Portal:Association football

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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 maneuvering 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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Inside the City of Manchester Stadium
The City of Manchester Stadium is a sports venue in Manchester, England. Originally designed as part of Manchester's failed bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics, the stadium was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games at a cost of GB£110 million.

After the Games, it was converted for use as a football ground. This conversion involved removing the running track and installing it elsewhere and also adding 12,000 more seats. The operation cost over £35 million and took a year to complete before it became the home of Manchester City F.C., who moved there from Maine Road in 2003 signing a 250-year lease.

The stadium is bowl-shaped, with two tiers all the way around the ground and a third tier along the two side stands. As of 23 June 2007, it is the fifth largest stadium in the FA Premier League and tenth largest in the United Kingdom with a seating capacity of 47,726. On 4 October 2006 it was announced that the stadium will host the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.

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Credit: Flickr user Moazzam Brohi

Supporters of the Argentina national football team react as they are knocked out of the 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals by hosts Germany. La Selección, as the team is known locally, have won the World Cup on two occasions and the Copa América fourteen times. Players who have worn the national colours include Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa.

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Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Yazid Zidane (born 23 June 1972 in Marseille), popularly nicknamed Zizou, is a French former professional footballer. He played for club teams in France, Italy and Spain, and was a member of the French national team. His career accomplishments include helping France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, in addition to winning the 2002 UEFA Champions League as a galactico with Real Madrid.

One of only two three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winners, Zidane was also named the European Footballer of the Year in 1998. His abilities were further recognized in 2004 when he was included in Pelé's choice list of the world's greatest footballers and is widely considered as one of the best players ever. He retired from professional football after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

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Scotland highlighted on a map of the UK
The Scottish Football Association (also known as the SFA and The Scottish FA) is the governing body of football in Scotland and has the ultimate responsibility for the control and development of football in Scotland. Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations. It was formed in 1873, making it the second oldest national football association in the world.

The Scottish Football Association sits on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game. The SFA is also a member of FIFA and founder member of UEFA. It is based at Hampden Park in Glasgow. In addition, the Scottish Football Museum is located there.

The Scottish Football Association is responsible for the operation of the Scotland national football team, the annual Scottish Cup and several other duties important to the functioning of the game in Scotland.

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What else is there in life? Cricket is like watching paint dry. Tennis? Golf is a pain in the backside. The only game in town is soccer.

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