Approximately two months ago, a miracle happened to the citizens of Vietnam. Something phenomenal that no one ever thought would happen. The Vietnam U23 football team placed second out of the 16 best Asian U23 teams in the AFC U23 Championship tournament. It is an incredible achievement that has never been done in the history of Vietnamese football. In the tournament, the U23 Vietnam team were considered underdogs and they were extremely underrated. U23 Vietnam defeated U23 Iraq, Qatar and, Australia and produced other great results in the tournament which led the team to the finals where they faced U23 Uzbekistan in the heavy snow. In the finals of the tournament, U23 Vietnam lost in the 119th minute (the last minute of extra time). When Uzbekistan scored in the last minute, millions of Vietnamese hearts were broken and tears were going down people's faces (including mine) because of how close U23 Vietnam was to bring the trophy back to the country. Even though the lads sadly lost, they were true heroes in Vietnamese people's hearts and put up an excellent fight under the snow. U23 Vietnam competed with pure confidence, solidarity and with a great fighting spirit and those three factors helped them make their impressive run in the competition. When outstanding results were produced, the Vietnamese people took it to the streets and they did something that has never been witnessed before. Across the whole country, there were millions and millions of motorbikes and cars with Vietnamese flags on them. People played the drums and different musical instruments to celebrate. There was traffic all over the country. From Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to Hanoi, people were celebrating everywhere. The tourists who visited the country were very surprised because they’ve never seen anything like that before and they also joined in to celebrate because of the amazing atmosphere. People celebrated U23 Vietnam’s success for two weeks straight and everyone continuously talked about their success and heavily admired them. Have you ever seen or experience, a “party” that lasts for 2 weeks?
No, of course not.
The only thing that can produce two weeks parties or “continuous storms” or make your emotions change rapidly is “The Beautiful Game”.
Also known as, football.
Football isn’t just a game, and it isn’t like any other sport. Out of all the sports, I strongly believe that football is the best amongst them all for multiple reasons. The U23 Vietnam example is just one of the many examples which proved why the game is the best game in the world.
Let’s just start by saying, the rules of the game are pretty simple. The aim of the game is to try to get the ball into the net without using your hand and also to defend your goal. If you get the ball to the opposite net means that you’ve scored a goal (Tansey). If we compare football rules to American football rules, American football rules are clearly more complicated which is why American football isn’t a global sport and it is only played in America since not everyone understands the rules. Basketball also has the same aim as football but the scoring system is pretty different. You don’t know how many points you score for your team even if the basketball goes through the hoop. Meanwhile in football, if you score one time means you score one goal. In comparison to other sports rules, football is the most simple and clear to understand which can be one of the reasons why people enjoy the sport more than other sports.
Besides the basic rules that everyone understands, football is also welcome to everyone and is a very open sport, unlike some other sports.
According to Bleacher Report,
All of the primary American professional sports require their athletes to be a certain age to play. For example, the NFL has a policy that players have to be three years out of high school before entering the NFL draft. In the NBA, players must be a year removed from high school before entering the draft. (Tansey)
To be a professional baseball player in the MLB, you must be at least 21 years of age to play the game (“First-Year Player”). In professional football, there is no age limit for players to be called to the first team. The management staff and the head coach will decide when a player is ready to head into the first team and then that player will make their first appearance for the club. Some examples of young players making debuts are: Raheem Sterling when he used to play for Liverpool and Luke Shaw when he used to play for Southampton. They both made their debuts at the age of 17. If Raheem and Luke Shaw were American football or basketball players, they would not be able to be called to the first team until the earliest at age 19 (Tansey). Unlike other sports, football welcomes everyone and gives opportunities to everyone around the world to show their talent. This is why football is played a lot and since there is no age limit, more people play the game and is not scared to show off their talent and skills.
In my opinion, the main reason why football captures a lot of people's attention is because football is an international sport. Other sports are only popular in one specific country or specific area of the world. Basketball is mostly played and is a very popular sport in the United States of America (“The NBA”). However, in Europe and Asia, it isn’t that popular and not a lot of people play it or watch it. Out of 48 Asian countries, only two countries voted for basketball to be their most popular sport (“Ranking the Popularity”). According to TotalSportek, “The Beautiful Game, as they call it, has fans in as east as Japan and as West as America but nowhere on earth is this game more popular than in Europe” (“25 World's Most”). This proves that football is the most popular sport and no other sports can surpass football's popularity in Europe. The same thing goes for hockey or baseball or Tennis or any other sports. If we compare football to other sports, football is the only sport that has an international tournament that lasts for one month. The Olympic Games is an international tournament, however, it focuses on a lot of sports whereas the World Cup focuses only on football. The World Cup features the best 32 national teams around the world and the tournament is hosted at one country. The World Cup is also the only event that reunites the whole world together and lets people show how patriotic they are how much they love their country. Furthermore, it’s a tournament where all the best athletes meet which explains why there’s a total of 3.5 billion people who are football fans and watches the tournament. In the World Cup, you can see different flags and parades and ceremonies and also the amazing atmosphere that the World Cup produces every once per four years. Since football has an international tournament, people all over the world can watch it and cheer for their country which explains why there are 3.5 billion football fans in the world. When there's no World Cup, football fans just watch and support their favorite club but when the World Cup time comes, it is a football fan's top priority and they will not miss it no matter what happens.
What is football without fans?
Football has the best fans in the world in comparison to any other sports.There are a total of 3.5 billion football fans in the world right now, more than any other sports (McGowan). One author believes that the passion is one thing everyone has for the beautiful game. It doesn't matter where you live or where you come from, the love and the passion for the game stays the same (Tansey). In 2014, Real Madrid played Manchester United in a friendly match in the United States and the attendance for that game was 109,000 approximately people (Ogden). The record breaking attendance for the Super Bowl was 103,667 in 1983 (Driscoll). The U23 Vietnam event which happened recently also showed that the Vietnamese citizens have massive respect for the team and love them truly. Vietnamese supporters showed their passion for the team by celebrating their success and welcoming them with lots of love when they returned to Vietnam. When the U23 Vietnam players arrived at the airport, a lot of fans who went to the airport just to greet them. It took them five hours to get from the airport to the center of the city in Hanoi when it normally takes about half an hour. Some fans even traveled to China just to watch the finals of the AFC U23 Championships even though it was snowing heavily and some unlucky fans got sick because of the weather. Attending games shows the love from the fans towards their favorite club and the record-breaking attendance example just showed how loyal and passionate football fans are. Football supporters will always attend games or watch the games on Television even under the extreme weather or when their schedule is packed. Football fans always show their passion, dedication and,loyalty towards their favorite team and these actions represents how “The Beautiful Game" has the best fans in sports.
Sports are something that a lot of people love watching and also playing. There are different types of sports that people play and watch. Some sports are more popular and well-known around the world than others. In my opinion, football is the definition of the best when it comes to sports. The rules of “The Beautiful Game" is easy to understand which is why football has a big advantage when it comes to the criterias to define the best sport in the world. Football is also open to anyone at anytime and the sport is welcome to anyone no matter the age which is why everyone loves the sport but in my opinion, the best reason why “The Beautiful Game" shows that it's the best sport in the world is because it's an international sport. Because football is an international sport, more people watch it around the world. The fans play a big part in football and without them, football would not be the amazing sport that we all know today. “The Beautiful Game" is the only sport that has qualities like these and other unique qualities that other sports do not have. Those qualities make football stand out amongst the others and proves why it is the best sport.