Opinion: Soccer or Fútbol? Or Tchatali?


“Soccer” or “fútbol”? It’s a question that has been debated around the world for years. Most people on the planet prefer “fútbol.”  But there is more to the history of both names — and the sport itself.

I  looked into the origin of the game and found that some believe the sport started around 2000 years ago with the Aztecs. They called it “Tchatali.” Tchatali was a religious game in which the ball symbolized the sun and the captain of the losing team would be sacrificed to the gods. Another interesting thing: the ball was made of rubber whereas no other early culture had access to rubber.  We may never know exactly when the game was created. 

But that is not the most  interesting part.

The interesting part is that professional soccer has been around in England since the 1800s. Yes, you heard me. Soccer in England. The word “soccer” is actually a British invention that British people stopped using only 40 years ago.  The reason this is so important is that technically speaking futbol/soccer ‘s invention (in its current form) is credited to England.The reason why I say “in its current form” is because the game Tchatali couldn’t have been the exact version of the game that is played today. As you can probably guess though, Tchatali is not the only form of the game with a ball. Another game, in China during the third and second century B.C.E., was Cuju. Cuju involved kicking around a leather ball on a square area. Another new or modified version of this game was spread to another part of Asia. In Japan it was called Kemari and was played during ceremonies. One last ball game (although there were many more) took place in Ancient Rome. Although the ball games were not as known and did not take place in big arenas, this game was brought to  the island of Britannica. Unfortunately, I could not find to what degree the British used or created different versions.   I have said all this to back up my opinion on whether this great game is called “soccer” or “futbol.”  In my opinion and in its current form it’s called “soccer.” The English named it “soccer” in the 19th century and they are credited with the invention of the game.