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Every sport has its own gems. By this I mean relatively unknown facts that even hardcore fans don’t know. It takes time to get to learn all these things and I am always pleasantly surprised to discover new information every day. I’ve compiled five facts about soccer that I am pretty sure most fans remain unaware of.
The origin of soccer: Do you know that soccer originally began as a prison game? Officials have said that the game first began in the early 1800s in Newgate Prison in London. Supposedly prisoners made a game that only used the feet because most of them had their hands cut off for theft. The game became popular and spread from the prison to all over England.
Its original name: Americans call the sport soccer, but it’s known as football everywhere else (American football is an entirely different game). Still, soccer was originally called basketball because the first goals were shot into wicker baskets.
A Queen used to play: Most fans don’t know that Queen Elizabeth II used to play in soccer matches when she was still a teenager. These soccer games were played near Buckingham Palace and were during the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Two trophies have been stolen: The World Cup was originally made out of pure gold and was stolen in 1966. It was only found a couple of days later by a dog. The last time the World Cup was stolen was in 1983 and has never been recovered. That particular trophy was awarded to Brazil in 1970.
Soccer players run – a lot: It has been studied that soccer players run around 10 kilometers every game, on average. Surprisingly, most of that is done without the ball since the average player is only in possession of the ball for around two percent of the entire distance they run.
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To be sure, there are no particular advantages to knowing these facts other than they make the game more fun. For my part, I just love collecting them and sharing them with my fellow soccer fans.