Know about different Eras in the History of soccer

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Soccer fans are an emotional lot. To them it’s not just a game, but a religion. Whatever happens, they’ll always support their favorite teams. They talk for hours about soccer – in bars and clubs when not in front of the TV set watching the game.

They don’t hesitate to take side. The infamous soccer riots are proof that they can literally put their lives on the line to take revenge of the apparent misdeeds done on their teams and the players.

History of soccer

Soccer originated in late-19th century in England. Back then it was called Football. The first Football Association was formed in the year 1863. The organization acted as the governing body of the soccer all along.

The Football League was founded in 1888 by a soccer player named William McGregor. Since then, the game has evolved quite a lot, gained fans all around the world and kept all the viewers enchanted.

Take a look at different eras in football:

The Golden Age

The initial years are recognized as the golden era – when standardized rules were invented and club and international competitions were common, roughly from the 1870s to the First World War.

This era is characterized by the British dominance; the British soccer players were great at winning matches after matches. The famous teams of that era were Corinthians, Queens Park, Preston North End, Scotland, England, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Blackburn, Celtic, etc.

Renowned players of the golden era include Jimmy Quinn, Steve Bloomer, John Goodall, Bobby Walker, Billy Meredith, Ernest Needham, Alex Smith, Arthur Kinnaird, Charles Campbell, Bob Crompton, Sam Hardy, GO Smith, William Cob bold and Billy Bassett.

Emerge of continental era

The continental era began after WWI. Britain’s dominance over football was fading by then. Many European nations were playing far better soccer than British players. It’s hard to pin on a timeline, but sports historians assume the era started in 1916 and continued till 1930s when new rules and trends emerged.

By the late 1930s, almost all countries were playing soccer. Even in the colonies of the imperial forces, the game was popular. The leading European teams were Italy, France, Hungary, Czech.

South America fell for soccer harder than Europe. Brazil (the undeclared soccer capital of the world), Argentina and Uruguay were the leading soccer playing countries. Interestingly, Argentina and Uruguay were performing at their peak while Brazil lagged off.

The teams of that era: Sparta Prague, Rangers, Nacional, Boca Juniors, MTK, Barcelona, Scotland, Uruguay, Huddersfield Town.

The players of that era: Jose Piendibene, Arthur Friedenreich, György Orth, Hector Scarone, Manuel Season, Alex Jackson, Jose Leonardo Andrade, Karel Pesek, Alan Morton, Jose Nasazzi, Ricardo Zamora, Hughie Gallacher, Dixie Dean.

Inter-war Football in Europe

It began around 1930 and ended in Europe with the start of WWII, 1937 to be precise when a generation of Brazilian soccer players rose to challenge Argentina and Uruguay, and a number of other great players were there on the ground.

The adrenaline rush came from Austria, Italy, Hungary, and the Czechs facing off in World Cups and the Mitropa Cup. Soccer enthusiasm was at its high. Even the POWs of war found a new way to protest against the aggressors; winning soccer matches against the invading teams. In South America, this period was a bit of a lull; only one edition of the South American Championship was played between 1929 to 1937. Brazil was playing okay but still behind other teams.

The teams of that era: Arsenal, Austria, Italy, Hungary, England, Juventus, Ferencvaros, Sparta Prague, Boca Juniors, River Plate.

The memorable players of that Era: Francisco Varallo, Raimundo Orsi, Matthias Sindelar, György Sárosi, Silvio Piola, Bernabé Ferreyra, Giuseppe Meazza, Cliff Bastin, Walter Nausch, Luis Monti, Michele Andreolo, František Plánička, Alex James, Oldřich Nejedlý.

Post WWII soccer era

Began in the late 30s with the onset of World War II and ended in the late 40s, Marked for the top talents from Argentina to Colombia, and the rise of a new generation of players in Europe and the transfer of talent from Scandinavia to Italy.

In Europe, this era was dominated by the lost legacies of potentially all-time great players. In England, a generation of major young talent (Lawton, Matthews, Carter) had made their way to the mainstream and had started making waves before the war interrupted proceedings. In Italy, this era was defined by the great Torino players.

The greatest teams of this Era: Independiente, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, Nacional, Torino, England, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, River Plate, Boca Junior, San Lorenzo.

Some of the players of this era that are still remembered were Arsenio Erico, Adolfo Pedernera, Leônidas da Silva, Tommy Lawton, René Pontoni, Rinaldo Martino, Raich Carter, Zizinho, Roberto Porta, Valentino Mazzola, Stanley Matthews, José Salomón, Domingos da Guia, Jose Manuel Moreno, Antonio Sastre.


These are not the only eras, there are many others. But these are the top eras and the history of soccer is incomplete without them.



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