Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, boasting a widespread fan base across the entire globe. In the US, which has seen its fan base increasing, the men's Major League Soccer playoffs take place November through December when they come to a head for the MLS Cup. Attending the championships is something that any fan of Major League Soccer would enjoy. The National Women's Soccer League championships are held in the US in October.
While the MLS Cup is certainly a big deal for soccer fans in the United States, soccer's biggest global event is the World Cup, a prestigious, month-long soccer tournament that is held every four years and considered the cream of the crop as far as soccer tournaments go. This event, featuring all of the best national soccer teams on the planet, is held in June. Other major soccer competitions are the UEFA European Championship, or Euro, with national teams from across Europe competing, as well as Copa America, which crowns the best national team in South America.
The origins of soccer, a sport known as football outside of the United States of America, can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where sporting competition was revered. The game's current rules are based largely on a set of laws known as the Cambridge Rules, which first came into use in 1848. Though these rules were not universally adopted, many prestigious European Universities agreed to put them in place for their matches. The first comprehensive set of rules were produced by a group known as the Football Association in 1863. In 1914 the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed to govern all international matches in the sport.
In 1930 FIFA started the World Cup, a tournament that features the best national teams from across the globe. The World Cup has grown into what many sports fans consider to be the most popular and revered sporting event in the world. The tournament is held every four years and features the 32 best national teams in the sport.
Other high-profile soccer tournaments include Copa America, which began as the South American Football Championship in 1916; and UEFA European Championship, which was was founded in 1960 and is held every four years, in even years between the World Cup.
In the US, Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 in the United States. The National Women's Soccer League began as we know it in 2012. The FIFA Women's World Cup has been held every four years since 1991.
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