Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the entire world. Unlike other sports like American football, hockey, or golf, you do not need a plethora of equipment to play soccer – all you need is some land and a ball. Soccer is a game of the people, open to anyone who wants to play, a global sport where we all unite on the pitch.
There are telltale signs indicating a growth in the popularity of soccer inside the U.S.: the growth of the Premier League and the expansion of the Major League Soccer to new cities. And while the U.S. is making commendable progress when it comes to soccer, it still lags when compared to European and South American training programs. It’s not hard to see why. Parents and youths have been living and breathing soccer for generations, and the U.S. has just had its first taste.
Playing alongside other top youth players and learning from the best trainers in the best facilities the sport has to offer taps into the hidden potential of players.
Here are some the top soccer cultures found throughout the world and produce the best soccer players that we have ever seen.
Germany has four World Cup trophies under its belt, and the German team is the defending champion from the 2014 World Cup. Unlike many other nations, Germany does not rely on any one single player to lead them to success. Rather, they focus on strengthening their entire squad. From their top strikers all the way across to their goal keeper, they are a fortified and incredibly disciplined team that are hard to dispossess and difficult to break through.
The German people are known for their efficiency and discipline, and their soccer is no exception to that rule. They play a hard-working style, which focuses on endurance and precise positioning, that makes them top contenders at any tournament they enter. Any player is rarely out of position and the team’s positional structure is as rigid as steel. Improvisation is rarely utilized because every player must know where the next will be in order for their attack and defense to work. In recent years they have perfected the counter-attack in which they soak up attacking pressure from the opposing side and release all of that energy in an efficient attack, which is how they scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup.
No one controls the midfield quite like the Spanish team. Having won two consecutive Euro Cups in 2008 and 2012, and one World Cup in between (2010), their intricate style of tiki-taka was one that simply could not be beat and were considered the best footballing side in all of history, according to some. Tiki-taka is a style of play which relies heavily on precision passing and possession to keep defenses running, thus, tiring them out as the game goes on. This means that each one of their players must be master passers in order to not lose the ball and keep pressure on the opponent’s defense. Their reliance on a false no. 9, a midfielder who’ll occasionally play up front with the strikers, confuses defenses and allows Spain to score almost at will.
The soccer in Spain dominates possession against any side. With master architects like Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, and Cesc Fabregas, they were an unbeatable team and continue their reign. Spain continues to be a threat in the midfield and out-possess any team.
Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, and David Beckham are just a few of the English names that pop up into everyone’s head when they think of English legends.
English soccer is home to the some of the best teams in Europe: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, and more! Each with their own unique history.
History is something to which supporters and players cling as a part of their identity and as a way to transcend the barrier between team and supporter. Soccer history and England are entwined as the sport’s origin is traced back to England.
Inside of the England soccer camps, players are taught to play in two ways. Some play a fast attack and rely on attack-minded players, no matter their position. Pressuring teams from down the middle and outpacing them down the wings to expose and take advantage of their weakness. The other is to form a solid line of defense that makes it difficult for even the best teams to penetrate. The best teams can do both.
There is no such thing as an easy game in English football. Many European countries have one or two teams that are guaranteed to win every single year, but there are no guaranteed victories in the Premier League. Every win must be fought for; it is often referred to as the most competitive league in the world.
As it is the most competitive, it attracts the best players each country has to offer. In fact, many Premier League teams are the epitome of a melting pot having signed their players from countries all around the world.
- It doesn’t matter whether you call it fußball, futbol, football, calcio, futebol, or soccer: we all play the same game. Travel to our academy destinations if you want to unlock your potential and become a great soccer player!
No team is more fashionable than the Italians. But their slick royal blue jerseys and fashionable hairstyles are not just for show, they have the talent to back it up. The history and culture of soccer, or calcio as the Italians call it, can be traced back hundreds of years into Italian history.
Legendary players like Pirlo, Totti, and Buffon are the epitome of class and precision. When Italians come to play, they play with tremendous dedication while cooly controlling the pace of the game with their traditional strong focus on defense. The style is called catenaccio, meaning “door-bolt” which tells you everything you need to know.
It assumes a highly organized back line which breaks apart the opposing team’s passes into the final third of the pitch. Once possession is on the Italian side, they rely on a fast counter-attack to stun the opposition’s defenders when they least expect it. Italians have the ability to add unnatural precision to their long passes and is how they are able to create such strong counter-attacks. Why go through the midfield when you can simply pass the ball above them?
Set pieces – things like free kicks and corner kicks – are something on which they rely as well and practice thoroughly in the Italy soccer camps. They are able to deliver passes that lie just outside the reach of defenders and land right on the foot or head of an attacking Italian.
There have only been a total of 20 World Cups ever played since the inaugural tournament in 1930. One-quarter of them (5) have been won by Brazil alone. With names like Pele, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho – all of whom contributed to their country’s World Cup success – it’s not hard to see why Brazil is often considered to be the best footballing nation in the world.
Brazilians live and breathe soccer, futebol as it’s known to them. Nearly every child has a ball at their feet before they can even walk, and start to learn the fundamentals at a very young age. Additionally, they see it in their family and in the streets of their neighborhood from sunrise to sunset. Many Brazilian youths have a dream to become top players like their idols Pele, Ronaldinho, and Neymar.
Brazilian soccer is as fluid and improvised as it gets. Nearly every player on the squad knows how to control the ball as to appear they have instilled their will onto the ball. Fancy footwork, and ambiguous positions make the Brazilian team one of the world’s best.
It doesn’t matter whether you call it fußball, futbol, football, calcio, futebol, or soccer: we all play the same game. Travel to our academy destinations if you want to unlock your potential and become a great soccer player!
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