Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players who primarily use their feet to propel the ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing side’s rectangular framed goal.
Right when the World Cup started, Uruguay won a title in 1930 and 1950. Since then, they have not been able to do much, although they did make the semifinals in 2010. They have some solid players to show the world that South America is not just about Brazil and Argentina, but it’s hard to build up consistency when the country is so small.
Belgium now seems well on its way to becoming a permanent fixture in the top 10 as far as countries are concerned. They’ve made the World Cup consistently, but they haven’t done much in the tournament itself. They did reach the semifinals in 1986, but with their talent, they should be accomplishing more.
The prime years for the Netherlands might be no longer, but they are still one of the most historically solid teams in soccer. They are always very competitive at the international level, and they produce a few stars that play in leagues throughout Europe as well.
On top of everything else, they have some teams that make their mark as the best domestic clubs in the world.
As the reigning World Cup Champions, France has plenty of bragging rights at the moment. Not only are there a ton of top players, including Kylian Mbappe, but their domestic leagues are getting better and better as well. Paris St. Germain might be the most talented team in the world right now, especially after signing Lionel Messi to a new contract.
The Spaniards have gone through a golden era of soccer over the last couple of decades. They are a major player in virtually every international tournament, and they have a fanbase that is very supportive of their teams. La Liga has evolved into one of the most competitive leagues in the world, headlined by the likes of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid.
Argentina hasn’t had the same international success as some of these top countries listed, but they have all the stars anyone could ever ask for. Maradona and Lionel Messi are the most talked-about guys, and both have their own arguments to be the greatest soccer player of all time.
A couple of domestic teams do a pretty good job keeping talent at home, but the best players generally travel to Europe to play internationally.
Was soccer invented in England? While the origin story of the game itself isn’t etched in stone, many believe that this is where the game was created. Nevertheless, this is one of the countries that take the game extremely seriously.
Not only does England have a truly passionate fan base, but it is home to the Premier League as well. Many believe it is the best and most balanced domestic league in the world.
The Italians are the envy of so many countries, simply by looking at their consistency. Decade after decade, they are always in the mix to be the best. They have four World Cup trophies on the men’s side, and their women’s side is not bad either. Yes, things have not always been perfect, but they are still major players.
The workman-like approach to soccer is very much respected by the Germans. There are so many professional players coming from Germany, and they have been some of the most consistent performers in international play. Their top league is dominated by Bayern Munich, but they have a few other teams that are competitive in international competition.
It’s been a while since Brazil last won a World Cup, but they are still as passionate about soccer as ever. They also produce high-end talent, even if those players generally flock to Europe to get the best money. With all the support comes very high expectations in the country.