Before Pep Guardiola came down from the mountaintop proclaiming the new age of the 4-3-3 with attacking width providing by the wide defenders, nobody knew what a full back was. Sure, Roberto Carlos once struck a football so hard that we all admitted their existence, but that was all anyone knew about the position. What did they do? Why were they there? It was hard to know and even harder to explain.
Soccer is an evolving game. From the original codification in 1863 to the modern institution of video replay, football’s lawmakers are constantly tweaking the rules.
The following is a timeline of the major changes made to the game.
Maybe you’ve heard already, but this Christian Pulisic guy is pretty good. At 18, the Borussia Dortmund and U.S. men’s national team star has proven himself to be one of the best Americans in the game today. He has an impeccable first touch, composure in the box beyond his years and makes impressive runs on and off the ball.
Christian Pulisic isn’t named Lionel Messi, he doesn’t play for Real Madrid and he’s never been on the cover of FIFA, so many North American and British folk are rightly confused about just how good he really is. He’s only scored five Bundesliga goals, so he must suck, right? Not so fast, Paris Saint-Germain’s latest die-hard supporter!
The average age of players in the English Premier League is 26.8, meaning the vast majority of footballers weren’t playing 25 years ago when the most dramatic change to the game in recent times was instituted. Many weren’t even alive in 1992 when FIFA decided to prevent goalkeepers from picking up passes intentionally kicked to them by teammates.
When the first international football match was played in 1872, the tactics and formations used were completely foreign to what modern soccer coaches employ. Seven forwards, one defender? Not even a team of 5-year-olds would consider a lineup like that these days.
But how would modern teams look if they decided to turn back the clock and utilize ancient tactics?
Some players just have a gift. The ability to see a play develop before it happens. The audacity to attempt maneuvers others wouldn’t dare to try. The composure to pull off moves with the weight of the world watching.
Danny Welbeck, as this recent highlight video shows, is one of those supremely talented footballers who just stands above the rest.
Danny Welbeck's vision is in 3074 while we're all in 2017. Unreal assists. pic.twitter.com/RWGfXzO5Bn
It’s finally August, which means the 2017-18 season is upon us. Ligue 1 begins Friday, the German Super Cup is Saturday and England’s Community Shield is Sunday. But as a new campaign begins, another cycle is coming to a close. The inaugural FIFA Interactive Club World Cup will be held in London on Saturday followed by the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 Grand Final on Aug. 16-18 to crown the world champion for EA Sports’ FIFA 17.
There's perhaps no other refereeing decision, in any sport, that causes the deep emotional reaction of the awarding of a penalty kick. When the call is made for a spot kick from 12 yards out, the response is typically either a flurry of expletives and impending sense of doom or the feeling of utter joy derived from receiving a blessing, depending on which side of the call you are.
And it seems these feelings are warranted — stats show that there’s a 75-80% chance of the penalty being converted.