Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of 11 players. It is played by approximately 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 outscore the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. The team with the higher number of goals wins the game.
A football pitch (also known as a football field) is the playing surface for the game of association football. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play". The pitch is typically made of natural turf or artificial turf, although amateur and recreational teams often play on dirt fields. Artificial surfaces must be green in colour.
All line markings on the pitch form part of the area which they define. For example, a ball on or above the touchline is still on the field of play, and a foul committed over the line bounding the penalty area results in a penalty. Therefore, a ball must completely cross the touchline to be out of play, and a ball must wholly cross the goal line (between the goal posts) before a goal is scored; if any part of the ball is still on or above the line, the ball is still in play.
Originally, football boots were available only in black, but recently, they have become available in various colours such as blue, green, red, white, yellow, silver, gold and even pink. Big name companies such as Nike, Adidas, Puma and the like have made an impact on the market with record sales. Nike's flagship shoes are the Phantom VNM, Phantom VSN, Tiempos and The Nike Mercurial worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and others. German company Adidas are responsible for the Predator range worn by David Beckham, Gary Neville, and Steven Gerrard, as well as the long-surviving Copa Mundial. The entire German national side wore Adidas boots during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Another German firm Puma flagship shoes are the Puma King Platinum, Puma Future and Puma One worn by Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, Cesc Fàbregas and Antoine Griezmann.
In recent times, the most successful companies are Nike and Adidas, and their products enjoy great popularity among professional footballers; among Nike's endorsers are two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, aforementioned duo Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, striker Ronaldo, Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and other popular players. Adidas, which has been providing football boots with screw-in studs to the German national side since the 1954 FIFA World Cup, have made their impact on the modern market by signing big name players as endorsers: players such as David Beckham, former France captain Zinedine Zidane, Frank Lampard, six-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, David Villa, Steven Gerrard and other successful players.[who?]
The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring (moving the ball over the defended goal-line within the frame of the goal). This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them (outside throw-ins) the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.
The back-pass rule prevents goalkeepers handling direct passes back to them from teammates. Goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have an unrestricted view of the entire pitch, giving them a unique perspective on play development. The goalkeeper is the only required position of a team. If they are injured or sent off, a substitute goalkeeper has to take their place, otherwise an outfield player must take the ejected keeper's place in goal. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper (thus effectively the red card and substitution takes out two of the starting eleven players). They then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. If a team does not have a substitute goalkeeper, or they have already used all of their permitted substitutions for the match, an outfield player has to take the dismissed goalkeeper's place and wear the goalkeeper shirt.
The squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1, although they may wear any jersey number between 1 and 99.
Forwards are the players on a football (soccer) team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.
Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players.Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players.
Modern team formations generally include one to three forwards; for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none.
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary roles are to stop attacks during the game and prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.
Centre backs are usually in pairs, with 2 full-backs to their left and right, but can come in threes with no full backs
There are four types of defenders: centre-back, sweeper, full-back, and wing-back. The centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialized for certain formations.