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The Association football Portal

Association football

Association football, or, in most countries just football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams each consisting of eleven players and is the most popular team sport in the world. It is a ball game played on a rectangular grass field (or occasionally on artificial turf) with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing team's goal. The predominant feature of the sport is that players other than the goalkeepers may not use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play. The winner is the team that has scored the most goals at the end of the match.

The sport is known by many names throughout the English-speaking world, although football is perhaps the most common. Other names, such as association football and soccer, are often used to distinguish the game from other codes of football, since the word football may refer to several quite different games.

The game is played at a professional level all over the world and millions of people regularly go to a football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst millions more avidly watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.

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Woolwich Arsenal v. Newcastle United, April 1906
Arsenal Football Club are an English professional football club based in Holloway, North London. They are one of the most successful clubs in English football, having won thirteen First Division and Premier League titles and ten FA Cups.

Arsenal were founded in 1886, though they won their first major trophies in the 1930s, with five League Championship titles and two FA Cups. After a lean period in the post-war years they became only the second club of the 20th century to win the Double in 1970–71, and during the past twenty years they have been one of the most successful clubs in English football — in this time Arsenal won two further Doubles, the Premier League in 2003–04 unbeaten, and in 2005–06 became the first London club to reach the UEFA Champions League final.

The club have appeared in a number of media "firsts" including being part of the first ever English League match to be broadcast live on radio in 1927 and contesting the first ever game to be televised live in 1937.

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The Bernabeu stadium, home of Real Madrid
Credit: en.wikipedia user Ed g2s

The Santiago Bernabéu is a football stadium in Madrid, Spain that seats over 80,000. It has been the home of Real Madrid since its opening in December 1947.

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Frank Barson with the FA Cup
Frank Barson (10 April 189113 September 1968) was an English footballer born in Grimesthorpe. He started life as a blacksmith, and began his football career with Sheffield amateur clubs Albion FC and Cammell Laird's before joining Barnsley in 1911. He went on to play for a number of clubs in English football including Manchester United and Aston Villa, with whom he won the FA Cup in 1920.

Barson was known as one of the most feared players of his era, and had a reputation as a "hard man" of English football. On frequent occasions Barson was escorted out of grounds by policemen to protect him from mobs of angry opposition fans and he was once banned from the game for seven months for a challenge in a match against Fulham.

He played up until the age of 39, eventually signing on as an amateur with Wigan Borough and his last ever appearance as a player was in a game against Accrington Stanley on Boxing Day 1930 in which he was sent off in the 83rd minute.

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Map of the world with countries belonging to the AFC marked
The 46 member Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of football in Asia, excluding Cyprus and Israel but including Australia. It was founded in 1954 in Manila, Philippines, and is one of FIFA's six Continental Confederations. With its main headquarters now located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the confederation is split into four regions to better administrate the continent.

The AFC organises the Asian Cup, the Asian World Cup Qualifying Tournament and the AFC Challenge Cup as well as overseeing the Asian Olympics Qualifying Tournament. In addition, the confederation also runs three levels of annual international club competitions. The most prestigious (and oldest of the current AFC club competitions) is the AFC Champions League tournament.

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Someone said "football is more important than life and death to you" and I said "Listen, it's more important than that."
Bill Shankly, 1981

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