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Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of 11 players. It is played by approximately 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal, usually within a time frame of 90 or more minutes.

Football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The ball is 68–70 cm (27–28 in) in circumference and known as the football. The two teams compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Players may use any other part of their body to strike or pass the ball, and mainly use their feet. The team that scores more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to represent their team in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.

Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for men and women every four years. The men's FIFA World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were cancelled due to World War II. Approximately 190–200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament is held every four years and involves 32 national teams competing over four weeks. It is the most prestigious men's football tournament in the world, and the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. Similarly, the FIFA Women's World Cup has been played every four years since 1991, though football has been played by women since it has existed. A record-breaking 1.12 billion viewers watched the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. (Full article...)

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Scottish national team supporters - The Tartan Army
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872.

Some of Scotland's most famous results include defeating the World Cup holders England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967, and defeating tournament finalists the Netherlands 3–2 in the 1978 World Cup, with Archie Gemmill scoring a famous goal. In 2006 and 2007 Scotland enjoyed back to back victories against France, defeating the World Cup finalists 1–0 on both occasions.

Traditionally England have been Scotland's fiercest rivals, competing in the British Home Championship between 1883 and 1984, though in recent times senior level fixtures between the teams have become uncommon. (Full article...)

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Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]; born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine footballer of Italian descent who plays for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".

Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona. He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys' youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign. (Full article...)

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The Brazilian Football Confederation (Portuguese: Confederação Brasileira de Futebol; CBF) is the governing body of football in Brazil. It was founded on June 8, 1914, as Federação Brasileira de Sports [pt], and renamed to Confederação Brasileira de Desportos in 1916. The football confederation, as known today, separated from other sports associations on September 24, 1979. Between 1914 and 1979 it was the governing body, or at least the international reference, for other olympic sports, such as tennis (until the CBT was founded in 1955), athletics (until the CBAt was founded in 1977), handball (until 1979), swimming and waterpolo. It currently has the most wins on FIFA world cups, with a total of five.

The CBF has its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The confederation owns a training center, named Granja Comary, located in Teresópolis. (Full article...)

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Omar Hammadi Stadium in Bab-El-Oued, Algiers, Algeria. Home to USM Alger and Paradou AC of the Algerian Championnat National

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Of course I didn't take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present, it was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves. — Bill Shankly
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The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which had won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition, the first as a unified country (the other was in 1974 in West Germany), and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.

Italy won the tournament, claiming their fourth World Cup title. They defeated France 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out in the final, after extra time had finished in a 1–1 draw. Germany defeated Portugal 3–1 to finish in third place. Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Trinidad and Tobago, and Togo made their first appearances in the finals. It was also the only appearance of Serbia and Montenegro under that name; they had previously appeared in 1998 as Yugoslavia. In late May 2006, immediately prior to the tournament, Montenegro voted in a referendum to become an independent nation and dissolve the loose confederacy then existing between it and Serbia, with Serbia recognizing the results of the referendum in early June. Due to time constraints, FIFA had Serbia and Montenegro play in the World Cup tournament as one team, marking the first instance of multiple sovereign nations competing as one team in a major football tournament since UEFA Euro 1992. (Full article...)

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UEFA club competition winning managers, Lists of
European Cup and UEFA Champions League
UEFA Cup
UEFA Super Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
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