Details on when soccer became a thing that people worship are blurry. Word has it that the ancient Chinese and Egyptians played the beautiful game. They would use animal skin to make the balls so as to increase their sensitivity to even the slightest kicks. Others say it began as a joke by army marshals to keep their soldiers fit in preparation for war. One thing is clear, though, it’s the world’s best game.
Soccer is played by two teams of eleven players each. Number one goes to the goalkeeper. His sole purpose is to keep the ball out of the goalpost. He is then armed with a defense team. Number two and three at right and left-back respectively. Five and six play as the center. Eight is the attacking midfielder acting as an intermediary between attackers and midfielders. Seven and eleven serve as the right and left wing respectively. Attacking and striking is for players ten and nine. A single game goes for ninety minutes with forty-five in each half.
Soccer precedes chess in the list of most played games, taking the first position. Unlike its counterpart chess, people can let off their steam as they cheer their heroines. People cherish this game as one despite their diverse cultures. The rich and the poor all become one as they come together to support warring teams. The game has been known to settle several disputes. People will regularly bet on their desired teams, if your team is beaten, you consider the score settled and hold no grudge. In Africa, unwelcoming father-in laws have been known to have a sudden change of heart after a night out watching football with their son in-laws.
In the world we live in, people will follow whatever gives them financial returns. From time in memorial, a soccer fan has to put his/her money where their mouth is. Many have claimed to pay their bills from football bets. In this technological era, stakes of winning are even higher with internet bets. This is mainly used by students in colleges for their upkeep. In Kenya, a number of people have scored millions by betting on football on sport-pesa.
With the thinning of the job markets, lots of young people find themselves lost in drug abuse, theft and other social undoing. Many have told stories of places football got them out of; others speak of places football has taken them. For instance in Sierra Leone, many men were amputated during war. Football has helped them rise above their shortcomings. They have formed several teams comprised of one leg-players. This way their young people don’t waste away.
This game has stolen the hearts of many. With football comes loyalty as you support your team. You stand with them whether in mud or flying high. In some rather interesting cases, men who don’t even cry from onion effect have been seen to break down into tears. Tears of joy from winning or of pain from loss. One thing is sure, once a footballer, there’s no going back.