Soccer is an evolving game. From the original codification in 1863 to the modern institution of video replay, football’s lawmakers are constantly tweaking the rules.
The following is a timeline of the major changes made to the game.
When the first international football match was played in 1872, the tactics and formations used were completely foreign to what modern soccer coaches employ. Seven forwards, one defender? Not even a team of 5-year-olds would consider a lineup like that these days.
But how would modern teams look if they decided to turn back the clock and utilize ancient tactics?
There's perhaps no other refereeing decision, in any sport, that causes the deep emotional reaction of the awarding of a penalty kick. When the call is made for a spot kick from 12 yards out, the response is typically either a flurry of expletives and impending sense of doom or the feeling of utter joy derived from receiving a blessing, depending on which side of the call you are.
And it seems these feelings are warranted — stats show that there’s a 75-80% chance of the penalty being converted.
The greatest footballer you’ve never heard of was an absolute beast on the pitch, scoring more than 900 goals in the first half of the 20th century. The towering chain-smoker once broke a man’s arm with a penalty kick and was unafraid of defying social norms.
Lily Parr of is a legend of the game forgotten to time and ignored by many after England banned women’s football in 1921.
But a few of the original rules of football could make for some interesting soccer if they were to be brought back.
When the World Cup or November 25 comes around (the man's birthday), there's usually one thought on my mind... Clint Mathis was probably the best player of all time. I'll show you some things.
What was there that wasn’t great about Clint Mathis? He’s from a small city in Georgia. That's cool. He was the first male soccer player in eight years to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. What a dude. He was on the cover of Backyard Soccer 2004, and there’s no higher accolade than that s**t.
Birkir Bjarnason's goal wasn't a rocket from 30 yards out or a bicycle kick, but it was a goal that was Iceland's first international tournament goal ever. As about 10% of Iceland's population watched from the stands in Saint-Etienne, the "Ice Men" stole a point from a favored Portugal team. A special moment for this country no doubt, but their special moments may just be starting as the team demonstrated how they can perform on a big stage. Being down 1-0 at halftime, they responded just 5 minutes after the break with a historic goal from Birkir Bjarnason.
On the surface, soccer seems to be strikingly different from other sports such as American football and rugby, but 19th century soccer actually shared more in common with these sports than you might think. Here are five surprising traits from the early version of the game.
1. You could catch the ball
2014 saw the deaths of some prominent figures in the soccer community. We here at The18 thought it would be a good idea to honor those who passed away this calendar year with mini bios on each of the departed. The soccer community already misses these individuals.