The football tag features blog posts related to the popular sport, also referred to as soccer. Find posts on the UEFA European Championship and FIFA here.


Most World Cup Wins

FIFA: For the good of the game, 1977

FIFA World Cup logo from 1977

Countries with the most World Cup wins

Have you had football on the brain for the last few weeks? If so, here’s some trivia for you.

The World Cup has been called many names: the World Cup, World Cup finals, the Cup and so on. Its official title is the FIFA World Cup and it is an international association football competition. In case you weren’t so sure, the sport is contested by the senior men’s national football teams and its governing body: FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).

Played every four years since its inaugural tournament in 1930 in Uruguay, except during 1942 and 1946 because of the Second World War, the World Cup has become the most viewed and followed sport in history and continues to do so.

FIFA’s early days began in 1904 when the body made efforts to establish an international football competition between nations outside of the Olympic framework. It was listed a failure. The British FA or Football Association organized for football to become an official game at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. It was a success and the following Summer Olympics (1912) in Sweden saw football return. The England team won on both accounts.

In 1909, an international football tournament was organized by Sir Thomas Lipton (a merchant and the founder of Lipton Tea!) in Turin, Italy for professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Apparently the FA of England chose not to partake in the tournament. This event is known as The First World Cup. Having the first ever World Cup and football being played in the Summer Olympics, it wasn’t until 1914 that FIFA recognized it as a “world football championship for amateurs” and agreed to take responsibility for managing the event thereafter.

Current Format

Its current format allows 32 international teams to take part in the finals. Since teams have to pass the qualification phase in the preceding three years, the tournament boasts high competitive stakes. In the past, FIFA started out with only a dozen or more teams per tournament. The 1950 games saw as little as 13 teams involved when it was held in Brazil for the first time. Its expansion resulted in 24 teams partaking back in 1982 and rose again to 32 teams in 1998. Although there has been talk of FIFA expanding the number of competing teams to 40.

For our football and World Cup fans out there, let’s jog your memory.

Which country has the most World Cup wins?

Brazil 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
Italy 4 (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
Germany 3 (1954, 1974, 1990)
Argentina 2 (1978, 1986)
Uruguay 2 (1930, 1950)
France 1 (1998)
England 1 (1966)
Spain 1 (2010)

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The Origins of Football

FIFA World Cup 2014, Brasil

Ready for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil / Official logo of FIFA World Cup Brazil

The Origins of Football through the Ages

One game grabs the attention of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Its objectives are simple yet engaging! We tackle the origins of association football and others alike, to get you into the spirit of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Episkyros in Ancient Greece

Football has its origins in the unlikeliest of places around the world. The ancient Greeks played a ball game called ‘Episkyros’ (circa 388 to 311 BC) which is recognised as an early form of football by FIFA. While the Romans played a similar game adapted from the Greek ‘Episkyros’ called ‘Harpastum’. Both of these games allowed players to use both their hands and feet. The Romans played it with a small, hard air-filled ball; it was a violent sport. Game rules have not survived to this day. Some accounts have recorded that it was played with two teams, each consisted of about 12 to 14 players.

Ancient China

The ancient Chinese ball game, Cuju, is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, as recognised by FIFA. The game has records dating back from the 3rd century to the 1st century BC. Eventually rules were established allowing the games to become standardized. Cuju, literally meaning “kicking ball” quickly spread throughout China and into Japan and Korea at later periods. During the Asuka period in Japan (538 to 710 AD), a game called ‘Kemari’, a variation of the Chinese Cuju, was played.

Mediaeval England

Games similar to this modern form of football have appeared the world over and yet, each with similar rules and objectives. Some may extend as far back as before the ages of antiquity, but with little or no evidence of such. Just vague accounts of games among military men involving a ball. Their very nature as ancient ball games mean they bear little influence on modern football rules played at the World Cup. During the middle ages, there was a rise in the growth and popularity of football games involving parishes and local communities. Most of which took place in England.

An English festival details an annual sport called Shrovetide football while other games of similar leisure were played at Christmastime and Easter. In Mediaeval Europe, “mob football” was popular among towns and villages. Played by local townsfolk, mob football saw an unlimited players of opposing teams clash as they kicked around an inflated animal’s bladder or a leather ball. One such account of what was possibly an early form of football comes from Ulgham, Northumberland in England in 1280.

Mob football became a menace to early English society from the 13th to the 15th centuries, which resulted in the Fooball Act 1424, prohibiting any football being played in public. Despite its enforcement, the law fell into disuse and wasn’t repealed until 1906. There is much evidence of schoolboys playing football across the British Isles from the 1500s to the 1800s.

A civilized Sport

Many well-known English gentry were advocates of “footeball“. Richard Mulcaster who had been a student at the prestigious and famous Eton College during the early 16th century, was an advocate of the sport. His wide contributions took football from its violent forms of street play to organised teams. Muclaster standardized the beautiful game. The later half of the 16th century through to the early 17th century saw public schoolboys partake in recreational football games. Children were once part of the workforce in Britain during this time; they had spent what free time they had organising football games with formal codes of rules. It was these foundations that gave rise to modern football and association football alike.

Forming Clubs

As rules progressed, organisations and clubs were established in many parts of Britain. One club was the first documented to bear the title of football, “The Foot-ball Club”, located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It ran from 1824 to 1841. The club’s rules forbade the intentional act of tripping, but allowed pushing and the kicking and handling of the ball.

Ireland and the GAA

There were similar football-like games being played in Ireland in the 1800s. Not until 1884 with the establishment of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) that any serious attempts to code and unify the sport were made. Another football sport arose during the early 19th century: Rugby. The sport of Rugby derived from football. Elite clubs sought to unify football thus, creating unique rules of play for well educate young men. In 1871, 21 Rugby clubs came together from around London and set up the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with the intent of unifying the sport’s practice and code.

Up in the Air

The sole origin of football is inconclusive. The word itself references the action of a foot kicking a ball and was widely played in Mediaeval Europe without formal rules. The act of kicking a ball by foot for sport was popular around the world; this can account for football’s popularity as such cultures with a history of a similar game can relate to its modern cousin. Nowadays, depending on the country you are in, it can be an entirely different game. For instance, Americans call what we call American football, football! American football allows players to handle and kick the ball. In Canada and some parts of Europe and Asia, association football is known as “soccer”. Soccer is a shortening of “assoc” (association) plus “-er”.


The FIFA World Cup 2014 will commence on Thursday 12th June, at 21:00 with Brazil Vs. Croatia. You can catch the entire line up on the official website for the FIFA World Cup 2014. Did you know that the official language in Brazil is Portuguese! Vamos!

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World Cup 2014 Match Calendar

The FIFA World Cup 2014 is the 20th year of the World Cup organized by FIFA. And this year it will taking place in Brazil. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950.

Along with the host country, all-world championship teams, since 1930, have qualified for this competition: Uruguay, Italy, Germany, England, Argentina, France and Spain. It’s also the first international competition for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The draw for the eight groups of four teams from the first round was completed on the 6th of December in 2013 in Costa do Sauípe. Brazil will open the competition against Croatia on the 12th of June in 2014 at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo. The final will take place on the 13th of July at the Maracanã Stadium, officially known as Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, in Rio de Janeiro.

Catch every match by downloading our Free 2014 World Cup Calendar

World Cup Match Calendar 2014

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How do you say handball in different languages?

How do you say handball in different languages?

Learn to say handball in different languages / STAR Translation Imaging

How to say handball au Français

Want to know how do you say handball in different languages when watching a French match?

French football fans cry ‘Main!’ or ‘Il y a main!’ when a football player hits the ball with his hand.

There are plenty of free football translations from English into French and many other languages in our free PDF.

Plus, you can download and print our free EURO 2012 wallchart.

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Euro 2012 Football Phrases

Free Euro 2012 Football phrases

Euro 2012 Football phrases in 14 languages

Learn how to say handball in Polish before going to the football match!

To support the Irish football team in Euro 2012, we created a Football Phrasebook to help you say handball and other phrases like he dived in 14 languages. This is the chance for our supporters to speak some Polish, Ukrainian or even Dutch football phrases. We have translated the most useful football phrases from English into the languages of the countries taking part in the Euro 2012 Championship.

We also designed an accompanying Euro 2012 wallchart for you to track your team’s progress.

Free Euro 2012 Football Phrases

You will find more free football-related translations here. The languages included are Czech, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.

Free Downloads

Download the free Euro 2012 Football Phrasebook and the free Euro 2012 Football Wallchart for Footie fans.

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