25 Interesting Facts about Football - Swedish Nomad (2023)

Want to know more about football? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Football that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

With a father playing football, I was literally born into the football world, and when I was four years old I went to my first football practice with a professional club in my hometown.

I have always had a love for the game, and it truly is one of the greatest sports of all times.

Football is the most popular sport in the world

There are more than 265 million players in the world, and an estimated 4 billion people are actively watching the sport from time to time, which without a doubt makes it the most popular sport in the world.

It was invented in China around 476 B.C

Today it might be unimaginable that football is thought to have originated in China, considering that their national team currently is ranked only at 86th place in the FIFA World Ranking.

But most experts agree that the original sport was invented sometime around 476 BC in China, where it was known as Cuju. Later throughout history, there has been a wide range of various ball games in Ancient Greece, the Mayan Empire, and England just to mention a few.

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More than 3.5 billion people watch the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the world’s most-watched sports event and the estimated number of people who watched the latest World Cup is set to a little more than 3.5 billion people, which was a new record.

An estimated 1 billion people watched the FIFA World Cup final between France and Croatia, where France was the victorious team.

Sheffield F.C. is the oldest football club in the world

Sheffield F.C is the oldest professional football club in the world and it was founded in 1857. The club is currently playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South East.

A football game is 90 minutes + stoppage time

A professional game is always 90 minutes long divided into two halves of 45 minutes + stoppage time. The stoppage time is usually between 1 to 5 minutes depending on injuries and breaks in each half of the game.

The fastest goal ever scored took only 2.4 seconds

Nawaf Al-Abed scored after just 2.4 seconds and is usually credited the fastest goal ever scored. There are quite many examples of players who have scored within the first five seconds.

25 Interesting Facts about Football - Swedish Nomad (2)

Photo: mooinblack / Shutterstock.com

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The majority of footballs are manufactured in Pakistan

Sialkot in Pakistan is famous for making the balls for FIFA World Cup since 1982. And some of the best balls are manufactured by hand-stitching in Pakistan. Adidas balls are for example made here and other high-quality balls.

Only 8 countries have won the World Cup

The Fifa World Cup has been ongoing every fourth year since 1930, and despite 21 tournaments being played since the first one in Uruguay, only 8 different countries have won the tournament.

Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup 5 times, which makes it the most successful national team of all times.

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Photo: fifg / Shutterstock.com

Americans and Canadians call it soccer

When an American is talking about football, they’re usually referring to American Football, which is one of the most popular sports in the United States.

Football in Canada refers to Canadian football, which is very similar to the American version. Canadians and Americans are the only ones in the world who call it soccer instead of football.

There are other variations of football

The most popular version is actually named Association Football but is almost always referred to just as football, or soccer by Americans and Canadians, a term which was first introduced in England.

Some other variations of the sport include futsal, eFootball, and beach football.

25 Interesting Facts about Football - Swedish Nomad (4)

Photo: feelphoto / Shutterstock.com

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Football players can get yellow and red cards

A player can be given a yellow card or red card by the referee if they break any of the rules in the game. This can, for example, be a rough tackle, or saying something inappropriate to the referee.

If a player is given two yellow cards in the same game, they will get a red card and be sent off from the pitch.

The first international game ever was played in 1872

The first official international football match took place at Hamilton Crescent where Scotland played against England. It took place on 30 November 1872. and a total of 114 games have been played between the two national teams since then.

The largest football stadium is located in North Korea

The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang is the biggest stadium in the world with a capacity of up to 150,000 people. Some sources claim that the stadium only has a capacity of 114,000, which would still rank as the #1 largest stadium.

However, the highest attendance ever recorded was at the Maracanã Stadium in 1950 where 199,854 people saw Uruguay vs Brazil. The current attendance is set to 78,838.

This is perhaps one of the most surprising facts about football because of North Korea’s totalitarian regime and almost unheard presence on the international scene.

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Photo: Karsten Jung / Shutterstock.com

Kazuyoshi Miura is the oldest professional player

The Japanese football player and icon Kazuyoshi Miura, also known as Kazu is currently the oldest professional soccer player of all times. He’s 52 years old and broke the previous record that was held by Sir Stanley Mathews at age 50.

Kazuyoshi Miura is playing in the Japanese league at Yokohama FC.

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Premier League is ranked as the best football league

The three main leagues are Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, and the English Premier League. There is always a debate between fans which league is the best, but for the moment most people are following the Premier League which gives the top lead.

Some other major leagues in Europe are the German Bundesliga, Dutch Eredivise, and Ligue 1 in France. The highest league in the United States is called Major League Soccer, or MLS.

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Photo: CosminIftode / Shutterstock.com

5 x Fun Facts about Football

  • Online eFotball is now considered a sport
  • Norway is the only national team in the world that has never lost to Brazil
  • India withdrew from the FIFA World Cup in 1950 because they weren’t allowed to play barefoot
  • Football players run on average 9.65 km every game
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to ever have scored a goal in every single minute from 1 to 90 minutes

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Photo: cristiano barni / Shutterstock.com

5 x Football Facts for Kids

  • The length of a football pitch is 100 yards while its width is 53 and ½ yards
  • Only Canadians and Americans are referring to football as soccer
  • The actual name of the sport is Association football
  • Each team is allowed to have 11 players on the pitch
  • The first FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay, who also won the competition

General Facts about Football

  • Names of the sport: Association football, Football, Soccer
  • Origin: China (467 BC)
  • Total players in the world: 265 million men and women
  • Players on the pitch: 11 on each team
  • Match length: 90 minutes (45+45 minutes + stoppage time)
  • Number of referees: Minimum 1 head referee and 2 assistant referees
  • Most successful club team: Real Madrid C.F.
  • Most successful national team: Brazil
  • Best Ranked national Men’s team: Belgium
  • Best Ranked national Women’s team: United States
  • Oldest club in the world: Sheffield FC (England)

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Photo: katatonia82 / Shutterstock.com

Football Records

  • Most expensive player in the world: Neymar (€222 from PSG to Barcelona)
  • Oldest professional soccer player in the world: Kazuyoshi Miura (52 years)
  • Fastest goal ever scored: 2.4 seconds (Nawaf Al-Abed)
  • Most goals scored in one game:
  • Most league goals scored in one season: 66 goals (Ferenc Deák)
  • Longest Penalty Shootout: 46 kicks (KK Palace and Civics in the Namibian Cup)
  • Most Goals Scored By A Goalkeeper In A Career: Rogerio Ceni with 128 goals

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Photo: Stefan Ugljevarevic / Shutterstock.com

What is the biggest defeat in football history?

The biggest defeat in the football history of all times was in 1885 when Bon Accord lost against Arbroath by 0-36.

Who scored most goals in a single match?

Archie Thompson scored 13 goals for the Socceroos when Australia won over American Samoa by 31-0.

Which country invented football?

England invented football into what we know it as today, although the origins of the sport are Chinese. The first rules were decided back in 1863 and many changes and additions have been made since then.

One of the newest additions to the sport is the usage of VAR, also known as video assistant referee.

What are the 5 rules of football?

There are actually 17 laws of football where each one contains several rules and directions.

  • The Field of Play
  • The Ball
  • The Players
  • The Players’ Equipment
  • The Referee

What are the basic football skills?

  • Passing the ball
  • Shooting
  • Dribbling
  • Receiving the ball
  • Tackle

How many of these football facts did you already know? Leave a comment below!

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Where was football first played? ›

What is the origin of football? Modern football originated in Britain in the 19th century. Though “folk football” had been played since medieval times with varying rules, the game began to be standardized when it was taken up as a winter game at public schools.

Who first invented football? ›

The man most responsible for the transition from this rugby-like game to the sport of football we know today was Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football.” As a Yale undergraduate and medical student from 1876 to 1881, Camp played halfback and served as team captain, equivalent to head coach at the time.

What are the 5 basic rules of football? ›

FIFA Laws of the Game can be accessed here
  • Teams will be told which way they are kicking at start of game.
  • Teams cannot score directly from a kick off.
  • There is no offside.
  • All free kicks and corners are direct and opposition must be 3 metres away.
  • Goal kicks to be taken anywhere inside penalty area.
1 Jan 2022

Who invented football ball? ›

In 1870 Richard Lindon and Bernardo Solano started making balls for Rugby school out of hand stitched, four-panel, leather casings and pigs' bladders.

What is the price of football? ›

Ans: A good quality football can be in the range of Rs. 400 to Rs. 4000 in India. Depending on the players' level, you can choose the right football.

How long is a football game? ›

Unlike some sports, American Football takes hours to play. Despite being contested over a scheduled 60 minutes, games often take three or more hours to complete due to numerous stops in play.

How football got its name? ›

It is widely assumed that the word "football" (or "foot ball") references the action of the foot kicking a ball. There is an alternative explanation, which is that football originally referred to a variety of games in Medieval Europe, which were played on foot. There is no conclusive evidence for either explanation.

What came first football? ›

Indeed, the earliest form of football is understood to be 'cuju' which was played in China during the Han dynasty from 206 BC to 220 AD. 'Cuju' translates literally as 'kick ball' and the aim of the game was to kick the ball into a net. Like later forms of the game in England, cuju outlawed the use of the hands.

How old is the game of football? ›

American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of soccer and rugby. The first American football match was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, using rules based on the rules of soccer at the time.

What is the 14 law of football? ›

A penalty kick is awarded if a player commits a direct free kick offence inside their penalty area or off the field as part of play as outlined in Laws 12 and 13. A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.

What is the 13 law of football? ›

Direct and indirect free kicks are awarded to the opposing team of a player, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official guilty of an offence.

What are the amazing facts? ›

Interesting Unknown Facts
  • Hot water will turn into ice faster than cold water. ...
  • The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. ...
  • The sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.
  • The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. ...
  • Ant's take rest for around 8 Minutes in 12 hour period.

Who is the father of football? ›

On April 7, 1859, Walter Chauncey Camp, the “Father of American football,” was born in New Britain, Connecticut.

What's a fun fact for the day? ›

Fun Facts and Trivia
  • It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A shrimp's heart is in its head.
  • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

What is the old name of football? ›

Linguistically creative students at the University of Oxford in the 1880s distinguished between the sports of “rugger” (rugby football) and “assoccer” (association football). The latter term was further shortened to “soccer” (sometimes spelled “socker”), and the name quickly spread beyond the campus.

What was first football shape? ›

The first footballs were made from inflated pig bladders, each one an unpredictable size and shape. This roundish ball is where the term “pigskin” comes from. Back then, players mostly kicked the ball.

How big is a football? ›


It shall have the form of a prolate spheroid and the size and weight shall be: long axis, 11 to 11 1/4 inches; long circumference, 28 to 28 1/2 inches; short circumference, 21 to 21 1/4 inches; weight, 14 to 15 ounces.

Can you fake a penalty kick? ›

Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football. However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned.

What is not allowed in football? ›

Facemask: To protect the football players, it is illegal to grab another player's facemask. Roughing the Passer or Kicker: To protect kickers and quarterbacks, who are very vulnerable when they are passing or kicking the ball, players are not allowed to run into them after the ball has been thrown or kicked.

Is 7 a side football allowed? ›

A team can have a maximum of 12 players for any one game – 7 players, of which one must be a goalkeeper, and 5 substitutes. A minimum of 5 players are required for the game to go ahead. All players must wear the same colour shirts (except GK).

What size is a size 4 football? ›

The Size 4 Football Balls are of 25-26 inches in circumference and weigh 12-13 ounces. This ball is a standard football ball for kids aged between 9 and 11 years old.

Which type of football is best? ›

Synthetic leather is used to make the very best footballs, which offer the best feel and control for players. Polyurethane (PU) is a durable material that's used for premium match balls and also to make most training balls, though some cheaper ones use PVC. You also need to consider what the bladder inside is made of.

How long are football games on TV? ›

How Long Is an NFL Game On TV? NFL games on TV will typically last between 3 hours and 15 minutes and 3 hours and 30 minutes.

How long is half a football game? ›

Football games consist of two 30-minute halves broken down into four 15-minute quarters for NFL and college football.

What time is halftime in football? ›

With half-time
SportLength of half-time
American football12 (professional) or 20 (college) minutes
Association football15 minutes
Australian rules football20 minutes
Bandy≤20 minutes
14 more rows

What is hand egg? ›

handegg (countable and uncountable, plural handeggs) (slang, uncountable, humorous) Any of the sports that are called football but are played mainly with the hands and with a prolate spheroid ball; that is, American football and (less often) Canadian and Australian football. quotations ▼

What is another word for football? ›

What is another word for football?
ball sportAmerican football
Association footballCanadian football
grid gamegridiron pastime
4 more rows

What countries call it football? ›

Although the name soccer came out of the UK, there it is predominantly called football, while elsewhere in a few English speaking countries colonized by the British it is called soccer.
Name by Nation.
CountryWhat It Is CalledNotes
South Africasoccersokker in Afrikaans
Spainfútbolthe Spanish term for football
210 more rows

What is the oldest football in the world? ›

The World's Oldest Football, 1540, found in Stirling Castle. © Smith Art Gallery & Museum, Stirling. Made from Cow hide with a Pigs bladder used to inflate the ball. Half the size of a modern football.

How do you draw a football? ›

How To Draw A Football (American) - YouTube

Which country created football first? ›

The contemporary history: WHERE & WHEN WAS FOOTBALL INVENTED? Football's modern origins began in England more than 100 years ago, in 1863.

How heavy is a football? ›

made of suitable material. of a circumference of between 68 cm (27 ins) and 70 cm (28 ins) between 410 g (14 oz) and 450 g (16 oz) in weight at the start of the match.

Is football a sport or a game? ›

Football (also known as association football or soccer) is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players each. It is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world. A ball game, it is played on a rectangular grass field, or occasionally an artificial turf, with a goal at each end of the field.

Is football oldest sport in the world? ›

Tsu Chu is a ball game from ancient China, which emerged sometime around 2500 BCE. The objective of Tsu Chu is to kick a ball through an opening in a small net and it is recognized by FIFA as the earliest form of football (soccer).

What are the amazing facts? ›

Interesting Unknown Facts
  • Hot water will turn into ice faster than cold water. ...
  • The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. ...
  • The sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.
  • The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. ...
  • Ant's take rest for around 8 Minutes in 12 hour period.

What is so special about football? ›

Football players choose to learn toughness because they choose to play football. The toughness that is learned in fight and the struggle it requires to play football will be the foundation of the toughness you need to endure through other fights and other struggles, the more important ones that will be found it life.

What are the 2 most important things in football? ›

The 3 most important football skills and how to develop them
  • Footwork. Fast and accurate feet are essential for every position, including the big guys up front. ...
  • Hand technique. It's called football, but often how you use your hands is the difference between winning and losing. ...
  • Field awareness.
30 Jun 2016

Who is the father of football? ›

On April 7, 1859, Walter Chauncey Camp, the “Father of American football,” was born in New Britain, Connecticut.

What are 3 benefits of playing football? ›

Health benefits

The combination of running, walking, sprinting and kicking can bring benefits including increased stamina, improved cardiovascular health, reduced body fat, improved muscle strength and tone, increased bone strength and improved coordination.

What's a cool random fact? ›

1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue. There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long (eye hip arm leg ear toe jaw rib lip gum). A skunk's smell can be detected by a human a mile away. The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

Who invented soccer? ›

Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years ago to ancient China. Greece, Rome, and parts of Central America also claim to have started the sport; but it was England that transitioned soccer, or what the British and many other people around the world call “football,” into the game we know today.

What's a fun fact for the day? ›

Fun Facts and Trivia
  • It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A shrimp's heart is in its head.
  • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

What are 10 weird facts? ›

49 Weird & Wonderful Facts Too Odd To Be True!
  • Water makes different sounds depending on its temperature! ...
  • McDonald's invented a sweet-tasting type of broccoli! ...
  • Rabbits can't be sick! ...
  • Humans are the only animals that blush! ...
  • The hashtag symbol has a fancy term! ...
  • Apple pie isn't American!
11 Jul 2022

Can a fact be false? ›

In United States constitutional law, false statements of fact are assertions, which are ostensibly facts, that are false. Such statements are not always protected by the First Amendment.

What is an easy fun fact? ›

60+ Fun Facts About Yourself That You Can Share
  • Your high school superlative. ...
  • The most money you've ever won on a scratch-off or lottery ticket.
  • Your favorite food to eat or your favorite comfort food.
  • Your favorite food to make.
  • Your hometown, especially if it's vastly different from your current location.

Which country watches most football? ›

China. Interestingly the origins of soccer date back to China over 2,000 years ago. Today, it's the most populated country in the world and holds the most soccer fans (187 million).

How long is a football game? ›

Unlike some sports, American Football takes hours to play. Despite being contested over a scheduled 60 minutes, games often take three or more hours to complete due to numerous stops in play.

What is the best sport ever? ›

Soccer or football has been voted the no. 1 sport. Over 250 million athletes play it in more than 200 countries.


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