What Came First Soccer or Football: WritingMetier Analysis

Petar Bockaj 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
As the opponent is getting closer, instead of simply passing back to the centre-backs, he backheels the ball to his teammate in a short combination

A confusing concern for one may be an opportunity to address the confusion for another. When it comes to the debate between football and soccer, fans of both sports always like to clear the air about the confusion. Most of the times, football has been confused with soccer and rightly so. Each time there is a major sporting event such as the FIFA World Cup, an important question of why the Americans consider calling the sport ‘soccer’ whereas the world calls it football arises. This very common confusion can be addressed if we study this historically: what came first, the name soccer or football?

The purpose of this analysis is to explain the difference between soccer and football in the light of research and studies. It would also highlight with historical perspectives between the two sports and their respective names. Analysis is not the only thing we do at the WritingMetier  – we also provide other writing services such as report writing service. There are more things and services we have for people from all over the world. Take your time and explore our website. Anyway, let us now continue with the analysis.

How Big Football Has Become

So, moving on, let us talk about how big football is. The sport is celebrated in different parts of the world through international and domestic leagues. Few of the prominent leagues include English Premier League and La Liga; two different leagues played in the United Kingdom and Spain, respectively. Undoubtedly, football is a really big sport which is played all over the world.

In a paper that was published by Stefan Szymanski, a professor at University of Michigan, it has been stated that the Britishers may need to correct their history when it comes to soccer and football debate.

It was shared that 200 years ago that the word ‘soccer’ originated in Britain. Officially, it was known as ‘association football’. At the same time when different sports all over the world where evolving, including Rugby football, an American sport, the Brits at that point tried to change the name of association football and called it soccer in order to distinguish the sport.

The Origin of the Word “Soccer”

In the same paper, Szymanski stated that the word rugby emerged from the word ‘rugger’, whereas the word ‘soccer’ came as a short form for association football. With the passage of time, the word soccer became famous in the US while being different from American football. In the 1980s, the Britishers started using the term football for themselves as well. That is where the off and on switch between soccer and football started surfacing.

In the paper, the author writes that the US favored the word football because it added democratic flavor to the sport, and it was easy for everyone to use as soon as it was named. At the same time, the locals were happy using the word football for rugby as it distinguished from the sport that was being played as soccer in the UK.

Szymanski recalls that since the 1980s and so, the British publications stopped using the word soccer and whenever it was used, it was used in the context of America. He wrote that the decline of the word may be due to the reaction of increased popularity that the term gained in the US in the 1980s.

Current Usage of These Words in the United States

Currently, Americans are seen using the term soccer for the football leagues that are played in their country. These leagues include the popular MLS, Major League Soccer which holds famous international players such as Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and more.

Despite what the history might be and how people from these nations seem to debate off and on regarding the ownership of the sports’ names, it is safe to say the fanatics do not care about the history anymore. Seeing outside the United States, the success of the word seems to hold no meaning. With respect to how this sport has gained popularity in the US as well, it is high time that they make the amends and just call it football like the rest of the world. Call football and rugby as American football and let us just end this debate once and for all.


So, here was everything you needed to know about football and soccer. Conclusively, the Brits ditched the name soccer of a sport which is popular all over the world as football. Hope you can now put a rest to the entire “what came first, football or soccer” debate and just get to enjoy these two amazing sports!