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Association football


Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The game is played using a spherical ball of 68–70 cm (27–28 in) circumference, known as the football. Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals then the game is a draw. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to represent their team in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.

Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition.

Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years. The FIFA World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930 with the exception of 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were cancelled due to World War II. Approximately 190–200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period. It is the most prestigious football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games.

The most prestigious competition in club football is the UEFA Champions League which attracts an extensive television audience throughout the world. The final of the tournament has been, in recent years, the most-watched annual sporting event in the world. The top five European leagues are the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France). Attracting most of the world's best players, each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/€763 million/US$1.185 billion.

Football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.

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The Mariners home stadium.
Central Coast Mariners Football Club are an Australian professional football (soccer) team based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Formed in 2004, the Mariners participate in the A-League, being one of only three teams from New South Wales to play in the competition and the first professional club from the Central Coast to compete.

Despite being considered one of the smaller franchises at the inception of the A-League competition, Central Coast qualified for the first four domestic finals after their establishment. The Mariners had a successful first season, winning the 2005 Pre-Season Cup and losing in the A-League grand final to Sydney FC.

They made the final of the Pre-Season Cup again in 2006 but lost to Adelaide United and finished sixth in the 2006–07 A-League competition at the end of the season.

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James Milner
James Milner (born January 4, 1986) is an English footballer who plays as a winger and left-sided midfielder.

Milner began his career at Leeds United by joining the club's academy in 1996, he was later taken on as a trainee. Milner made his inaugural appearance for the first-team in 2002, aged only 16 and became prominent by becoming the youngest player ever to score in the Premier League.

While at Leeds United, Milner spent time on loan at Swindon Town to gain experience as a first team player. Following his move to Newcastle United in 2004, he was loaned to Aston Villa for a season before establishing himself as a regular starter in the Newcastle first team.

A playmaker, he has made over a hundred appearances for the club, as well as making a record number of appearances for the England Under-21 side. He was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship before eventually losing 13-12 in a penalty shoot-out in which he scored twice. In October 2007, Milner scored Newcastle's 500th home Premier League goal in a 3–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

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The Argentine Football Association (Spanish: Asociación del Fútbol Argentino, locally [asosjaˈsjon del ˈfutbol aɾxenˈtino], AFA) is the governing body of football in Argentina based in Buenos Aires. It organises the lower divisions of Argentine league system (from Primera B Nacional to Torneo Regional Federal and Primera D), including domestic cups Copa Argentina and Supercopa Argentina. The body also manages all the Argentina national teams, including the Senior, U-20, U-17, U-15 and Olympic squads. Secondly, it also organizes the amateur leagues for women, children, youth, futsal, and other local leagues, as well as the national women's team.

The AFA also organised all the Primera División championships from 1893 to 2016–17. From the 2017–18 season the "Superliga Argentina", an entity which is administrated independently and has its own statute, took over the Primera División championships. Nevertheless, the Superliga is contractually linked with the main football body. Portal:Association football/Selected association

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Chelsea players with the 2006 Premiership trophy
Credit: Flickr user Ray Boosen

Arjen Robben and Petr Čech of Chelsea F.C. parade with the Premier League trophy at the end of the 2005-06 season. This was the second season in a row that Chelsea had won the title.

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When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
Eric Cantona, following the "Kung-Fu Kick Incident" of January 1995
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The 1962 FIFA World Cup was the seventh FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship for men's national teams. It was held from 30 May to 17 June 1962 in Chile. The qualification rounds took place between August 1960 and December 1961, with 56 teams entering from six confederations, and fourteen qualifying for the finals tournament alongside Chile, the hosts, and Brazil, the defending champions.

Brazil successfully defended their World Cup title, defeating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final in the Chilean capital of Santiago. They became the second team, after Italy in 1934 and 1938, to win the World Cup twice in succession; no team has achieved the feat since. Host nation Chile finished third, defeating Yugoslavia 1–0 in the third-place play-off. Read more...

Did you know...

  • ... that MLS Cup 2007 was the first Major League Soccer championship rematch to be played in consecutive years? (3 March 2019)
  • ... that the San Jose Earthquakes won MLS Cup 2001 only one season after finishing at the bottom of the league table? (4 March 2019)
  • ... that Dutch footballer Leon de Kogel's playing career ended following a car accident in which he had to be cut out of his vehicle by the fire service? (9 March 2019)
  • ... that the inaugural MLS Cup was played in heavy rain in the aftermath of Hurricane Lili? (4 May 2019)
  • ... that collegiate soccer coach Pete Fewing has also officiated at the weddings of two of his former players? (10 May 2019)


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