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Portal:Association football

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The referee officiates in a football match

Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer (a shortening of the word "association"), 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.

Football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The ball is 68–70 cm (27–28 in) in circumference and known as the football. The two teams each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to represent their team in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.

Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years. The FIFA World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930 with the exception of 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were cancelled due to World War II. Approximately 190–200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period. It is the most prestigious football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. (Full article...)

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Priestfield Stadium during a match.
Priestfield Stadium during a match.
Priestfield Stadium is a football stadium in Gillingham, Kent. It has been the home of Gillingham Football Club since the club's formation in 1893 and the first recorded game played there was on 2 September 1893 when the club played Woolwich Arsenal's reserve team.

In 1955 the pitch, which was on a slope and had also been used as grazing for local Sheep at the turn of the century, was relaid along with further refurbishments to the terraces. Priestfield underwent extensive redevelopment during the late 1990s, which has brought its capacity down to a current figure of 11,582. It has four all-seater stands, all constructed since 1997 and has also been the temporary home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club as well as hosting England Women's and Youth international matches.

In 2004 the ground was voted as "the worst football ground in England" in a poll by The Guardian and 36% of respondents labelled it "the ugliest building in the town" in a separate poll in 2006. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Francke Ribéry
Francke Ribéry
Franck Ribéry (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɑ̃k ʁibeʁi]; born 7 April 1983) is a French international footballer who currently plays for German club Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. He primarily plays as a winger, preferably on the left side, and is known for "pace, energy, skill and precise passing." Ribéry is described as a player who is "fast, tricky and an excellent dribbler" who "has great control with the ball at his feet". Since joining Bayern, he has been recognised on the world stage as one of the best French players of his generation. The previous talisman of French national team, Zinedine Zidane, has called Ribéry the "jewel of French football".

Ribéry's career began in 1989 as a youth player for local hometown club Conti Boulogne. He left the club after seven years to join professional outfit Lille, but departed the club after three years after having difficulties adjusting. In 1999, Ribéry joined US Boulogne, where he played for two years. After spending two more years in the amateur divisions with two different clubs (Alès and Brest), in 2004, Ribéry earned a move to Ligue 1 club FC Metz. After six months with the club, Ribéry moved to Turkey in January 2005 joining Galatasaray where he won the Turkish Cup. After six months at Galatasaray, he departed the club in controversial fashion in order to return to France to join Marseille. Ribéry spent two seasons at the club helping the Marseillais reach the final of the Coupe de France in back-to-back seasons. In 2007, Ribéry joined German club Bayern Munich for a then club-record fee of €25 million. With Bayern, he has won the double on two occasions; in the 2007–08 and 2009–10 seasons. In 2010, Ribéry contributed to the team that reached the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final, but was unable to participate in the match due to suspension.

Ribéry is a French international. Prior to representing the senior team, he played at under-21 level. At senior level, Ribéry has represented his nation two FIFA World Cups and UEFA Euro 2008. He made his international debut in May 2006 against Mexico. At the 2006 World Cup, Ribéry scored his first international goal against Spain and played in the final match against Italy. Individually, Ribéry is a two-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours. He has also been named to the UEFA Team of the Year and declared the Young Player of the Year in France. (Full article...)

Selected association

Logo of FIFA

FIFA (/ˈffə/ French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association, English: International Federation of Association Football, Spanish: Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociación; German: Internationaler Verband des Association Fußball) is a non-profit organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal and beach soccer. It is the highest governing body of association football.

FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. These national associations must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Asia, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America. (Full article...)

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A helicopter lands at the Feijenoord Stadion to introduce new signings to the fans
Credit: commons user Knurftendans
A helicopter lands at the Feijenoord Stadion, home of Feyenoord. The club holds an open day during the pre-season build-up which attracts up to 70,000 fans annually, the highlight of which is the flying in of newly signed players to be introduced to the supporters.

Selected quote

If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there.
Brian Clough, on his dislike for long balls

Selected World Cup

Poster in Art Deco style, depicting a simplified figure of a goalkeeper making a save in its upper half. The lower half contains writing in a heavily stylised font: "1er Campeonato Mundial de Futbol" in black, and "Uruguay 1930 Montevideo 15 Julio Agosto 15" in white and orange.
Official poster; designed by
Guillermo Laborde

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Uruguay from 13 to 30 July 1930. FIFA, football's international governing body, selected Uruguay as host nation, as the country would be celebrating the centenary of its first constitution and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics. All matches were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, the majority at the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the tournament.

Thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America) entered the tournament. Only a few European teams chose to participate because of the difficulty of travelling to South America. The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously and were won by France and the United States, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0, respectively. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while that day United States goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas posted the first "clean sheet" in the tournament. (Full article...)

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  1. "Franck Ribéry". fcbayern.de. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  2. "Franck Ribéry ESPN Profile". ESPN. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  3. "A Ferrari in the Bayern shirt". Bundesliga.de. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2010.