Soccer or football as it is known to the rest of the world. Has its routes in England and has a history there spanning some 100 years. It all began in England in 1863 when the game branched of from Rugby. People have been kicking a ball with their feet for thousands of years. It was even documented in 2nd and 3rd century China. It was used as part of military training, as the Chinese knew it takes great skill to control the ball with ones feet. It was also later documented in Japanese and Ancient Greek historical accounts.
British soccer is a world famous affair and most importantly the Premier League. It is the most watched and most profitable league around the world. Captivating audiences from the four corners of the globe, cheering for their favourite players. The top players from around the globe dream of playing for one of the clubs and adore the high flying lifestyle and celebrity that comes along with it.
Interestingly it was only started in 1992. The league came about as a breakaway from the Football league and the FA as there were issues with overcrowding and poorly maintained stadiums and violence between fans. The formation of the Premier league improved the standards of the game and took it to new levels. The rights to the matches were sold to Sky TV a satellite network. This was radical at the time and meant that fans had to pay to view matches. Later sponsorship deals were formed such as between carling and barclay card thus increasing the wealth of the game.
It is an international league with now over 250 international players from countries such as Nigeria, Argentina and Brazil in 2007. Not only are players from different countries but also their managers. The Premier League has only 20 clubs famously Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle to name but a few, complete with their strip and logo. The current trophy was created by Royal Jewelers Asprey of London. Also the balls for the games are provided by Nike.
The Premier League can sign whatever number and category of players they desire. Their is no team or individual salary cap, no restrictions on the amount of foreign plays they have and no cap on the age of the players. In its first season the average player made 75 000 pounds a year, then in 2003-2004 it had risen to a staggering 676,000 pounds. The players even get paid large sums of money when they transfer between clubs. Alan Shearer famously got 15 million pounds when he moved to Newcastle to play in 1996. The latest was Robinho from Real Madrid to Manchester city in September 2008 for a whooping 32.5 million pounds. In America Tim Howard was sold to Manchester united as a goal keeper for a large sum also.
Players have a God like status especially when they score a lot of goals, Alan Shearer is the number one goal scorer so far, with 260 goals, followed by Andrew Cole with 187. By and far the most accomplished of the premier league teams is Manchester Utd, winning the championship 10 times and never being under the top 3 teams. One of its most well known players is David Beckham, he has also been the England Captain in many a world cup. In the world cup the best players of the league represent their countries.
Beckham now plays for LA galaxy in Los Angeles he hopes his move will help inspire a new generation of supporters of soccer across the pond.
Soccer has been a popular game in the US for boys and girls for the past 25 years, the North American Soccer league existed from 1967-1984. One of the most famous teams was the New York Cosmos that had Franz Beckenbauer and Pele. The American Major League debuted in 1996 with 15 teams one in Canada and 14 in the US. It is only recently formed but it is the 12th most attended league in the world. Also in recent years America has been entering the world cup and seems to be improving year after year. In 2002 America reached the quarterfinals. The Major League has a youth development program to train up and inspire the players of the future. Seven new stadiums have also been built, and the league plans to expand to 18 teams by 2011, with more advertising deals and contracts with major television networks. Also with the signing of higher caliber players it is hoped to put American soccer on the world map and recover previous financial losses.
So on a health note, why not get a football and head of to the local park and kick a little, or make a goal post in your backyard for a penalty shoot out. You can burn up to 600 calories per hour!!