Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible
says. The seventh day is the Lord
thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.
ANTHONY BURGESS, English playwright,
composer, critic, translator, linguist, and author
of A Clockwork Orange, from the comic novel
Inside Mr. Enderby
It’s not whether you win or lose.
It’s whether you play.
JAMES CAAN, actor and American
youth soccer coach
Soccer is a universal game, enjoyed everywhere by people regardless of age, gender, size, skill level, color, creed, or station in life. Along with youth leagues, school leagues, amateur adult leagues, multidivision professional leagues, national cups, regional international competitions, and the World Cups—male and female—there are major championships for the deaf, for the blind, and for players with intellectual disabilities. Versions of soccer are played on grass, beach sand, cinders, hardwood, asphalt, and ice. Elephants have played it, as have robots. A tournament held in a pool in Germany as part of 2006 World Cup festivities featured players wearing weights for ballast while kicking away at a heavy soccer ball. Clearly, soccer’s debut in outer space is only a matter of time.
While horse racing is known as the sport of kings, soccer is the sport of the working class. Make that the sport of the indigent class as well, officially beginning in July 2003 in Graz, Austria, where eighteen teams took part in the first Homeless World Cup. The event was played out over seven days in two of the city’s major squares. Clad in the colors of their home countries, ten-member teams of homeless