Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The game is played using a spherical ball of 68-70 cm (27-28 in) circumference, known as the football. Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals then the game is a draw. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to represent their team in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.
Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition.
Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years. The FIFA World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930 with the exception of 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were cancelled due to World War II. Approximately 190-200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period. It is the most prestigious football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games.
The most prestigious competition in club football is the UEFA Champions League which attracts an extensive television audience throughout the world. The final of the tournament has been, in recent years, the most-watched annual sporting event in the world. The top five European leagues are the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France). Attracting most of the world's best players, each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/EUR763 million/US$1.185 billion.
Football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.
The 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
was played on September 16, 2014, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The match determined the winner of the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, a tournament open to amateur and professional teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation. This was the 101st edition of the oldest competition in United States soccer. Seattle Sounders FC won the match, defeating the Philadelphia Union. The crowd of 15,256 saw the teams go into extra time level at 1-1 before the Sounders scored twice more to end the match 3-1.
The Sounders were in the midst of a Supporters' Shield-winning regular season, while the Union's start was so poor that their coach was replaced a week prior to their first game in the competition. Philadelphia secured its berth in the final by defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders, the New York Cosmos, the New England Revolution, and FC Dallas. Seattle's road to the final included victories over PSA Elite, the San Jose Earthquakes, the Portland Timbers, and the Chicago Fire.
The coaches both chose strong squads in their attempts to win the trophy, though Sounders forward Kenny Cooper, later selected as Player of the Tournament, did not appear in the final. The Union's Maurice Edu gave his team the lead with a goal in the first half, but the Sounders equalized with a second half strike by Chad Barrett, and the match went into extra time. Although Philadelphia controlled periods of the match with chances throughout, Clint Dempsey took the lead for Seattle in the first extra time period, and Obafemi Martins sealed a Seattle victory with a late goal. Seattle earned a $250,000 cash prize, as well as a berth into the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Philadelphia received a $60,000 cash prize as the competition's runner-up.
Louisa Nécib (born 23 January 1987) is a French women's international footballer who plays for French club Olympique Lyonnais of the Division 1 Féminine. She plays as a central attacking midfielder and is described as a "gifted playmaker" who "possesses superb technique". Nécib is also known for her "elegant possession, sublime passing skills, and cultured touch on the ball". She has been labeled by the French media as "the female Zidane", primarily due to having an Algerian background, growing up in Marseille like Zidane, and having immense skill.
Nécib began her football career playing for local youth clubs in her hometown of Marseille, such as Union Sportive Marseille and Celtic de Marseille. With the latter club, she made her senior team debut in 2003 and, in the following season, helped the club win the Division 3 Féminine. In 2004, Nécib was selected to attend CNFE Clairefontaine, the women's section of the Clairefontaine academy. She spent two years at the training center, and in 2006, departed for Montpellier of the Division 1 Féminine. In her only season with Montpellier, Nécib helped the team win the 2006-07 edition of the Challenge de France. After departing Montpellier, she joined Lyon. Since joining the club, Nécib has won a slew of trophies, which include four league titles, one Challenge de France, and one UEFA Women's Champions League title. For her performances during the 2008-09 season, she was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Female Player of the Year.
Nécib is a former French women's youth international having represented her nation at all levels for which she was eligible. At under-19 level, she played on the teams that reached the 2004 and 2005 editions of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship. With the under-20 team, Nécib played at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship scoring a goal in the group stage against Argentina as France reached the quarter-finals. Prior to playing in the U-20 Women's World Cup, Nécib made her senior international debut in February 2005 in a friendly match against Norway. Two years later in March 2007, Nécib scored her first senior international goal in a UEFA Women's Euro 2009 qualifying victory over Greece. She has participated in three major international tournaments for her country; the 2005 and 2009 editions of UEFA Women's Euro and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. In the latter competition, Nécib acted as the playmaker and contributed to the team that finished in fourth place.
Selected World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average number of goals scored per game. The tournament was won by West Germany, who defeated Hungary 3-2 in the final, giving them their first title. Read more...
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