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The Biggest Myths About Soccer

Updated on June 6, 2013

Soccer is a sport revolved around folktale and myths. Some of these myths help make the game even more special. Others are just plain silly. Here are some of the biggest myths about the game of soccer.

Myth #1 - Soccer Is An American Word

When bashing American soccer, a person will instantly point to the word 'soccer' and say "Don't you mean football?". The funny thing is, soccer is a British term. The word was created in the 1860s by Charles Wredford Brown, then a student a Oxford. For the next 30 years, the name of the sport would change from soccer to association football to football and then to soccer again (etc.). The upper class would call it soccer, while the lower class would call it football. As immigration occurred, the sport of soccer spread. Since it was mostly the lower class that was immigrating, the term that was used was football. This was fine for most countries, but there were countries like the USA, Australia and Canada that already had a use for the word "football'. In the majority of those places, the word soccer was used instead, and is still used to date.


Myth #2 - The Richest Teams Always Win

While this is the case some of the time, it isn't the case all of the time. Some nice examples of this are Everton, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Montpellier and even Wigan. Everton has constantly punched above it's budget in the Premier League, as have Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Lyon and Montpellier in Ligue 1. Lyon started off as a rather small side and figured out a proven system for success, and became one of the top 20 sides in Europe. Dortmund did the same, signing cheap but talented players (Kawaga-350K, Lewandowski-4.5M). Wigan's win in the FA Cup over Manchester City is the final example of this. While most people say it was a fluke, it still proves, that the richest team doesn't always win.


#3 - Soccer Hasn't Made It In The USA

This is arguably the most incorrect myth on the list. While the US doesn't have the national team of Brazil or the fan base like Germany, the US has welcomed soccer with open arms over the past years. The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers say all there is to say on the subject, with each selling out their stadium with lighting speed. In fact, the Seattle Sounders have more season ticket holders than Arsenal. San Jose, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Salt Lake City have all become soccer cities too, with electric atmospheres and quality teams. Soccer has made it in the USA. Has it made it to the extend that it has in Europe? No, but it has come a long way over the past 10 years, and is sure to keep growing over the next 10.

#4 - The World Cup Is A Great Economic Boost

When a country puts in a bid for the World Cup, one of the first things mention is the 'economic factor' that the tournament will have on the Country, and how hosting one is in the best interests of the country. This is (surprise) false. In 2010 when South Africa hosted the world cup, they built five new stadiums solely for the competition. You can see them, and the current use for them below.

New Stadium
Current Use
Peter Mokaba Stadium
150 million
Black Leopards F.C.* (Average Attendence - 2,953)
Cape Town Stadium
600 million
Ajax Cape Town F.C.(Average Attendence - 9,592)
Moses Mabhida Stadium
450 million
AmaZulu F.C. (Average attendence - 3,952) and the South Africa Cricket Team
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
270 million
Eastern Province Kings and Southern Kings (rugby)
Mbombela Stadium
140 million
Bidvest Wits (rugby)
All amounts in USD *Part time tenant

None of these stadiums have a major amount of fans coming in for games, and are now mainly used for concerts, but there simply aren't enough concerts in South Africa for the stadiums to come close to paying off their construction cost. Yes, the stadiums are nice to look at, but wouldn't it be nicer if the 1,610 Million dollars spent on the stadiums were used to stop poverty in South Africa? Also, contrary to popular belief, a world cup doesn't boost tourism. In 2010, South Africa has less tourists than usual by a reasonable margin.


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    • aud99 profile image

      Audrey 4 years ago

      I'm looking forward to the next World Cup. Where I come from, football is the more popular word for this sport, but I can see the confusion with the various other football games being played in other countries.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your article.