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Football (also known as soccer in the United States) is one of the most popular sports in the world; it has a big number of loyal fans, exciting tournaments, excellent players, and beloved teams. It’s hard to make heads or tails of the massive amount of football information, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of football, the rules, popular championships, famous athletes, and betting options.


Football started life in its current form in the middle of the 19th century in England. However, there were many different games with similar rules much earlier in history:

  • Tlachtli: an Aztec team game with a rubber ball, it was played at least since 1650 BC

  • Cuju: a training game for the military in Ancient China (3rd-2nd century BC)

  • Episkyros: a team-oriented game in Ancient Greece (4th century BC)

  • Marn Gook: a ball-centered game played by Aboriginal Australians (earliest records are

    in the early 1800s)

  • And many more

The most commonly accepted version of football’s history states that an earlier version of football was popular in England in the 12th century. The game took place on meadows or fields, and there was no limit on the number of players on both teams. This early incarnation of football was played during major religious festivals like Shrovetide, Christmas, or Easter.

Several centuries later, a game similar to football resurfaced in public schools in the 19th century. There were two major schools with different styles of the game: Rugby and Eton. In the Rugby variation players could pick up the ball with their hands, and this variation developed into rugby. The variation played in Eton focused exclusively on playing with feet; this variant can be considered the predecessor of modern football.

For a long time, the rules were very flexible in terms of team uniforms, the number of players per team, and so forth. There were attempts to unify and streamline the rules: a meeting at Cambridge in 1848 and the formation of the first football association in London in 1863. After the latter event, football and rugby officially became two separate sports.

Football Rules

Football is a sport in which two teams compete against each other on the field (the football pitch). The following is a summary of key (not all) rules of the game:

  •  Each team can have up to 11 players on the field at the same time; one of them must be a goalkeeper

  •  Players need to score a hit in the opposite team’s goal area to gain points (one per successful hit); unlike basketball, the goal area is located on the ground and is much bigger

  •  Only goalkeepers are allowed to touch the ball with their hands and only within their penalty area

  •  Several players (usually three in most domestic and international tournaments) can be replaced during the match due to trauma or a strategic decision of the coach

  •  The game is officiated by a referee who monitors the game and resolves conflicts and debatable situations on the field according to the rules of the game

  •  Unlike hockey, rough play is not encouraged, and any violent actions towards another player are considered a foul

  •  A foul by any player is punished by either a yellow card (a warning) or a red card (instant dismissal from the game); getting two yellow cards leads to the red card

  •  A standard match consists of two halves each of which lasts for 45 minutes; additionally, a referee can decide to add more time to compensate for substitutions, trauma, or rules violations

  •  If a game ends in a draw, two extra 15-minute periods are played; if there is no victor after that, a series of penalty shots takes place


Popular Football Teams and Tournaments

Football has spawned many popular events, and over the years, many teams emerged all over

the world. Some of the most popular football clubs include:

  • Real Madrid, a Spanish football club from Madrid, has won many different tournaments and it’s the most popular football club in the world

  •  Barcelona, a Spanish football club from Barcelona, is the greatest rival of Real Madrid in Spain

  •  Bayern Munich, one of the biggest football clubs in Germany

  • Manchester United, a British football club (although, it has seen better days)

  • Manchester City, another British football club from Manchester

  • Juventus, an Italian football club based in Turin

    • Paris Saint-Germain, a French football club, which recently has acquired the services of

      Lionel Messi, one of the best football players in the world, from Argentina


Being one of the biggest sports on the planet, football has many wonderful tournaments and leagues with millions of spectators and a lively betting scene for the more risk-loving individuals (sportsbook sites like Betmaster, for example). We’ll list several of the more well-known football championships here:

  • FIFA World Cup, the biggest football event in the world

  • UEFA Champions League, a major football tournament among the European football


  • UEFA European Championship, a European football event with national teams competing with each other

  • Premier League (often called English Premier League), the biggest football  championship in England

  • And many more wonderful events


Famous Football Players

Over its long and storied history, football has had many talented players, who became legends and role models for people around the world. Among the champions of the past are Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, David Beckham, Pelé, Zinedine Zidane, and many more. As for the current roster of top-tier players, it includes Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Andrés Iniesta, and a huge number of other players.

Betting on Football

When it comes to betting on football matches, an aspiring bettor has a large pool of options to choose from. You can choose between different events and tournaments (Premier League, UEFA European Championship, FIFA World Cup, etc). You can bet on the result of the match (team A wins, team B wins, or a draw), the final score (the so-called total), and even the performance of an individual player or a team.

Different factors influence the odds you see on a sportsbook website: the teams' performance earlier in the season, the new players, even the home field! For example, the odds for the upcoming match between Manchester United and Newcastle in the English Premier League on the Betmaster sportsbook website are 1.2 in favor of MU, 6.8 for the draw, and 12.0 for Newcastle. A few years ago Manchester United would have had much better odds than Newcastle, but they haven’t won major events for a long time. Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you.

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