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Portal:Association football

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Association football

Association football, or, in most countries just football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams each consisting of eleven players and is the most popular team sport in the world. It is a ball game played on a rectangular grass field (or occasionally on artificial turf) with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team's goal. The predominant feature of the sport is that players other than the goalkeepers may not use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play. The winner is the team that has scored the most goals at the end of the match.

The sport is known by many names throughout the English-speaking world, although football is perhaps the most common. Other names, such as association football and soccer, are often used to distinguish the game from other codes of football, since the word football may refer to several quite different games.

The game is played at a professional level all over the world and millions of people regularly go to a football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst millions more avidly watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.

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Small Heath F.C. (later to become Birmingham City F.C.) pictured in 1893 or 1894.
Birmingham City Football Club are an English professional football club based in the city of Birmingham. As of the 2007-08 season, they were playing in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, which is the level at which they have spent the majority of their history.

Formed under the name of "Small Heath" in 1875, they were founder members and the first ever champions of the Football League Second Division. As Birmingham City, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They achieved their highest finishing position of sixth in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Final in 1956, reached the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960 and 1961, and won their only major trophy, the League Cup, in 1963, beating Aston Villa 3–1 on aggregate.

St Andrew's has been their home ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, with whom they play the Birmingham derby.

Selected biography

Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]; born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine footballer of Italian descent who plays for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".

Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona. He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys' youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.

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Map of USA
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. Founded in 1913, it is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is a member of FIFA, and is responsible for governing amateur and professional soccer, including the men's, women's, and Paralympic national teams. The USSF is also responsible for sanctioning referees and soccer tournaments for most soccer leagues in the United States.

The federation oversees the leagues of Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues as well as the Women's Premier Soccer League and W-League. The federations major cup competition is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup which is open to all affiliated teams and has been contested since 1914.

National team tournaments in 2017

April 27 - May 7 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
May 20 - June 11 FIFA U-20 World Cup
June 17 - July 2 FIFA Confederations Cup
July 7-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Jul 16 - Aug 6 UEFA Women's Euro
October 6-28 FIFA U-17 World Cup

International club tournaments in 2017

April 19-26 CONCACAF Champions League finals
April 29 - May 6 OFC Champions League finals
June 3 UEFA Champions League Final
November 18-25 AFC Champions League finals
December 6-16 FIFA Club World Cup

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A helicopter lands at the Feijenoord Stadion to introduce new signings to the fans
Credit: commons user Knurftendans

A helicopter lands at the Feijenoord Stadion, home of Feyenoord. The club holds an open day during the pre-season build-up which attracts up to 70,000 fans annually, the highlight of which is the flying in of newly signed players to be introduced to the supporters.

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I don't let my opponent get into the game for a second. I destroy him and eat him raw.
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