Young people are the heart and soul of any nation. They are full of ambitions and patriotism; therefore, they need a cohesive force to keep them motivated and compete for their country. Sports are portrayed as one of the most acceptable means to channel the inner competing potential of the youth.
Sports are a unifying force that eliminates all cultural or political barriers and brings together young enthusiastic players from the world. Whether you call it soccer or football, such championships with rigorous playing help vent out the physical tension between the two competing teams but also help in developing group conformity in youngsters.
Why is Soccer so Popular?
One of the key reasons for the popularity of soccer is its versatility. Be it a small group of youngsters with overflowing energy and passion kicking the ball on muddy ground or a specialized and trained group of soccer players competing in a world-renowned championship, soccer enthusiasts can play it everywhere.
Apart from the immense passion in youngsters to play soccer, the infamous fans have contributed to the global popularity of this sport. The way fans drool over their favorite players or the way they take the opponents’ support in the spectators’ area is incredible.
Soccer brings together the whole nation. The tears of joy fans involuntarily shed on their team winning, or the hoodlum activities followed by angry outbursts by the losing fans demonstrate what soccer means to the nations.
Whether it is Asian cup soccer history or the history of the European football championship, these tournaments entail many amendments and modifications in the rules to accommodate different countries. Asian Soccer Cup has significantly changed how different Asian countries used to view sports as a leisure activity to a full-time necessary channel for the mental and physical development of their youth.
Countries Where Football is a Large Part of Their Culture
Some of the top names in the world of international football belong to Brazil. Pele, Ronaldinho, Neymar Jr., Roberto Carlos, and many others have changed the history of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football). With their and numerous other players’ hard work, the international football team of Brazil has five World Cups under its belt, making it the most successful national team in FIFA World Cup.
Brazilians take their football very seriously. Whether it is the little boys practicing football in the streets after school or the globally renowned players of the country, every match is of significance and winning is their utmost requirement.
Soccer is one part of their culture that eliminates all the socio-political differences among the players. No matter if the players belong to different classes or backgrounds, the one thing they are all aiming for is the upcoming national or international championship. The passion you would witness before and after every game in every nook and corner of the country is astonishing.
Whether watched on TV or witnessed live on the football ground, soccer is a mandatory topic of discussion in Brazil. Soccer diminishes historical or political differences for Latin American countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, and makes some exciting, friendly games possible.
Argentina is also one of the top European countries that have had soccer ingrained in their culture forever. With some dazzling soccer players since the ’80s, such as Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Lionel Messi, Kun Aguero, and many other superstars, the Argentinian national team has bagged two FIFA World Cups (1978 and 1986). The famous hand goal of Maradona during the final matches of the 1986 FIFA World Cup is an inherent part of World Cup history.
An ode to the love Argentinians hold for the sport of football is evident from the way stadiums fill up with supporters whenever Argentina is playing. Argentina’s national team has dominated the world of international football since the 1980s.
Soccer is integral to the country’s culture as youngsters look up to their favorite soccer superstars and aim high. It levels the country up against the competing nations solely based on talent.
Spain is another European country whose culture is heavily tainted by football. Spaniards are crazy about football, and it is their national sport. Also, even when only a handful of the best football players represent Spain in the FIFA World Cups and European Football Leagues, the fans from this country are astounding. They pour their heart into supporting their teams and often put up beautiful displays to cheer their players.
The love for football in the country is almost like a cult. Youngsters seek extra time and try their luck at becoming the best football players like Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, and Cesc Fàbregas. The way these and several other Spanish football players are praised is evident of the fact that who their national heroes are.
Despite any circumstances, Spaniards’ love and support for the game never ceases to amaze the rest of the world. They are ruthless players on the field and the sweetest when it comes to their fans. Football keeps the country united and directed toward a single goal – to take the country to the top of the international football championships.
Football has also penetrated several African countries. Their most cherished moment is playing against the nations or clubs that colonized them for years. Africans are passionate about everything they put their heart and soul into. They are hard workers and do not shy away from bagging whatever they are entitled to.
It is why African teams, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, etc., have demonstrated some of their best football moves in international championships. Confederation of African Football manages all the teams and titles in the continent, and the leagues draw huge crowds supporting their teams or clubs.
In England, football is more than just culture. It is England’s religion and is fairly treated as one. The sport is quite popular in the country because of the vast number of games and leagues. It is not only the international FIFA World Cup that the fans and players look forward to, but the famous English Premier League also has the hearts of the fans.
Other countries worth mentioning that worship their football idols and treat the championships and leagues as major cultural events include:
- South Korea
Soccer and Culture
Culture is a broad term encompassing many different things that define the characteristics and demographics of the inhabitants of any place. It is mainly related to how people live, earn, spend their leisure time, social lives, etc.
Anything becomes a part of the culture when done on a mass basis. Football, in the countries mentioned above, and numerous others, has utmost significance in people’s lives. Whether watching an on-screen football match or buying tickets to witness the big game live in the stadium, football shapes the culture of these nations. It gives a pre-defined choice to the youngsters about who they should aspire to become.
Moreover, it leads to the roads that instill patriotism in them. Hence, if you take football out of their culture, there will be no other unifying source for these nations.