011Los Angeles GalaxyHouston Dynamo1–02012Los Angeles GalaxyHouston Dynamo3–12013Sporting Kansas CityReal Salt Lake1–1*2014Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution2–12015Portland TimbersColumbus Crew2–12016Seattle SoundersToronto FC0–0* Football around the worldPlay of the gameFIFA men’s World Cup winnersFIFA women’s World Cup winnersUEFA Champions League winnersUEFA Europa League winnersMajor League Soccer (MLS) Cup winners Condition: New, Surname Initial: R, Modified Item: No, Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom, Certification: Uncertified, Type: Sport, Options: Retired Players, Sub-Type: Football, Object: Coin Sealed in Packet

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