Why is football called the beautiful game?

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Pfaffenhofen, Germany, 15th of May, 2020. Symbolphoto football in Corona times and the restart of the german 1.Bundesliga on May 15, 2020 in Pfaffenhofen, Bavaria, Germany.

Football is considered the world’s most fantastic sport and a “beautiful game”. There is no fixed universal explanation for why football is a beautiful game. Still, it is widely accepted that the sport is so loved for its sheer unpredictability, its ability to bring communities together through fandom, and how visually pleasing the game is. Maybe, football helps the average person identify Brazil more with Pelé, Zico, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar than with the brutal shootouts and drug trafficking in the favelas or one of the world’s highest inequalities.

The way football manages to bring together international fans from all walks of life worldwide makes the sport so good. The fans‘ passion is what makes football so great, and how a single team can have dedicated fans from all over the world hundreds and thousands of miles from the stadium. It isn’t easy to find people more passionate about football than Italian fans, especially Roma fans.

Whether you call it football or soccer, it’s all a good game. It doesn’t matter if you call it football, futball, Calcio or the left, the important thing is that you recognise it as the Beautiful Game. The last and most crucial reason football is so good is that everyone can play football and win.

The phrase has become a well-worn cliché and, given the various vices of modern football, an anachronism, but football has long been considered a “beautiful game”. When Pele, the king of football, called the game “Jogo bonito”, which means “beautiful game”, men, women and children from all over the world nodded in satisfaction. Later references in the 1980s and beyond, celebrating the brilliance of football or lamenting its decline, often recalled that “Pelé called football a good game”.

This growing acceptance and a more positive outlook on the game led to the final evolution of football into its modern form; thus, the game of football has hardly developed for hundreds of years. Still, according to FIFA, although football has been consistently banned for 500 years, it has never been entirely suppressed. In 19th century Britain, the previously disorganised mafia game of the original football began to look more like the game we know today.

Thus, perhaps in Harpastum, the origin of football played in medieval Britain can be traced. However, maybe the game that can best be described as the original form of football is the game of harpastum that was played throughout the Roman Empire. However, many games can be seen as the forerunners of football throughout the ancient world. We will try to describe the development and take you from the origins of football to the moment when modern football as we know it today emerged.

Instead, football can be understood as the invention of the middle-class and wealthy Brazilians of the early 20th century, who called themselves “athletes” and nationalists and embraced the sport as part of their broader movement to shape and change the country.