Amazing Curiosities About the History of Football - STWsports

Amazing Curiosities About the History of Football

See facts that will make you love this sport even more!


Did you know that the history of football probably started in China? The “Cuju,” a Chinese name meaning “kick ball,” was played before Christ! Ancient football had very different rules compared to what we know today.

In this article, you will learn about the main curiosities regarding the history of football and deepen your knowledge about the world’s most practiced sport!


Curiosities about the Origin of Football

 cuju history of football

Image: Wikipedia


The “Cuju,” which emerged in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) in China, is a possible direct precursor to modern football. In this game, players kicked a leather ball into a net. The activity required skills similar to those in current football.

Besides being a sport, Cuju also had a social significance. It was played by both nobles and commoners. Moreover, “Cuju” was also military training at the time. Similar games were recorded in Ancient Greece, Rome, and among indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Football in Medieval Europe

Football in Medieval Europe was very different from modern football. Activities involved kicking and carrying the ball. Despite its simplicity, the game was very popular in various regions of Europe.

One of the curiosities of football-like games played in the Middle Ages were the severe injuries and deaths. Although the game had a great resemblance to current football, it also resembled a collective fight. Due to its violent nature, it was banned by some kings of England, such as Edward II and Henry IV.

First Rules of Modern Football

You might have realized that football is much older than you might think. The initial rules of the sport were created in England in 1863. With standardization, it was possible to expand and internationalize football.

The Cambridge rules defined very important milestones for the sport. It became forbidden to hold the ball in hand, to push and kick opponents, and to throw the ball in with hands. The duration of the game was also defined as two halves of 45 minutes each.

Football as a Truce Tool in Wars

You’ve probably heard of World War I. Interestingly, football was used for a “Truce.” German, British, and French soldiers set aside their rivalry and improvised a football game. On Christmas Eve 1914, the soldiers met in “No Man’s Land.”

The Christmas truce entered history and became a popular theme in books, films, and songs. The most famous game took place in Ypres, Belgium. Some claim the Germans won, while others cite the British as victors. The match was not filmed, but it remains a symbol of unity during a terrible event like World War I.

Read more: 5 apps to watch live football and feel like you’re at the stadium

The First World Cup 

The First World Cup history of football

Lucien Laurent, a French player, was the first to score a goal in the World Cup. The historic goal was scored between France and Mexico. Despite Laurent’s historic milestone, he was only globally recognized after his death.

After the first goal in World Cup history, Juan Carreño holds the title of the second goal scored in the competition, during the same match between France and Mexico.

Despite the first goals of the World Cup, the first world champion was Uruguay, winning 4-2.

The First Football Broadcast on TV

The first football broadcast on television occurred in 1937. The broadcast lasted only 15 minutes and used three cameras. The game was between Arsenal and its reserve team, due to its proximity to Highbury Stadium in London.

One downside of this broadcast is that unfortunately it was not recorded. The friendly match has only a few photos of the Arsenal teams posing for the BBC’s mobile television.

Pelé’s Influence on Football

Pelé, the Brazilian player, forever influenced football as we see it today. He was one of the first to achieve celebrity status worldwide. Pelé’s fame was used to bring the sport to regions where it was not popular.

The athlete carried the achievement of being a world champion of three World Cups, in 1958, 1962, and 1970. After his retirement, he became a global ambassador for Football. An interesting point in Pelé’s story is that he got involved in various social and humanitarian causes.

Zinedine Zidane Leading France

Zidane was a midfielder known for his ball control and advanced game vision. He led France to victory in the 1998 World Cup. The player also had a prominent position in Euro 2000.

Zidane’s highlight went beyond midfield technique, but also in communication. He dictated the game’s rhythm, creating opportunities for his teammates. France defeated Italy, making Zinedine Zidane an influential player in football history.

Did you enjoy learning more about the history of football?

Football has become the most practiced sport on the planet. With a deeper look at the sport, we realize that it’s much more than a competition. This game also symbolizes the union of people in times of war and promotes almost unimaginable friendships. Football is not just adrenaline, but a symbol of unity, passion, and the power to transform lives, inside and outside the field!


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Sophia Silva

Sophia Silva is a writer who has been writing for more than 5 years about technology. Currently, she focuses on cutting-edge technologies and current events, both in the areas of software and hardware.

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