It is unclear when football began, but one thing is clear, it is a sport that has entertained and riveted us throughout the ages. Uncovering very talented people and creating livelihood across different kinds of industries.
As football evolved over the years, so did many aspects of it; it became more than a sport, for starters. It became a career that gave people livelihoods and sustained families. Not just for players, but the support staff as well. Any team worth its weight has a manager, coach, doctor, and technical staff.
Football clubs are well run organisations with organograms to rival any 40k company; one needs to look at clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United. Competition among football clubs to get the latest rising star has seen players being paid exorbitant amounts of money to sign them to keep them. It is estimated that Neymar’s salary was 629 874 pounds per week, not to mention money received from his endorsements.
As mentioned earlier, the evolution of football changed the quality of football and other industries such as gaming. Football has become a lucrative business for betting sites and suddenly football betting was no longer restricted to simply predicting the game’s outcomes, but there are now so many options one can bet on. You can predict how many goals will be scored during the game and who will score the most.
Gaming sites can now sponsor teams, games, or even tournaments, like the football sponsorship from 10bet for example. You’ll be familiar with the brand as a sponsor for several teams.
This sponsorship has had a positive impact on players and those employed by the company. It will increase traffic to their site, and more people will bet at 10bet on football.
The introduction and use of technology in football has been a game-changer and not just for the fans or the media, but players and coaches as well.
The use of virtual reality sports simulators allows players to train in a way that would not be possible in real environments. Technology has assisted team doctors with detecting and preventing injuries among players.
Coaches can have more accurate and in-depth analyses of not only their games but also their opponents’ games. And, of course, we have come to rely on technology during actual games.
Another aspect that has become incredibly popular as a result of technology is video games. Almost everyone across the globe will be and is familiar with the FIFA PlayStation and Xbox games. The anticipation and build up whenever a new version is released is unmatched and it keeps fans entertained during the periods between live matches.
With the FIFA World Cup being hosted by different countries every four years, it meant that the infrastructure of those countries would be improved, and the host country itself would see a boost economically through tourism and other avenues. Some big stadiums in the world were built for football or to host football games, such as the FNB stadium in South Africa with a capacity of 94 736 people, or the Rungrado Stadium in North Korea with 114 000 people.
The transfer window period has become one of the most lucrative times of the year, not only on the football calendar but also on the public calendar. People wait in anticipation for the six-figure amounts players are ‘bought’ for, meetings are clandestine, and negotiations are behind closed doors, which can be very entertaining, especially when the player does not deliver as expected.
But pettiness aside, there is a dark side to the burgeoning salaries and multi-million-dollar endorsement deals, and unfortunately, these do taint the beautiful game.
Match-fixing is not exclusive to football and is prevalent in every sport. Football has faced some of the biggest match-fixing scandals. Deaths of players and some officials have allegedly been linked to match-fixing rings.
When one mentions corruption in football, you can’t help but think of the FIFA president scandal or the 2010 World Cup scandal. Politics have played a role in the corruption experienced in football; for example, the scandal around Brazil’s 2014 world cup was not about players, referees, or coaches, even the game itself, but rather involved corrupt politicians and government officials.
Despite all this, none of it has changed what is important, and that is the fundamentals of the game. It is still a beautiful game, won by passion, discipline, and talent. Soccer is still a thrilling sport to watch and be a part of. No matter the paycheck of players or the level of technology used, respect, talent, and teamwork are the winning ingredients of any successful team.