Football, commonly known as association football or soccer, is a team sport in which two teams of 11 players attempt to score a goal by moving the ball with any part of their bodies other than their hands and arms. Only the goalkeeper and only in the area around the goal’s penalty area is permitted…

Football, commonly known as association football or soccer, is a team sport in which two teams of 11 players attempt to score a goal by moving the ball with any part of their bodies other than their hands and arms. Only the goalkeeper and only in the area around the goal’s penalty area is permitted to handle the ball. Whoever scores the most goals wins.


Football is the most popular sport in the world, both in terms of participants and spectators. Played practically everywhere, from official football playing fields (pitches) to gymnasiums, streets, school playgrounds, parks, or beaches, the sport is simple in its fundamental rules and required equipment. Over 1.3 billion people worldwide were “interested” in football at the beginning of the twenty-first century, according to estimates from FIFA, the body that governs the sport. In 2010, more than 26 billion people watched the quadrennial month-long World Cup finals on television, which is considered to be football’s premier event.
See football for a timeline of the sport’s development.


Now i’m going to telling you the history of football

The Early Years


In Britain during the 19th century, modern football was created.. “Folk football” games have been played in cities and villages since before the Middle Ages, following regional traditions and requiring the fewest possible rules. From the early 19th century on, the standing of the game was weakened by industrialization and urbanization, which decreased the amount of free time and space accessible to the working class, as well as by a history of governmental restrictions on particularly violent and destructive types of folk football. But in public (independent) schools like Winchester, Charterhouse, and Eton, football was adopted as a winter sport between residence houses. Each school had its own set of rules; some permitted just a certain amount of handling of the ball, while others did not. Public schoolboys who entered universities found it challenging to continue playing, outside of with previous classmates, due to the disparity in rules.As early as 1843, the University of Cambridge attempted to codify and govern the rules of the game. These “Cambridge rules” were accepted by the majority of public schools by 1848, and they were later further popularized by Cambridge alums who started football teams. Following a series of negotiations with teams from metropolitan London and nearby counties, the written football rules—which prohibited carrying the ball—were developed in 1863. As a result, the newly formed Football Association (FA) banned the rugby “handling” game.. In fact, the FA forbade the handling of the ball by anyone other than the goalkeeper by 1870.

However, not all British clubs, particularly those in and around Sheffield, embraced the new rules. While the Sheffield Football Association, the progenitor of later county organizations, was founded in this northern English city in 1867, it was also the location of the first provincial club to join the FA. Two games were played between Sheffield and London clubs in 1866, and the following year a game between a Middlesex club and a Kent and Surrey club was played under the new set of regulations. 15 FA clubs agreed to participate a cup competition and contribute to the cost of a trophy in 1871. The associations in Great Britain had settled on a common code by 1877. There were 43 clubs competing, and the early dominance of the London clubs had diminished.


Modern football’s evolution in Victorian Britain was intimately correlated with urbanization and industrialization processes. In Britain’s industrial towns and cities, the majority of the new working class residents eventually stopped participating in ancient rural pleasures like badger-baiting and sought for new types of communal recreation. Industrial workers began to have Saturdays off work more frequently starting in the 1850s, and as a result, many of them began to play or watch the brand-new sport of football. Working-class boys and men were grouped into recreational football teams by important urban institutions like churches, unions, and schools. While transportation technologies like the railroads or urban trams made it possible for players and spectators to get to football games, rising adult literacy encouraged journalistic coverage of organized sports. In England, the average attendance increased from 4,600 in 1888 to 7,900 in 1895, 13,200 in 1905, and 23,100 at the start of World War I. The success of football lowered public interest in other sports, particularly cricket.

Leading clubs, particularly those in Lancashire, began charging admission to fans as early as the 1870s and were therefore able to pay illegal wages to entice highly skilled working-class players, many of whom were from Scotland, despite the FA’s amateurism regulation. Working-class athletes and clubs in northern England looked for a professional structure that would, in part, offer financial compensation to cover their “broken time” (time away from other jobs) and the danger of injury. The FA maintained an amateurism policy that protected upper and upper-middle class influence over the game while being steadfastly elitist.

When the FA dismissed two clubs for using professional players in 1884, the professionalism debate reached a crisis point in England. Despite early attempts to limit professionalism to compensation for lost time, player remuneration had already grown so ubiquitous by that point that the FA had no choice but to regulate the practice a year later. As a result, northern clubs rose to prominence thanks to their sizable fan bases and ability to draw superior players. As working-class players’ impact in football increased, the higher classes turned to other sports, particularly cricket and rugby union.

Through the founding of the Football League, which allowed the top dozen teams from the North and Midlands to compete against each other on a regular basis starting in 1888, professionalism also inspired further modernization of the game. In 1893, a second, lower level was added, bringing the total number of teams to 28. In 1890, leagues were founded by the Irish and Scots. The Southern League was founded in 1894, but the Football League took it over in 1920. However, throughout this time football did not develop into a significant money-making industry. The main reason professional sports teams formed limited liability organizations was to acquire property for the sluggish construction of stadium infrastructure. Businessmen owned and ran the majority of the clubs in England, although owners earned little to no income; their primary benefit was improved public standing as a result of administering the neighborhood club.

Later national leagues outside of the United Kingdom adopted the British model, which included league championships, at least one annual cup competition, and a league structure that promoted clubs that finished first in the standings to the next higher division and demoted clubs that finished last to the next lower division. In the Netherlands, a league was established in 1889, but professionalism didn’t come until 1954. Germany’s first season of a national championship was finished in 1903, but it took another 60 years for the Bundesliga, the country’s comprehensive and fully professional national league, to emerge. A professional league did not start in France, where the game was first played in the 1870s, until 1932, just after Argentina and Brazil had legalized professionalism.

International organization


Football had gained popularity early in the 20th century throughout Europe, but there was no global regulating organization. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was established in 1904 by members from the football organizations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Olympic Games

British football associations were dismissive of the new organization, despite the fact that Englishman Daniel Woolfall was chosen FIFA president in 1906 and that all of the home nations (England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) were granted membership by 1911. Through the International Board, which the home countries had established in 1882, FIFA members acknowledged British supervision over the game’s rules. However, the British associations resigned from FIFA membership in 1920 after not succeeding in convincing other members that Germany, Austria, and Hungary should be ousted after World War I. After re-joining FIFA in 1924, the British organizations quickly insisted on a fairly strict definition of amateurism, particularly for Olympic football. The British once again withdrew from FIFA in 1928 and remained outside FIFA until 1946 when other nations once more failed to follow their example. When FIFA established the World Cup as the international game’s premier competition, British smugness persisted. The British national teams were not invited to the first three competitions (1930, 1934, and 1938) since they did not belong to FIFA. The following competition took place in 1950, and FIFA decided that the top two teams in the British home nations tournament would be eligible to compete in the World Cup. England won, but Scotland, which came in second, opted not to participate.
Football remained popular despite occasionally tense relations between nations. With the exception of the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, it has been played in every Summer Games since it made its formal Olympic debut at the London Games in 1908. FIFA saw consistent growth as well, particularly in the second half of the 20th century, when it consolidated its position as the sport’s global authority and regulator of competition. In 1961, Guinea became FIFA’s 100th member; at the start of the twenty-first century, there were more registered FIFA members than there were United Nations members (more than 200).


Clare Lloyd

Football’s most prestigious competition is still the World Cup finals, but under FIFA, other significant competitions have emerged. In 1977 and 1985, two distinct competitions for young athletes were launched; these two events later evolved into the World Youth Championship (for athletes under the age of 20) and the Under-17 World Championship. The world indoor five-a-side championship for futsal began in 1989. China hosted the first Women’s World Cup two years later. FIFA allowed athletes under the age of 23 to compete in the Olympic football event in 1992, and the first women’s Olympic football competition took place four years later. In 2000, Brazil hosted the inaugural World Club Championship. 2002 saw the debut of the Under-19 Women’s World Championship. Membership in FIFA is available to all national associations. They must submit to FIFA’s authority, follow football regulations, and have the necessary infrastructure (i.e., facilities and internal structure) in place. Members of FIFA are required to create continental federations. The Confederación Sudamericana de Ftbol (often abbreviated as CONMEBOL) was the first of these to be established in South America in 1916. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) were founded in 1954. The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), which oversees football in Africa, was established in 1957. Four years later, CONCACAF, the confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean association football, was established. In 1966, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) was founded. They can also choose representatives for FIFA’s executive committee, establish their own club, international, and youth competitions, and Executive Committee, and they advocate for football as they deem fit on their own continents. All football players, agents, leagues, national associations, and confederations must also acknowledge the legitimacy of FIFA’s Arbitration Tribunal for Football, which in important cases serves as the game’s highest court.

Northern Europeans held tight control of FIFA (and subsequently, world football) until the early 1970s. Under the Englishmen Arthur Drewry (1955–61) and Stanley Rous (1961–74), who served as FIFA presidents, the organization developed a more traditional, patrician relationship with the regional and national bodies. Little was done to promote football in developing nations or to investigate the game’s commercial potential during the postwar economic boom in the West, and it managed to exist on the meager proceeds from the World Cup finals. The FIFA hierarchy was more focused on issues of regulation, such as verifying amateur status for Olympic competition or outlawing those involved in shady deals involving players already under contract. For instance, Australia (1960–1963) and Colombia (1951–1954) were temporarily expelled from FIFA for allowing clubs to enlist players who had violated contracts in other countries.


Growing FIFA membership from Asia and Africa threatened European dominance. Brazil’s Joo Havelange won the presidency in 1974 with a sizable amount of support from underdeveloped countries. During the 1980s and 1990s, Havelange developed billion-dollar broadcast deals and collaborations with significant transnational corporations, transforming FIFA from an international gentlemen’s club into a global company. The main political benefit for developing nations has been the extension of the World Cup finals to include additional nations outside of Europe and South America, even though some earnings were reinvested through FIFA development programs, primarily in Asia, Africa, and Central America.

FIFA was compelled to act as a governing organization and competition regulator in new arenas due to the increased professionalization of sports. Since at least the 1930s, teams and individual players have been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. FIFA instituted drug testing in 1966, and occasionally drug users have been identified, as Willie Johnston of Scotland at the 1978 World Cup finals. However, FIFA rules were strengthened in the 1980s as a result of a dramatic increase in Olympic competitors breaking the law, the introduction of new substances like the steroid nandrolone, and the usage of drugs by celebrities like Diego Maradona of Argentina in 1994. Despite the fact that FIFA has permitted extended global suspensions for players who fail drug tests, there are still differences between countries and confederations regarding the severity of testing and a drug’s standing in the law.

FIFA was under pressure to address some of the most significant effects of globalization on the game as it entered the twenty-first century. The political haggling and squabbling among international football’s executives attracted more media and public attention while Sepp Blatter, a corrupt Swiss citizen, served as president from 1998 to 2015. Direct conflicts of interest have also developed among the various parties involved in football, including players, agents, television networks, sponsors of competitions, clubs, national governing bodies, continental associations, and FIFA. These parties all have different opinions on how football competitions should be run and how money should be distributed. It is also difficult to regulate transfers and player representatives. When not bound by a contract, footballers in UEFA nations can move around freely. Players tend to prefer different continents, particularly Africa, Central America, and South America to be bound by long-term agreements with organizations that may manage their entire careers. FIFA now mandates that all agents obtain licenses and pass written tests administered by national organizations, however there is little global uniformity in the regulation of agent authority. Agents have been instrumental in fostering salary inflation and increased player mobility in Europe. Players are frequently “owned” in part by agents in Latin America, who have the power to approve or reject transfers. Some European agents have been compared to slave traffickers in some regions of Africa because of the totalitarian control they exert over players and the enormous profits they make from transfer fees to Western leagues with little regard for the welfare of their clients. In this way, the uneven development and inconsistent rules of world football mirror the growing disparities between developed and developing countries.

Football around the world

In the 19th century, modern football began in Britain. Since before the Middle Ages, “folk football” games have been played in cities and villages in accordance with regional customs and with the fewest possible rules.

Regional traditions


The first leagues were created in England and Scotland, but as clubs started to arise in most of Europe in the 1890s and 1900s, these nations were able to create their own leagues.To play for English clubs, many Scottish professional athletes relocated south, exposing English players and fans to more advanced ball-playing strategies as well as the benefits of teamwork and passing. The British continued to have an impact on the growth of football up until World War II through regular club travels abroad and the coaching careers of former players on other continents. Moving Scots were particularly prevalent in central Europe. The coaching prowess and legacy of John Madden in Prague and Jimmy Hogan in Austria gave rise to the interwar Danubian school of football.

Italian, Austrian, Swiss, and Hungarian teams made an especially strong challenge to the British before World War II. The great Argentinians Raimondo Orsi and Enrique Guaita were especially useful additions. In the 1930s, Italian clubs and the Italian national team recruited high-caliber players from South America (primarily Argentina and Uruguay), frequently claiming that these rimpatriati were essentially Italian in nationality. However, it wasn’t until after World War II that foreign teams unquestionably overcame the dominance of the home countries, particularly England. The United States defeated England in the 1950 World Cup final in Brazil. The most severe defeats against Hungary were later ones: 6-3 in London’s Wembley Stadium in 1953, and 7-1 in Budapest the following year. English eyes were enlightened to the “Magical Magyars” when they Due to the strategically sophisticated and dynamic attacking football played on the Continent, as well as the technical brilliance of players like Ferenc Puskás, József Bozsik, and Nándor Hidegkuti. Italian and Spanish clubs were the most active in luring top foreign players to their teams during the 1950s and 1960s. For instance, Juventus fans in Turin, Italy still revere Welshman John Charles, also known as “the Gentle Giant,” whereas the latter success of Real Madrid was partly based on the performance of Argentine Alfredo Di Stefano and the Hungarian Puskás.


The broader political, economic, and cultural changes of the modern era are also represented in European football. Increased nationalism and bigotry have infected matches, frequently as a sign of impending conflict. International competitions in Europe during the 1930s were frequently viewed as regional tests of strength and military prowess. The early post-World conflict II boom in football, in contrast, was marked by large, polite audiences that occurred at the same time that Europe’s focus shifted from conflict to reconstruction and increased internationalism. Since the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, racism has become a more pervasive aspect of football. This is largely due to the fact that many coaches have negative stereotypes about Black players, non-white fans frequently abuse non-white players on and off the field, and football authorities have failed to address racist incidents at games. In general, racism in football was a reflection of broader social issues in western Europe. Football culture has also been impacted in post-communist eastern Europe by nationalist feeling on the rise and economic downturn. When rival fans and Serbian riot police started fighting during a match between the Serbian team Red Star Belgrade and the Croatian team Dynamo Zagreb in May 1990, it served as a precursor to the tensions that would later erupt in Yugoslavia’s civil war. Players and coaches were also caught in the crossfire.

The different political and cultural intricacies of European regions are reflected in club football. Partisan football has always been connected to the industrial working class in Britain, especially in areas like Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle. For Catalans and Basques, respectively, clubs like FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao serve as symbols of their strong national identities in Spain. In France, a lot of clubs have facilities that are accessible to the neighborhood and represent the corporatist politics of the country by being jointly owned and run by local governments and private investors. Clubs like Fiorentina, Inter Milan, SSC Napoli, and AS Roma represent strong civic and regional pride in Italy that dates back to the country’s union in the 19th century.

Germany, Italy, and most recently France have dominated European national football; between them, their national teams have won seven World Cups and six European Championships. Success in club football has mostly been based on signing the best players in the world, most notably by Italian and Spanish teams. Real Madrid originally dominated the 1955 inaugural European Cup competition for national league champions; other consistent victors were AC Milan, Bayern Munich (Germany), Ajax of Amsterdam, and Liverpool FC (England). Since it was first played in 1955–1958 under the name Fairs Cup, the UEFA Cup has attracted more competitors and champions.

Top-tier European football has seen an increase in financial income since the late 1980s thanks to greater ticket prices, merchandising sales, sponsorship, advertising, and particularly broadcast contracts. The biggest clubs and best professionals have benefited the most. The European Cup has been reimagined by UEFA as the Champions League, giving the richest clubs freer entrance and more games. Early in the 1990s, Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman filed a lawsuit against the Belgian Football Association, contesting the long-standing custom in European football that all player transfers (including those involving players without contracts) require an agreement between the teams involved, typically requiring a transfer price. Bosman’s former club, RC Liège, had forbade him from joining US Dunkerque. Bosman was swiftly released after the European courts upheld his complaint in 1995. European players without contracts are free to switch clubs. Players’ negotiating power was significantly increased, allowing top stars to increase their earnings with high wages and signing bonuses. When FIFA’s marketing agency, ISL, filed for bankruptcy in 2001, there were signs that the financial boom in European football was coming to an end. A year later, other significant media investors in football, including as the Kirch Gruppe in Germany and ITV Digital in the United Kingdom, also failed. The gap between the best players, the biggest clubs, and the richest fans and their equivalents in lower leagues and the developing globe had inevitably widened as a result of the economic boom.

North and Central America and the Caribbean

In the middle of the 1880s, American and Canadian teams were engaged in informal matches after the game of football was introduced to North America in the 1860s. Soon, it was up against rival sports like different variations of football. Scottish immigrants had a significant role in the game’s early development in Canada, but ice hockey eventually became the nation’s sport.
Early in the 20th century, gridiron football became the most popular sport in the United States. However, after Hispanic migrations, soccer (as the sport is commonly known in the United States) was played widely outside of prestigious universities and schools in some cities with large immigrant populations, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland (Ohio), and St. Los Angeles, New York City, and St. Louis (Missouri) The U.S. Soccer Federation was founded in 1913, and it is connected to FIFA and sponsors events. Numerous European immigrants came to the United States in the years between the two world wars and played football for regional teams that were occasionally sponsored by businesses.

In Central America, football found it difficult to compete effectively with baseball. The national league championship was established by the Costa Rican football organization in 1921, but subsequent growth in the area was sluggish, with nations like El Salvador (1938), Nicaragua (1950), and Honduras (1951) joining FIFA much later. Cricket has historically been more popular in former British colonies than football in the Caribbean. Football was very popular in urban townships in Jamaica, but it wasn’t until the national team—known as the “Reggae Boyz”—qualified for the 1998 World Cup finals that it really began to catch the nation’s attention.

Professional players began to flood North American leagues and competitions in 1967, starting with the overseas sports teams are being imported in large quantities to represent American communities. The North American Soccer League (NASL) struggled after it was established until the New York Cosmos signed Brazilian superstar Pelé in 1975. Crowds quickly reached European proportions as more older international stars followed, but the lack of a consistent fan base led to the collapse of the NASL in 1985. A 1978 indoor football event developed into a league, which prospered for a while before dissolving in 1992.

Football did become recognized in North America as the more inclusive sport for women and as a somewhat less violent alternative to gridiron football. In the United States, high school and college students particularly enjoy it. After hosting a fun World Cup finals in 1994, there were roughly 16 million football players in the United States, with up to 40% of them being female. A new attempt to start a professional outdoor league was launched in 1996. Major League Soccer (MLS), which was initially only played in 10 U.S. cities and had a stronger focus on local players and a relatively small salary cap, had more modest goals than NASL. There are now 20 teams in the MLS, which has proven to be the most prosperous American soccer league. By 2016, the league will have added 20 teams (including two in Canada), as well as lucrative TV contracts with American television networks and some top players from European leagues. In 1999, the Women’s World Cup finals were hosted and won by the United States, who received fervent local support. The Women’s World Cup and the success of Major League Soccer led to the creation of a women’s professional league in 2001. The Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), which had eight teams at its inception and included Mia Hamm as its top player, was folded in 2003.

Mexico is the traditional regional superpower, and both countries’ national organizations are part of CONCACAF, a continental organization. Since it was first played in 1991, Mexico has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup four times, and since it was first played in 1962, Mexican clubs have dominated the CONCACAF Champions Cup. In the late 19th century, Mexican football teams were encouraged to form due to British influence in mining and railroads. In 1903, a national league was created. Mexico is unique in that the majority of its population prefers football above the other sports enjoyed by its neighbors in North America. The national league system in the area has the highest level of commercial success and draws athletes from all around the Western Hemisphere. Despite stadiums at and heavy summer humidity, high altitudes, Mexico has played host to two of the most memorable World Cup finals, in 1970 and 1986, from which Brazil and Argentina (headed, respectively, by the greatest players in the game at the time, Pelé and Maradona) won. Although Mexico’s national team has consistently ranked among the top ten in FIFA’s rankings, the country did not initially generate the elite players that such a sizable football-obsessed country would have expected. In the 20th century, Hugo Sanchez (at Real Madrid) was the only Mexican player to play at the highest level, but in the 21st, a number of Mexican standouts achieved success with elite European clubs.

South America

In the nineteenth century, football originally made its way to South America via the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where European sailors were playing the sport. In 1867, members of the local British population founded the first club, the Buenos Aires Football Club (FC). Around the same time, British railway employees in Rosario, Argentina, founded a second club. However, the majority of the players belonged to the British population, a trend that persisted until the early 20th century, when the first Argentinian league championship was played in 1893.

The second South American nation where the game is thought to have originated is Brazil. Charles Miller, a leading player in England, came to Brazil in 1894 and introduced football in São Paulo; that city’s athletic club was the first In the nineteenth century, football originally made its way to South America via the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where European sailors were playing the sport. In 1867, members of the local British population founded the first club, the Buenos Aires Football Club (FC). Around the same time, British railway employees in Rosario, Argentina, founded a second club. However, the majority of the players belonged to the British population, a trend that persisted until the early 20th century, when the first Argentinian league championship was played in 1893.

The second South American nation where the game is thought to have originated is Brazil. Football was first played in So Paulo’s athletic club by English football star Charles Miller, who arrived in Brazil in 1894 and students who were expatriate Britons in Peru who had studied in Europe. There is evidence that British miners in Venezuela played football in the 1880s.

Locals quickly started participating in and following the sport in ever-increasing numbers all over South America. Boys, mostly from less affluent households, began playing on the streets and in vacant lots at a young age. Around the 1930s, clubs and players began to become more well-known, and professionalism began to penetrate the sport in most nations—even though many players had already been receiving clandestine payments from their clubs prior to that time. Following the 1930 World Cup, a steady flow of South American players left for European clubs who offered larger compensation.

In many South American countries by the late 1930s, football had established itself as an essential component of popular culture; ethnic and national identities were created and acted out on an expanding international stage. Non-white athletes successfully competed in South American countries. struggle to compete at the highest level: Vasco da Gama was the first club in Rio de Janeiro to sign Black players, and after winning the league title in 1923, it inspired other clubs to do the same. In Uruguay, a country with a significant population of mixed European ancestry, local players picked up both the physical English style of play and the more sophisticated Scottish passing style, developing a versatility that helped their national side win two Olympic titles and the World Cup between 1924 and 1930.

The inaugural Copa América, later recognized as a regular continental tournament, was held in 1916 by South American nations. The South American club championship, known as the Libertadores Cup, was first played in 1960. Since then, it has been played annually by the top clubs on the continent (the winner takes on the European club champion), and as a result of its success, numerous other international club competitions have also been held. Each season, domestic league championships are divided into two or more competitions with regular format changes.


Football was introduced to Africa by European sailors, soldiers, traders, engineers, and missionaries in the second half of the 19th century. The first match to be recorded occurred in Cape Town in 1862, and after that the sport quickly expanded across the continent, especially in the British colonies and in places where there were strong indigenous athletic traditions.

African males in urban and rural areas, railroad workers, and students established clubs, groups, and local tournaments during this time. Founded in 1919, the North African championship featured teams from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The North African Cup was launched in 1930. In 1924, Kenya and Uganda competed for the Gossage Trophy for the first time, and the island of Zanzibar formed the Darugar Cup. A football league for Africans was started in 1925 in the mining town of Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi, Congo). The game was organized in racially separate national associations for whites, Africans, Coloreds (those of mixed race), and Indians, but it was still very well-liked in South Africa by the early 1930s. In the British West African colonies, the Gold Coast (now Ghana) established its first football organization in 1922, and Lagos, the nation’s southern metropolis, did the same in 1931. In the 1930s, innovative leagues and clubs emerged throughout French West Africa, but particularly in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. In 1938, Moroccan striker Larbi Ben Barek, who played for Olympique de Marseille and the French national side, became the first African to earn a living as a professional in Europe.


Football in Africa grew significantly after World War II. Colonial governments were modernized, and this resulted in new facilities and exciting competitions like the French West Africa Cup in 1947. African athletes with talent began to go in greater numbers to European clubs. Together with his senior countryman Mario Colua, Mozambican phenomenon Eusébio, European player of the year in 1965, shone for European champions Benfica of Lisbon and helped Portugal finish third in the 1966 World Cup, where he was the competition’s top scorer. Before joining the team of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1958, Algerian talents Rachid Mekhloufi of Saint-Étienne and Mustafa Zitouni of AS Monaco played for France. The FLN eleven represented the close ties between 1958 and 1962, losing just 4 of 58 games on the verge of decolonization, between football and nationalist movements in Africa.

The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) was founded in February 1957 in Khartoum, Sudan, as colonialism’s grip on Africa began to loosen. The inaugural African Cup of Nations competition was also held at that time. Football was promoted by independent African nations as a way to create a sense of identity and gain recognition abroad.

African football developed a reputation for a spectacular, attacking style of play in the 1960s and early 1970s. African and European coaches placed a strong emphasis on fitness, craft, and originality within reliable yet adaptable tactical plans. In postcolonial Africa, Salif Keita (Mali), Laurent Pokou (Côte d’Ivoire), and François M’Pelé (Congo [Brazzaville]) embodied the dynamic elements of football.

Talented players started migrating abroad in the late 1970s, which hurt domestic leagues. The emergence of “scientific football” and risk-averse defensive strategies, a global trend that saw African players lose favor with European teams, slightly mitigated the consequences of this player exodus. However, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the integration of Africa and Africans into world football surged. The Indomitables, Cameroon’s national team Lions served as a catalyst for this development. Cameroon advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy after being eliminated without dropping a game at the 1982 World Cup in Spain (tied with Italy in its group, Cameroon lost the tiebreaker based on total goals scored). This propelled African football into the international spotlight. After that, Nigeria won the men’s football Olympic gold medal at the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996. Cameroon then won the men’s football Olympic gold medal at the Sydney, Australia, Games in 2000. Success was also achieved at the youth level, as Ghana (1991 and 1995) and Nigeria (1985) both won under-17 world championships. Additionally, Paris St. Germain’s Liberian attacker George Weah was awarded the prestigious FIFA 1995 World Player of the Year honor.

FIFA awarded Africa five spots in the 32-team 1998 World Cup finals as a token of appreciation for the success and importance of African football. This accomplishment demonstrates the incredible passion, expansion, and development of African football. The continent’s attempts to deal with a delicate ecology, limited material resources, political disputes, and the bitter legacy of empire make this rich and complex history all the more impressive.

Asia and Oceania

In the second half of the 19th century, football spread fast throughout Asia and Oceania, but unlike in Europe, it was unable to establish itself as a national sport. Rugby and Australian rules football, which were both codified before soccer, remained the dominant winter sports in Australia. Few British immigrants to Australia really contributed to the local football scene. Football was labeled as a “ethnic game” because immigrants from southern Europe were more dedicated to starting clubs and competitions. As a result, the National Soccer League (NSL), which was founded in 1977, was dominated by Melbourne and Sydney teams with distinctly Mediterranean connections. However, the league has expanded its reach to include a very successful Perth team, as well as a Brisbane club and even one from Auckland, A New Zealand. The NSL was dissolved in 2004, however the A-League, a new league, was born the following year.

Scottish players began organizing clubs and competitions in New Zealand in the 1880s, but rugby quickly rose to become the sport of choice. In colonial outposts like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Burma (Myanmar), British traders, engineers, and teachers established football teams during the same early time in Asia. However, football’s main issue in Asia up until the 1980s was that it failed to become widely popular among native populations outside of college students who were returning from Europe. Although locals soon embraced cricket, football was particularly popular among British soldiers in Calcutta (Kolkata), India. In Japan, Yokohama and Kobe were home to many foreigners who played football, but the locals still preferred sumo wrestling and baseball, two imported sports.

Football is a popular sport in the 21st century became more significant in Asian cultures. Iranian national football team games became platforms for both widespread public jubilation and the expression of many people’s reformist political beliefs. The fourth-place finish of the Iraqi men’s team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens gave their war-torn nation cause for optimism.

The Asian Football Confederation, which had 46 members in 2011 and covered the territory from Guam in the western Pacific Ocean to Lebanon in the Middle East, oversees the Asian game. Since 1956, the Asian Cup has been held every four years for national teams; Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Japan have dominated, with South Korea frequently coming in second. Additionally, these nations have consistently produced the champions of the annual Asian Club Championship, which was first played in Club football was fostered by the economic expansion of Asia in the 1980s and early 1990s as well as closer cultural ties to the West. The 1993 debut of the J-League in Japan was met with enthusiastic public enthusiasm and a scattering of well-known foreign players and coaches, particularly from South America. The league survived and was reformed into two divisions of 16 and 10 clubs, respectively, by 1999, despite a fall in attendance and revenue from 1995. By 2005, the league had 30 clubs, but by 2018, there were just 18 left.

The potential of football in Asia and Oceania has been demonstrated by a few noteworthy international occasions. North Korea’s surprise victory over Italy at the 1966 World Cup finals was Asia’s first major achievement. Saudi Arabia was the first Asian team to earn a spot in the Olympics in 1994 the second round of the World Cup. The region’s most notable achievement in terms of international football was the exciting 2002 World Cup that was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, as well as the on-field success of the host nations’ national teams (South Korea advanced to the semifinals; Japan reached the second round).

The future of football in Asia and Oceania is primarily dependent on frequent competition with the best players and teams from across the world. The growth of the sport in the region has been aided by increased presence in the World Cup finals (from 1998, Asia has sent four teams, and since 2006, Oceania has received one automatic berth). The demand for elite national players to join bigger clubs in Europe or South America to test and develop their talents at a noticeably higher level has damaged domestic club championships throughout Asia and Oceania. When Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup, the first World Cup to be staged in the Middle East, it was seen as a positive development for the region.

Play of the game

Football regulations for gear, the playing field, participant behavior, and result determination are based on 17 laws. The four football associations from the United Kingdom and representatives from FIFA make up the International Football Association Board, which has the authority to change the laws.

Equipment and field of play

In football, any body part other than the hands and arms is used to move the ball into the goal of the other team. The team with the most goals wins. The ball should be round, coated in leather or another appropriate material, inflated, and weigh between 14.5 and 16 ounces (410 and 450 grams). Its circumference should be between 27 and 27.5 inches (68 and 70 cm). A game lasts 90 minutes and is split into halves; during the 15-minute halftime break, the teams switch ends. The referee may extend the game’s duration to make up for interruptions (such as player injuries) in play. If neither team prevails and a winner needs to be determined, “extra time” is played, and if necessary, a series of penalty kicks may follow.
The penalty area is a rectangle that is 18 yards (16.5 meters) long and 44 yards (40.2 meters) broad in front of the goal. The goal consists of a frame with a net backing that is 8 yards (7.3 meters) wide and 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall. For domestic games, the playing surface (pitch) must be 110–120 yards (90–120 metres) long and 70–80 yards (45–90 metres) broad. It must be 70 to 80 yards (45 to 90 meters) wide and 110 to 120 yards (90 to 120 meters) long for international competition. A shorter game can be played on a smaller field by women, kids, and older players. A referee, who also keeps score, and two assistants patrol the touchlines, or sidelines, is in charge of presiding over the game and indicating when the ball is out of play and when players are offside. The team for which they are playing is indicated on the player’s jersey, shorts, and socks. Shin guards and shoes are required. Goalkeepers must be distinguishable from all players and match officials, and both sides must wear uniforms that are clearly distinguishable from one another.


Free kicks are taken after a foul or other rule infringement, and all players on the team that committed the foul must be 10 yards (9 meters) away from the ball. For more severe fouls, free kicks may be direct (from which a goal may be scored) or indirect (from which a goal cannot be scored). Since its introduction in 1891, penalty kicks have been given for more egregious offences committed inside the box. The attacking team is given a direct free kick that must be made from a place that is 12 yards (11 meters) from the goal, with all players besides the defending goalie and the kicker standing outside the penalty area. Players who commit a major foul since 1970 are given a yellow warning card; a second warning results in a red card and game termination. In addition, players may be immediately dismissed for exceptionally egregious infractions like violent behavior.


Through the 20th century, there were not many significant changes to the rules of football. The offside rule was revised in 1925, which was the most important rule modification prior to those of the 1990s. Previously, if there were less than three opponents between an attacking player (i.e., one who was on the other team’s half of the field) and the goal when the ball was “played” to him, he was considered to be offside. More goals were scored as a result of the regulation adjustment that lowered the number of intervening players from three to two. New defensive strategies and squad configurations developed in response. Player replacements were first used in 1965, and since 1995, teams have been able to employ three substitutes.

The tempo has been accelerated by more recent rule revisions, aggressive situations, , and the quantity of successful gaming. Goalkeepers are no longer allowed to touch the ball after a teammate kicks it to them because of the pass-back rule. Red cards are given for “professional fouls,” which are intentional fouls committed to prevent an opponent from scoring, as well as for tackling, which involves taking the ball away from a player from behind by kicking or stopping it with one’s boots. A player receives a warning for “diving” (faking a foul) in order to earn free kicks or penalties. Goalkeepers are now required to clear the ball from their hands within six seconds, and injured players are being taken off the field via stretcher, both of which reduce time-wasting. In order to allow attackers who are level with the penultimate defender to be onside, the offside rule was modified.

FIFA men’s World Cup winners

Winners of the FIFA men’s World Cup are provided in the table.

1954West Germany3Hungary2
1966England*4West Germany2
1974West Germany2Netherlands1
1982Italy3West Germany1
1986Argentina3West Germany2
1990West Germany1Argentina0
*Won after extra time (AET).
**Won on penalty kicks.

FIFA women’s World Cup winners

Winners of the FIFA women’s World Cup are provided in the table.

1991United States2Norway1
1999United States*0China0
2011Japan*2United States2
2015United States5Japan2
2019United States2Netherlands0
*Won on penalty kicks.

UEFA Champions League winners

Winners of the UEFA Champions League are provided in the table.

seasonwinner (country)runner-up (country)score
1955–56Real Madrid (Spain)Stade de Reims (France)4–3
1956–57Real Madrid (Spain)Fiorentina (Italy)2–0
1957–58Real Madrid (Spain)AC Milan (Italy)3–2 (OT)
1958–59Real Madrid (Spain)Stade de Reims (France)2–0
1959–60Real Madrid (Spain)Eintracht Frankfurt (W.Ger.)7–3
1960–61Benfica (Port.)FC Barcelona (Spain)3–2
1961–62Benfica (Port.)Real Madrid (Spain)5–3
1962–63AC Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.)2–1
1963–64Inter Milan (Italy)Real Madrid (Spain)3–1
1964–65Inter Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.)1–0
1965–66Real Madrid (Spain)Partizan Belgrade (Yugos.)2–1
1966–67Celtic (Scot.)Inter Milan (Italy)2–1
1967–68Manchester United (Eng.)Benfica (Port.)4–1 (OT)
1968–69AC Milan (Italy)Ajax (Neth.)4–1
1969–70Feyenoord (Neth.)Celtic (Scot.)2–1 (OT)
1970–71Ajax (Neth.)Panathinaikos (Greece)2–0
1971–72Ajax (Neth.)Inter Milan (Italy)2–0
1972–73Ajax (Neth.)Juventus (Italy)1–0
1973–74Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)Atlético Madrid (Spain)4–0**
1974–75Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)Leeds United (Eng.)2–0
1975–76Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)AS Saint-Étienne (France)1–0
1976–77Liverpool FC (Eng.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)3–1
1977–78Liverpool FC (Eng.)Club Brugge (Belg.)1–0
1978–79Nottingham Forest (Eng.)Malmö FF (Swed.)1–0
1979–80Nottingham Forest (Eng.)Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)1–0
1980–81Liverpool FC (Eng.)Real Madrid (Spain)1–0
1981–82Aston Villa (Eng.)Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)1–0
1982–83Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)Juventus (Italy)1–0
1983–84Liverpool FC (Eng.)AS Roma (Italy)1–1***
1984–85Juventus (Italy)Liverpool FC (Eng.)1–0
1985–86Steaua Bucharest (Rom.)FC Barcelona (Spain)0–0***
1986–87FC Porto (Port.)Bayern Munich (W.Ger.)2–1
1987–88PSV Eindhoven (Neth.)Benfica (Port.)0–0***
1988–89AC Milan (Italy)Steaua Bucharest (Rom.)4–0
1989–90AC Milan (Italy)Benfica (Port.)1–0
1990–91Red Star Belgrade (Yugos.)Olympique de Marseille (France)0–0***
1991–92FC Barcelona (Spain)Sampdoria (Italy)1–0 (OT)
1992–93Olympique de Marseille (France)AC Milan (Italy)1–0
1993–94AC Milan (Italy)FC Barcelona (Spain)4–0
1994–95Ajax (Neth.)AC Milan (Italy)1–0
1995–96Juventus (Italy)Ajax (Neth.)1–1***
1996–97Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)Juventus (Italy)3–1
1997–98Real Madrid (Spain)Juventus (Italy)1–0
1998–99Manchester United (Eng.)Bayern Munich (Ger.)2–1
1999–2000Real Madrid (Spain)Valencia CF (Spain)3–0
2000–01Bayern Munich (Ger.)Valencia CF (Spain)1–1***
2001–02Real Madrid (Spain)Bayer Leverkusen (Ger.)2–1
2002–03AC Milan (Italy)Juventus (Italy)0–0***
2003–04FC Porto (Port.)AS Monaco (France)3–0
2004–05Liverpool FC (Eng.)AC Milan (Italy)3–3***
2005–06FC Barcelona (Spain)Arsenal (Eng.)2–1
2006–07AC Milan (Italy)Liverpool FC (Eng.)2–1
2007–08Manchester United (Eng.)Chelsea FC (Eng.)1–1***
2008–09FC Barcelona (Spain)Manchester United (Eng.)2–0
2009–10Inter Milan (Italy)Bayern Munich (Ger.)2–0
2010–11FC Barcelona (Spain)Manchester United (Eng.)3–1
2011–12Chelsea FC (Eng.)Bayern Munich (Ger.)1–1***
2012–13Bayern Munich (Ger.)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)2–1
2013–14Real Madrid (Spain)Atlético Madrid (Spain)4–1 (OT)
2014–15FC Barcelona (Spain)Juventus (Italy)3–1
2015–16Real Madrid (Spain)Atlético Madrid (Spain)1–1***
2016–17Real Madrid (Spain)Juventus (Italy)4–1
2017–18Real Madrid (Spain)Liverpool FC (Eng.)3–1
2018–19Liverpool FC (Eng.)Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)2–0
2019–20Bayern Munich (Ger.)Paris Saint-Germain (France)1–0
*Known as the European Cup from 1955–56 to 1991–92.
**Final replayed after first match ended in a 1–1 draw.
***Won in a penalty kick shoot-out.

UEFA Europa League winners

Winners of the UEFA Europa League are provided in the table.

seasonwinner (country)runner-up (country)scores
1971–72Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)Wolverhampton Wanderers (Eng.)2–1, 1–1
1972–73Liverpool FC (Eng.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)3–0, 0–2
1973–74Feyenoord (Neth.)Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)2–2, 2–0
1974–75Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)FC Twente (Neth.)0–0, 5–1
1975–76Liverpool FC (Eng.)Club Brugge (Belg.)3–2, 1–1
1976–77Juventus (Italy)Athletic Club Bilbao (Spain)1–0, 1–2
1977–78PSV Eindhoven (Neth.)SC Bastia (France)0–0, 3–0
1978–79Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)Red Star Belgrade (Yugos.)1–1, 1–0
1979–80Eintracht Frankfurt (W.Ger.)Borussia Mönchengladbach (W.Ger.)2–3, 1–0
1980–81Ipswich Town (Eng.)AZ Alkmaar (Neth.)3–0, 2–4
1981–82IFK Göteborg (Swed.)Hamburg SV (W.Ger.)1–0, 3–0
1982–83RSC Anderlecht (Belg.)Benfica (Port.)1–0, 1–1
1983–84Tottenham Hotspur (Eng.)RSC Anderlecht (Belg.)1–1, 1–1 (4–3**)
1984–85Real Madrid (Spain)Videoton (Hung.)3–0, 0–1
1985–86Real Madrid (Spain)FC Cologne (W.Ger.)5–1, 0–2
1986–87IFK Göteborg (Swed.)Dundee United (Scot.)1–0, 1–1
1987–88Bayer Leverkusen (W.Ger.)RCD Espanyol (Spain)0–3, 3–0 (3–2**)
1988–89SSC Napoli (Italy)VfB Stuttgart (W.Ger.)2–1, 3–3
1989–90Juventus (Italy)Fiorentina (Italy)3–1, 0–0
1990–91Inter Milan (Italy)AS Roma (Italy)2–0, 0–1
1991–92Ajax (Neth.)Torino Calcio (Italy)2–2, 0–0
1992–93Juventus (Italy)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)3–1, 3–0
1993–94Inter Milan (Italy)SV Austria Salzburg (Austria)1–0, 1–0
1994–95Parma AC (Italy)Juventus (Italy)1–0, 1–1
1995–96Bayern Munich (Ger.)FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France)2–0, 3–1
1996–97FC Schalke 04 (Ger.)Inter Milan (Italy)1–0, 0–1 (4–1**)
1997–98Inter Milan (Italy)SS Lazio (Italy)3–0
1998–99Parma AC (Italy)Olympique de Marseille (France)3–0
1999–2000Galatasaray SK (Tur.)Arsenal (Eng.)0–0 (4–1**)
2000–01Liverpool FC (Eng.)Deportivo Alavés (Spain)5–4
2001–02Feyenoord (Neth.)Borussia Dortmund (Ger.)3–2
2002–03FC Porto (Port.)Celtic (Scot.)3–2
2003–04Valencia CF (Spain)Olympique de Marseille (France)2–0
2004–05CSKA Moscow (Russia)Sporting Clube de Portugal (Port.)3–1
2005–06Sevilla FC (Spain)Middlesbrough FC (Eng.)4–0
2006–07Sevilla FC (Spain)RCD Espanyol (Spain)2–2 (3–1**)
2007–08FC Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia)Rangers (Scot.)2–0
2008–09Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr.)Werder Bremen (Ger.)2–1
2009–10Atlético de Madrid (Spain)Fulham FC (Eng.)2–1
2010–11FC Porto (Port.)SC Braga (Port.)1–0
2011–12Atlético de Madrid (Spain)Athletic Club Bilbao (Spain)3–0
2012–13Chelsea FC (Eng.)Benfica (Port.)2–1
2013–14Sevilla FC (Spain)Benfica (Port.)0–0 (4–2**)
2014–15Sevilla FC (Spain)Dnipro (Ukr.)3–2
2015–16Sevilla FC (Spain)Liverpool FC (Eng.)3–1
2016–17Manchester United (Eng.)Ajax (Neth.)2–0
2017–18Atlético de Madrid (Spain)Olympique de Marseille (France)3–0
2018–19Chelsea FC (Eng.)Arsenal (Eng.)4–1
*UEFA Cup until 2009–10.
**Won in a penalty kick shoot-out.

Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup winners

Winners of the MLS Cup are provided in the table.

1996DC UnitedLos Angeles Galaxy3–2 (OT)
1997DC UnitedColorado Rapids2–1
1998Chicago FireDC United2–0
1999DC UnitedLos Angeles Galaxy2–0
2000Kansas City WizardsChicago Fire1–0
2001San Jose EarthquakesLos Angeles Galaxy2–1 (OT)
2002Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution1–0
2003San Jose EarthquakesChicago Fire4–2
2004DC UnitedKansas City Wizards3–2
2005Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution1–0 (OT)
2006Houston DynamoNew England Revolution1–1*
2007Houston DynamoNew England Revolution2–1
2008Columbus CrewNew York Red Bulls3–1
2009Real Salt LakeLos Angeles Galaxy1–1*
2010Colorado RapidsFC Dallas2–1 (OT)
2011Los Angeles GalaxyHouston Dynamo1–0
2012Los Angeles GalaxyHouston Dynamo3–1
2013Sporting Kansas CityReal Salt Lake1–1*
2014Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution2–1
2015Portland TimbersColumbus Crew2–1
2016Seattle SoundersToronto FC0–0*
2017Toronto FCSeattle Sounders2–0
2018Atlanta UnitedPortland Timbers2–0
2019Seattle SoundersToronto FC3–1
2020Columbus CrewSeattle Sounders3–0
2021New York City FCPortland Timbers1–1*
2022Los Angeles FCPhiladelphia Union3–3*
*Won on penalty kicks.

Lionel Messi

He helped Argentina win the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Argentine-born football player

Football mease

Leo Messi, also known as Lionel Messi, is an Argentine-born football (soccer) player who has won a record-breaking seven Ballon d’Or honors as the best male player in the world (2009–12, 2015, 2019, and 2021). He helped Argentina win the FIFA World Cup in 2022.


Early life

Messi first picked up the game as a youngster and in 1995 joined the Rosario-based top-division football club Newell’s Old Boys’ development squad. Prestigious clubs on both sides of the Atlantic took notice of Messi’s extraordinary abilities. When Messi was 13 years old, his family moved to Barcelona, and he started playing for FC Barcelona’s under-14 squad. He had 21 goals in 14 games for the youth squad, and he advanced fast through the higher-level levels, making his FC Barcelona debut in a friendly at the age of 16.

International career

Despite holding dual citizenship and enjoying professional success in Spain, Messi’s ties to his native Argentina remained strong, and starting in 2005, he played a significant role in a number of Argentine national teams. He participated for his country in the 2006 World Cup, was a part of Argentina’s winning 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship squad, and scored twice in five games as Argentina easily won the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After Messi’s performance helped Argentina advance to the quarterfinals of the 2010 tournament, Argentina was eliminated by Germany for the second consecutive time during World Cup competition. tournament. Messi put on a spectacular performance at the 2014 World Cup, scoring four goals and nearly single-handedly advancing an offensively poor Argentina team through the group stage and into the knockout rounds. Then, for the first time in 24 years, Argentina made it to the World Cup championship game. Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in that match, but Messi was still regarded as the competition’s best player and was awarded the Golden Ball trophy. During the 2016 Copa América Centenario, he broke Gabriel Batistuta’s previous record for goals scored for Argentina by scoring his 55th goal for his nation.

Football fifa word cup

Argentina fell in the Copa final, the nation’s third consecutive major finals exit, and Messi announced that he was leaving the national team. Messi’s so-called “retirement” only lasted a little over two months before he revealed he would be joining the Argentine team once more. In the 2018 World Cup, he helped an underachieving Argentine squad advance to the knockout round, where they were defeated by eventual champion France in their first game. Two years after finishing third at the Copa América in 2019, Messi led Argentina to victory in the competition, earning him the Golden Ball trophy. He performed well at the 2022 World Cup as well. He led Argentina to the finals, scored two goals, and made crucial contributions that allowed them to an extra-point attempt during the shootout. thwart France. Messi was the first male player to win the Golden Ball twice, winning it at the World Cup.

Other activities and legal issues

Messi was one of the most well-known athletes in the world off the field. He was a very successful product pitchman, particularly for the sportswear firm Adidas, in addition to earning a football wage that was frequently, together with Ronaldo’s, one of the two highest athlete salaries in all professional sports. In 2013, Messi and his father, who was in charge of overseeing his son’s finances, were accused of engaging in tax evasion by utilizing offshore shell companies. paying €4.2 million in Spanish taxes on endorsement income. The two were nonetheless compelled to go to trial in 2016 for the accusations, even after paying the Spanish state €5 million. Messi and his father received suspended 21-month prison sentences in July of that year (first-time offenders in Spain received fines of €2 million and €1.5 million, respectively, and suspended sentences (if the term is under two years).

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