Who Invented Soccer? – A History of the Beautiful Game

It appears that no single individual can lay claim to the invention of arguably the most popular and one of the most entertaining sports in the world.

Soccer has been around since ancient times, with evidence of the sport dating back to 270 BC in India. The first recorded instances of soccer teams were English clubs playing organized matches against each other in the late 14th century. 

The game was then referred to as “assassins’ ball” until the early 19th century when it was given the name it still bears today. 

Seeing how long the game has been around, the massive popularity it has garnered over the centuries should come as no surprise to both fans and critics of the game.

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While soccer has been played for centuries, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the modern game we know today began to take shape. In particular, the 1863 World’s Fair in Chicago helped popularize the sport among the wealthy classes. 

As a result, many ball-loving elites began to play the new version of the game, which eventually led to the birth of modern soccer. This article will discuss the history of soccer and its origins, as well as who invented the game and where it is played today.

Ancient Origins of Soccer

The sport we today call “soccer” and also referred to as football in other circles has been played for centuries. 

Evidence of the sport dates back to 270 BC in India, where a ball made of cowhide was found. The first recorded instances of soccer teams were English clubs playing organized matches against each other in the late 14th century. 

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The game was then referred to as “assassins’ ball” until the early 19th century when it was given the name it still bears today.

The modern game of soccer was brought to the Netherlands in the early 17th century by British soldiers and sailors. The Dutch adopted the game, modifying it to include a ball made from leather. 

The sport soon grew in popularity in the Netherlands, and a Dutch soccer team, consisting of British players, toured Sweden in the 1850s. 

Since then, the game has attained popularity in the country where they now have their elite soccer league known as the Eredivisie where the likes of Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, and the likes can be found.

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Medieval Origins of Soccer

The sport’s history stretches back much further than the mid-19th century. The first documented instance of soccer dates back to ancient Egypt, where a ball game called “assassins’ ball” was played. 

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The game was described in the Old Kingdom of Egypt during the 3rd millennium BC, and statues depicting players have been found in Egypt dating back to the 12th century BC.

Other early soccer games included ones played in China and Japan, both of which have been documented back as far as 2,500 years. 

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The Chinese game, called “football,” was played between two teams of five players each and involved a ball made of silk tied with string.

Popular Sport in British Empire

Soccer eventually made its way to the British Empire, where it quickly became a popular sport among the wealthy classes. As a result, many ball-loving elites began to play the new version of the game, which eventually led to the birth of modern soccer.

Soccer was played as early as the 14th century in Scotland, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the sport became more widespread in Britain. By the end of the 19th century, soccer was played by millions of people in Britain and Ireland.

The game has evolved rapidly in Britain and it comes as no surprise that the Premier League in England is arguably the best and most popular soccer/football league in Europe and the world as a whole.

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American Influence

Soccer soon began to gain popularity in the United States, which was then a colony of Britain. By the end of the 19th century, soccer was played at least by some Americans. 

American immigrants to Canada, however, introduced the sport to the country. The first American team, called the “Cazadores,” was founded in Montreal in 1874, and American soccer grew in popularity as a result.

Why Is Soccer Popular in the USA?

1. The Immigration Process

During the 19th century, a lot of European workers immigrated to the United States. These people were almost exclusively from England and Ireland, and they brought with them their love for soccer.

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1. Railroad Boom

Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States experienced a boom in railroad construction. This boom led to the mass movement of workers, including Europeans who loved soccer.

1. Rise in Minimum Wage

By the early 20th century, the minimum wage had risen enough to allow workers to form unions. This led to labor strikes and protests, which in turn increased the popularity of soccer in the United States.

1. End of British Dominance

In the 20th century, Britain began to decline as a world power. This decline in Britain’s status led to an increase in nationalism around the world, most notably in the United States.

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Final Words: The Evolution of Soccer / Who Invented Soccer?

Soccer has evolved quite a bit over the years, with rules and equipment constantly changing. However, the sport’s popularity has also remained relatively constant, with every major culture on Earth playing soccer in some way.

Soccer is an incredibly popular sport, with over 200 million players in over 200 countries around the world. It has been played since ancient times, and people have been inventing new ways of playing and keeping it interesting since then.

Soccer has changed a lot over the years, but it still remains one of the most popular sports in the world.

This is due in part to the sport’s longevity, its unpredictability, and the fact that it is played by almost every culture in the world.

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However, what has stayed the same is how popular it is, with almost every country in the world having a team that plays the beautiful game. Today, almost all countries have domestic soccer leagues and clubs that participate in these leagues. That is to show you how the game has been accepted globally.