Sculpted by Sports

15 reasons soccer is the best sport in the world

Unlike the USA and Australia, where soccer hasn’t yet broken into the top-three most popular sports, my experience has shown that in the rest of the world, the love for soccer is almost religious, rivaling the reverence for God. It’s no stretch to say, much like John Lennon did in his time, that soccer holds a place in people’s hearts akin to the most devout beliefs.

Soccer’s dominance globally is not just about being the most popular sport in the world; it’s also about being the best, objectively so. This universal appeal, this unifying force that bridges diverse cultures, is what sets soccer apart. It’s a game that proves its worth and love across continents, transcending mere popularity.

15 reasons soccer is the best sport in the world

Soccer is often judged as just a game, but it is more than that; it’s a medium for the poor to escape the harsh reality of their lives. Played by hundreds and millions of people around the world, it breaks down social boundaries and connects people of opposite cultures like nothing else can. This sport isn’t confined to a set of rules or limited to certain demographics. It’s a universal language, a unifying force that embodies the true spirit of sportsmanship and community.

Let’s now get to the reasons why we all say the soccer is the best sport in the world.

1: Simplicity in Understanding

While some sports are overwhelmingly complex, demanding years of patient analysis or explanation from an expert to truly get your head around, soccer stands out for its straightforwardness. Unlike the NFL, baseball, and cricket—sports I deeply love but accept are a bit heavy on jargon, nuance, and highly technical strategy that can deter the casual viewer—soccer is refreshingly simple. This kind of sport allows you to get your head around its essence in mere two minutes of watching.

On the other hand, soccer’s beauty lies in its uncomplicated nature. Once you’ve figured out the offside rule, that’s essentially it. There’s no need for extensive background knowledge or understanding of intricate plays. Its simplicity not only makes it accessible but also inclusive, inviting everyone, regardless of their expertise, to enjoy the game. In soccer, the joy isn’t buried under layers of complexity; it’s right there on the surface, visible to all who watch.

2: Consistency in the Rules

Soccer stands out in the sporting world for its consistency in rules. Unlike other sports, where authorities often alter various aspects of the game each season, soccer has maintained a steady set of rules. Consider the NFL, a consistent culprit in this area, recently eliminating its highly unpopular tuck rule and frequently modifying rules governing physical contact—changes often speculated to be attempts to avoid a potential lawsuit one day. In contrast, soccer’s simplicity and steadfastness in its regulations have been a breath of fresh air.

In comparison, Rugby is even worse, with more frequent and significant alterations to its gameplay. Soccer’s rulebook, however, has seen little need for changes since the formulation of the back-pass rule in 1992. This stability indicates not just a lack of fundamental problems within the sport but also reflects the game’s inherent fairness and simplicity. The fact that soccer hasn’t needed any major rule changes since then, despite what some idiots claim, speaks volumes about its enduring appeal and integrity as the world’s foremost sport.

3: No Timeouts

When you watch the last five minutes of a basketball game, the overuse of the timeout thing can feel out of hand. It takes what feels like hours to get through, with teams freezing the clock, having their hands on the ball, or intentionally fouling their opponents to manipulate game time. Unlike basketball, where managing the clock and using timeouts to halt the momentum of opponents or forcing teams to play out of their funk has become a strategy, soccer offers a different experience.

In soccer, there’s no room for such stoppages. There are no timeouts given to professional athletes for a rest that they really shouldn’t need anyway. This eliminates the excuse for advertisers to interrupt games frequently. Instead, soccer thrives on its free-flowing and relentless nature, keeping the game moving and the audience engaged. Give me the unbroken excitement of soccer any day over the fragmented rhythm of games laden with timeouts and commercial breaks.

4: Internationality of Soccer

The 2014 World Cup saw two hundred and three nations attempting qualification, a figure surpassing the number of countries in the United Nations. This fact alone speaks volumes about soccer’s global appeal. Unlike many other sports, soccer is played absolutely everywhere, effortlessly crossing every national divide. Its reach is not limited to a few dominant countries; it’s a game that resonates across continents and cultures.

In most team sports, finding more than 20 nations that are consistently competitive is a rarity, often even more than 10 is a stretch. This is where soccer truly shines. Contrast this with events like the Rugby World Cup, which can sometimes feel a bit of a joke, with nations like Namibia having to scratch together a team of 15 people only to be pounded 142-0 by Australia.

Such disparities are less common in soccer, where the playing field is more even, and smaller nations frequently punch above their weight, making the sport uniquely universal and competitive.

5: It Will Never Have a PED Problem

While events like the Tour de France are indeed a marvel of physical endurance, the shadow of performance-enhancing drugs often undermines the trust in such competitions. It’s hard to enjoy a superhuman performance in many sports, including the Olympics, without a nagging thought in the back of one’s head, wondering if the athletes are on something. However, soccer stands apart in this regard.

Soccer’s essence lies in its purity, where there is no drug for skill and judgment under pressure, the twin tenets of any true soccer champion. Legends like Maradona and Pele have never had an asterisk next to their name. We can sit back and enjoy their talent without worry about an unfair chemical advantage. Their prowess on the field was a result of raw talent and dedication, not the result of drugs, except, humorously noted, when Maradona indulged off the field, and purely for fun.

6: Poor Countries Beat Rich Countries

I remember vividly walking out of the Ghana vs. USA match during the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup, joining in the chanting of local fans saying “Bye, bye, USA!” This moment perfectly encapsulates one of soccer’s unique qualities. In this sport, a geopolitical and economic powerhouse like the USA can be overcome by an African nation, one with 300 million fewer people and ranked about 80 spots below on the GDP list.

It struck me then, as it does now, how soccer levels the playing field, making it possible for smaller, less wealthy nations to triumph on the global stage. This ability to defy the odds and outplay countries with vast resources and larger populations is a testament to the game’s inclusiveness and its power to unite and inspire, irrespective of economic standing or geopolitical status.

7: Skill and Technique in Soccer

To play soccer right, exceptional skill and technique with the ball are necessary. Mastering the art of controlling the ball with your feet, and making it move as desired, is an extremely difficult task. It requires a light, yet confident touch of the ball, and assertiveness when passing in tight quarters. As soccer players approach the net, the game becomes a matter of inches, and that’s where the real talent emerges.

On the expansive soccer fields, having the vision and ability to see the entire field and spot passing opportunities is a skill that many argue is innate, something people are born with. Watching a player with such skill is nothing short of amazing. Observing a soccer game, especially professionally, is like witnessing a feast of amazing skill and technique, a true display of athletic artistry.

8: Normalcy in Physique

In today’s world of sports, where being advanced and competitive often means having a certain physique, soccer stands out. Take basketball, for example, where men and women with a height advantage play a major role, leaving people who are less tall at a disadvantage. The New York Times even states that people less than six feet tall have only a one in 1.2 million chance of making it to the NBA. Similarly, in the NFL, most players are expected to be physical beasts to even dream of a career.

Soccer is different. Here, agility, speed, and footwork are valued more than sheer physique. It’s important to note, soccer players do need to be in the best shape of their lives, but the size of their body is much less a factor than in other sports. A glance at some of the greats, including Lionel Messi, who is 5-foot-7, is enough to realize that even smaller players have a chance of being great. Soccer truly embraces players of all sizes, making it a game of skill and strategy rather than just physical dominance.

9: Easy to Learn

Have you ever experienced frustration trying to explain the rules of a sport and failing miserably while they stare into your eyes without understanding? This often happens because many sports are complicated, littered with intricate rules and norms that can be hard to understand. Compared to other sports, soccer stands out for its simplicity. Its basic rules are straightforward: Don’t touch the ball with your hands, try to get it into the other net, don’t foul anyone without touching the ball first, and throw the ball back in when it goes out.

Once you’ve explained the offside concept, yellow and red cards, and corners, you’ve essentially covered the game’s essentials. This ease of learning the game is what makes soccer so accessible and beloved worldwide. Of course, the technique and structure of playing at a higher level are a different story, but the fundamental ease of understanding soccer’s basic rules makes it an inclusive and globally embraced sport.

10: You Can Play Anywhere with Minimal Equipment

Unlike mounting a career in a winter sport, which often requires forking out a hefty wad of cash for equipment, soccer stands in stark contrast. In soccer, the only essential need is a ball, and in a pinch, any round object will do. This accessibility is a key factor in soccer’s global popularity, especially in poorer nations where resources are limited. It’s not just about having a chance; in many cases, it provides an advantage.

Many soccer legends have their roots in the rough-and-tumble play of city slums, where a formal career in sports seems unattainable. Soccer breaks these barriers, allowing talents to be forged in the most humble of circumstances. This aspect of soccer is what makes it a truly global sport, not just in terms of viewership but in its ability to be played and loved by anyone, anywhere, regardless of their economic background.

11: Scale

In every country, there is a league. These leagues often encompass several divisions, like the Estonian third division, which, as evident from the video, is seriously competed in by its participants. The scope of soccer extends to thousands of amateur competitions, illustrating the vast reach and depth of the sport globally. This is not just a game; it’s a worldwide phenomenon with layers of competitive play.

Soccer is played at every imaginable skill level, by individuals of all ages and genders (yes, both of them). It’s a sport that’s embraced in every country on Earth, showcasing its incredible scale. From local fields to grand stadiums, soccer is a universal language spoken across the globe, uniting people through a shared love of the game.

12: The Rivalries

Rivalries in sports aren’t just exciting; they are the result of a passionate history between two teams that have constantly competed for the top prize. In soccer, these rivalries are not only passionate and occasionally nasty but are also often based and influenced by politics and geography. It’s during these rival matches that legends are made and the true, mad passion of soccer fans shines the brightest.

Consider some of the bigger rivalries like Barcelona against Real Madrid, where the two Spanish giants are always competing for supremacy. This rivalry is further intensified as it doesn’t help that they have arguably the best players in the world playing opposite each other, only accentuating the rivalry. Such matchups not only showcase elite skill but also encapsulate the intense emotional connection fans and players alike have with the beautiful game.

13: There’s no Offseason

One of my favorite things about the beautiful game of soccer is its continuous nature. In Europe, soccer seasons typically run from August to May, with games happening once a week. This includes not just league matches but also high-stakes Champions League and other Cup games. For soccer enthusiasts, the action doesn’t cut it to just these months. Every two years, fans get the chance to feast their eyes on their best players playing internationally in major tournaments like the World Cup and the Euro Cup.

In addition to these, there are international competitions running year long, such as the African Cup of Nations, Copa America, and the CONCACAF Champions League. Let’s not forget Major League Soccer (MLS), which heats up the summer months, along with qualification games for all these major international tournaments. Like I said, in the world of soccer, the game is virtually endless. There’s always a match to watch or a tournament to look forward to, making soccer a perennial source of entertainment and excitement.

14: Global Participation and Love for Soccer

Whether you’re a 60-year old man or a five-year old girl, the beauty of soccer lies in its inclusivity. These opposite age groups, and everyone in between, find common ground in their ability to play and enjoy soccer. Its simplicity is a unifying factor; it’s a simple and easy sport that virtually anyone can play. The presence of organized leagues for every age group, parks with nets across the world, and the abundance of willing people who love the game, speaks volumes about soccer’s universal appeal.

According to a survey by FIFA, over 270 million people are playing soccer regularly around the world, representing about four per cent of the world’s population. This study, scientifically monitored by a leading social studies organization, highlights that no other sport in the world comes close to soccer’s popularity internationally. The game’s appeal transcends all boundaries, affirming that anybody can play and be part of the soccer community.

15: Passion

In the world of soccer, passion is not just a word; it’s an experience that engulfs and surrounds you. Whether it’s at the park next door where someone scores the winning goal, in local leagues, or on the biggest stage of international competitions, soccer burns a fiery heart in people’s souls. It’s this intense love for the game that fans can’t get enough of, making soccer not just a sport, but a way of life.

This passion not only brings people together but allows them to enjoy and love the sport in its purest form. You feel this passion in your veins when you play and watch the game. Imagine the scenes at Camp Nou, with fans bowing to Messi after he scores a spectacular goal, or the Bernabeu crowd saluting Ronaldo after a thrilling hat-trick. In soccer, passion is synonymous with the game itself, transcending beyond mere sporting pleasure.


The allure of soccer extends far beyond its global reach, diverse appeal, or the sheer passion it ignites. It’s a sport where age, geography, and economic background lose their dividing power, uniting people across all walks of life.

From the young child playing in a dusty alley to the professional athlete competing in a packed stadium, soccer offers a universal language of joy, community, and unparalleled excitement. These fifteen reasons, touching on accessibility, simplicity, and the endless season of soccer, only scratch the surface of why it’s the world’s most beloved sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What are some reasons why soccer is the best sport?

Soccer is celebrated as the best sport due to its universal accessibility, simple rules, passionate global fanbase, and the ability to play it anywhere with minimal equipment. The sport’s diverse appeal across various age groups, genders, and economic backgrounds, coupled with its year-round seasons and thrilling rivalries, also contribute to its status.

 Is soccer the #1 sport?

Yes, soccer is widely regarded as the #1 sport globally due to its immense popularity, with over 270 million people playing regularly. Its widespread appeal across continents and cultures cements its position as the top sport in the world.

 Why do we love soccer?

We love soccer for its simplicity, universal appeal, and the intense passion it evokes. Soccer matches are known for their dynamic and exciting gameplay, and the sport often acts as a unifying force, bringing people together from all walks of life.

 What is the number 1 sport in the world?

Soccer is the number 1 sport in the world, characterized by its global fanbase, high viewership numbers, and the sheer number of people playing it. It’s celebrated in every corner of the globe and is deeply ingrained in various cultures.

 Why is soccer the #1 sport?

Soccer is the #1 sport due to its widespread accessibility, simple gameplay, and the emotional connection it fosters among players and fans. Its ability to transcend cultural and social boundaries makes it universally appealing.

 Is soccer good for brain?

Yes, soccer is good for the brain. Playing soccer improves cognitive skills like concentration, decision-making, and teamwork. It also enhances coordination and spatial awareness, making it a beneficial sport for mental as well as physical health.