Why Is Football Called Soccer?

door husband, committee, goalkeeper-606236.jpg

Why Is Football Called Soccer?

Football, soccer, and fútbol—three names for the same beautiful game. But why is football called soccer when it seems like the most logical name would be “football”? After all, the sport involves a lot of kicking with your foot!

Let’s look at why soccer has become the accepted term for what many call football. 

The Origin of ‘Soccer’ 

The word “soccer” first appeared in England in 1891 as an abbreviation of “association football.” The word was created by British university students looking for a way to differentiate between the two major types of football that were played at the time: association football (now known as soccer) and rugby football. Association football was considered a more refined version of the game, while rugby football was seen as far more physical and brutal.  

Americanization of Football 

In America, however, a different term was used to refer to association football—”football.” This led to confusion between American and British sports fans when discussing the sport internationally.

To avoid any possible misunderstandings or miscommunications, people eventually began referring to association football simply as “soccer”—a term everyone could agree on.  

Rise in Popularity 

Since its invention in 1891, soccer has been gaining more and more popularity worldwide. It is now one of the most beloved sports, with millions of people tuning into international matches every year.

Many countries have adopted their unique versions of soccer over the years—including beach and indoor soccer—which further highlights how popular this particular sport really is.


So there you have it: That’s why we call it “soccer” instead of “football.” Although this may seem strange at first glance, it makes perfect sense when considering its history and origin story. As long as people continue playing this wonderful sport around the world—and they surely will—the term “soccer” will remain firmly entrenched in our collective lexicon.