Let us start this discussion with a bit of statistics. The 2018 FIFA World Cup was watched by close to 3.57 billion viewers…that’s about half of the world’s population! Which brings me back to the original question – what makes soccer so popular across all age groups and all geographies?
It is a game that runs high on emotions and is driven by passion of millions. I remember playing the game as a four-year-old and the love I felt for the game has stayed put for all these years. For the curious ones, I am 34 now! So let’s look at the reasons that make this game an all time favorite for so many like me out there:
- It Enjoys a Global Reach
Soccer is one game that is played in more than 200 countries. That’s huge, especially if you compare it with other popular games like cricket or tennis.
One reason why it’s played in so many countries is that starting a soccer match is quite easy. All you need is a group of friends, a football and an open space! Kids start playing this game from a very young age and the best part is – it is a game which is enjoyed by both boys and girls alike. There is an increased participation from girls in soccer and you will find many aspiring young athletes in the local clubs around you.
- It Can Be Played Anytime, Anywhere
You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment to play soccer. All you need is a football and an open space. In fact, I remember playing it inside my house all the time with my younger brother!
The ease with which one can start playing this game is one of the primary reasons why so many kids start playing and eventually fall in love with soccer.
- Soccer is a Competitive Game
The thrill of scoring a goal is simply unmatched! The adrenaline rush that the players as well as the viewers get while playing soccer has a lot to do with the pace at which this game is played. The 90-minutes of the game is full of excitement and one never knows what the next minute is going to bring.
A 2-0 at half time can give the impression that it’s going to be an easy win for the leading team but one goal from the other team, and everyone is on the edge again! This is the kind of fervor that a game of soccer can generate. The excitement gets even better when two arch rivals get pitted against one another. Now which sports fan would want to miss a match between Real Madrid vs Barcelona?
- Presence of Soccer Leagues and Clubs
The soccer leagues and local soccer clubs have played a major role in making the sport so popular across the world. Whether you look at Europe, America or Asia, you will see that all these continents have their own leagues that follow a huge fan following. The matches that these leagues take part in are hugely popular soccer events, adding to the fan-following that this game enjoys.
The youth soccer clubs are also playing a major role in nurturing young talent and preparing them for professional and/or collegiate soccer. In the United States, the youth soccer clubs are taking the lead in implementing a player-centric model. A soccer program in North Texas is working hard towards creating improved experiences and opportunities for their players and community in the North Texas area.
Such clubs are definitely adding to soccer’s popularity across all age groups and gender.
- Big Money
Well, this is obvious! There is a lot of money riding on soccer. The leagues are making good money and the players are getting paid handsomely too. Messi’s net worth is estimated to be around £309m ($400m) as of 2020!
With so much money floating around, soccer is definitely becoming more popular with every passing year. Well, if you ask me, it deserves all the love and popularity!