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Whatever name you prefer, this is one of the most popular sports in the world and with growing popularity in the USA. For a long time it was put aside in the USA due to its low results and frequently occurring draws, which were not very popular features. But, the magic of it is surpassing the unpopular features and making people realize that there is more to the game than just goals. Soccer fans are also known to be one of the most passionate ones, and there has to be a reason for this.

The entire towns in England stop on the days their teams are playing, and this is at least once a week, Brazilians dedicate their entire lives to the sport and many stories surrounding it are very interesting. Of course, this many fans in the world and more money in the sport have created many controversies. Fights and hatred among the fans are very common and a big problem. Still, the whole world stops when the World Cup is played and the final stages of European Champions League are a worldwide thing. The passion is huge and even lives have been lost because of it.

Still, one of the biggest disputes surrounding the sport isn’t all that dangerous or scary. Probably, the worst thing that can happen to you from it is being called an idiot on the internet. It’s the name of the sport, or, should I say the names. People from the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand call it soccer. In certain number of countries both terms are used. Most of the rest of the world prefer the term football with many national variants of the term, making “football” an international word.

Soccer vs. Football – Word Distribution by Countries

So, if football is the international word, and used by the English who are said to be the most obsessive about the sport, where has the term soccer come from? Well, from the English as well. There are several versions, some of them even naming the first user-Charles Wredford Brown, an Oxford student at the time. But, what is certain is that in 1983 a couple of teams in England decided to set a standard set of rules for the sport, as opposed to anarchy among the similar sports at the time. They called it “Association Football” in order to distinguish it from the other sports with which they shared the name football, such as rugby football. In England among the students at the time, there existed a popular slang for nicknames, which added “er” to the words. Rugby was called rugger, for example. To shorten the name, they called the Association Football assoccer which became just soccer a bit later.

So, why don’t the English call it soccer now? Well, the sport became very popular among the lower classes as well, and they were not common users of the college slang, so they called it football, dropping the “association” from the name.

So, there you go. Call it whatever you want, who cares, as long as you enjoy the sport. If you don’t enjoy the sport, then why utter the word in the first place and argue about the proper term.


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