What is Football called in Other Countries?
One of the most popular and recognisable sports in the world, football is known by lots of different names across the globe.
Wherever you are in the world, you’ve probably heard of this sport by at least two different names, being “football” and “soccer”. Played by millions of people from all walks of life, let’s take a look at where the sport originated from and what name for the sport is used in countries around the world.
Football in the UK
Here in the UK, we consider of ourselves to be the home of the 'beautiful game'. Played in one form or another since the medieval period, football started to become one of the biggest sports in England during the late 1800s when it became widely popular with the working class. The first match ever played between two national teams was also held here, with England facing Scotland for the first time in 1872.
Over the last 100 years, association football as we know it in the UK has evolved into an international business, attracting investors from Middle Eastern oil tycoons to Hollywood stars. The popularity of this sport hasn’t waned over time either, as many clubs still attract a massive cult following as well as new viewers from around the world since the advent of live streaming. Overall, it’s safe to say that England is BIG on football!
How did Football get its Name?
Whilst it is widely considered that the name “football” comes from the fact that you use your foot to kick the ball, the actual origins of the word are considered by historians to be slightly different. During the medieval period, it was fashionable for the aristocracy and higher classes of society to play sports on horseback, whereas the peasants and lower classes would often play some form of ball game whilst “on-foot”, which is considered to be the most accurate origin of the sport’s name.
What is Football Called in America?
In North America, the beautiful game is most commonly referred to as “soccer”. This applies to both the United States and Canada, but not for Mexico, which refers to the game as “fútbol”. In the US, the word “football” is mainly used to refer to American Football, an entirely different sport that draws more similarities to rugby than the game we’re talking about.
However, despite other sports taking precedence over soccer in the states such as baseball and basketball, the beautiful game has soared in popularity over the past couple of decades. The country’s professional league (known as the MLS or Major League Soccer) was founded during the USA’s bid for the 1994 World Cup and consisted of ten teams. Since then, the league has expanded to 29 teams and has become the fourth-largest sport in the US in terms of attendance.
What is Football Called in Australia?
Despite its strong historical links to British culture, the beautiful game is predominantly known as “soccer” in Australia. The reason for this is that the country had developed its own game of the same name in 1859, aptly called “Australian Rules Football”, which draws more similarities to rugby than what we call football. The first “soccer” game played in the country didn’t occur until 1875, nearly sixteen years after the fact. However, after association reforms in 2004, the country and its neighbour New Zealand have made efforts to drop the usage of the word “soccer” in favour of “football”.
Today, football as we know it is the most widely played outdoor sport in the country, with around two million active players. Since the country’s national team (The Socceroos) made their first World Cup debut in 2006 and the arrival of legendary players like Tim Cahill to the English Premier League, Australia’s name in international football has been firmly established.
What is Football Called in Brazil?
Unlike their North American cousins, the game is called football (or futebol) in Brazil and remains to be a huge part of the country’s identity, similar to the effect the sport has in the UK. First played in the country in 1894, Brazil has produced some of the world’s most recognisable players like Pele, Ronaldinho and Neymar, the country also boasts five World Cup wins, the most out of any other country.
What is Football Called across Europe?
Across the continent, the sport is referred to as football in most European countries. Bound together by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Europe is home to some of the most famous clubs in the world like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and countless more. Europe also boasts two of the most recognisable football competitions behind the World Cup, being the Euros and the Champions League where nations and clubs (respectively) go head-to-head to compete for glory.
What is football called in other Countries?
In the majority, most English-speaking countries use the term “football” rather than “soccer”. This also applies to many of Britain’s former colonies where the sport was exported to, including much of the Commonwealth, the Caribbean and countries as far as Pakistan and Singapore.
Here are some other names for football that are used in countries across the globe:
|Country||What do they call Football?|
|Ireland||Football or Soccer|
|Japan||sakkā or futtobōru (Soccer or Football)|
|Kazakhstan||футбол / fwtbol (football)|
|Liberia||Football and Soccer|
|Nigeria||Football and Soccer|
|North Macedonia||фудбал / Fudbal (Football)|
|Pakistan||Football and Soccer|
|Papua New Guinea||Soka (Soccer)|
|Philippines||Soccer and Football|
|Puerto Rico||Soccer or Fútbol|
|Russia||футбол / Futbol (Football)|
|Singapore||Football and Soccer|
|South Africa||Soccer/Sokker (Afrikaans)|
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