Europe, the cradle of soccer —UEFA EURO 2020
From the firsts ball games to our current soccer API. We take a look at the history of football with a special focus on its development in Europe before the UEFA EURO 2020.
Less than a year to go for the UEFA EURO 2020. A spectacle of masses, a dizzying dance of data, a showcase of stars… Soccer is a true social phenomenon. Nowadays, elite football players have become an advertising claim, cover of gossip magazines, idols,and in short, heroes. Our soccer API is ready to offer you all the information you need for the championship.
Ball games, in their various forms of ball on foot and hand, have been known since ancient times. This ancestral nature has its evidence in the different nations of antiquity and in others that existed since ancient times among the wild tribes, such as the Maori, the natives of the Philippines and the Faroe, the Polynesians, the American Indians and the Eskimos.
The origins of football
The origin of this sport dates back to ancient times. The “ball game” enjoyed great popularity in ancient China, especially in military settings, where it was considered an excellent muscle exercise. Teams of expert men hit the ball with their heads, feet and shoulders, directing it towards a goal. Already in the 6th century BC., Kemari was practiced in Japan and represented, in a way, a religious rite. The players disputed the match with a ball stuffed with animal hair, dressed in robes as majestic as they were uncomfortable. The objective was that, in twenty minutes, the ball remained in the air without being able to touch the ground.
In the western world, they speak of the football phenomenon originally in the 4th century BC. Its Roman version, the harpastum, spread through the provinces of the Empire, although this should be a tougher activity, more similar to rugby than football.
England as the cradle of professional soccer
During the Middle Ages, similar games spread throughout Brittany and Normandy (soule), as well as the Italian peninsula (calcium). In the fourteenth century, King Edward III of England admonished his servants to renounce “such a useless distraction” and to exercise more in archery. And as the competitions between neighboring towns developed, the meetings used to degenerate into real pitched battles. This caused both English and Scottish monarchs to ban this game for a long time under penalty of sanction.
In 1863 the English Football Association was established in London, the first soccer organization to codify the rules of the game. Eight years later the English Cup was played, while in 1882 the first international match (England-Scotland) took place. As early as 1904, France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Sweden formed the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), to which the federations of Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Italy and Hungary joined a year later. Robert Guérin, the father of FIFA, promoted the expansion of the scope of the competitions, which soon gave rise to the idea of holding a World Cup, due to the expectation that the game aroused. In 1930 the first World Cup organized by FIFA, based in Uruguay was played.
UEFA EURO 2020: the biggest soccer anniversary
The UEFA EURO 2020 should have launched its venue format in 2020, with the tournament being played in a large number of countries throughout the European continent. But finally, as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus that continues to impact the entire society, the tournament will have to wait until 2021.
UEFA had decided to organize “a party across Europe” to celebrate 60 years since the inaugural tournament and, for the second time in history, it will feature 24 teams. It has been decided to postpone it for a year, so the UEFA EURO 2020 will be held from June 11 to July 11.