How to follow a football match (with pictures)

How to follow a football match (with pictures)
How to follow a football match (with pictures)

Football is the most popular sport in the world and the Men's World Cup is proving to be the most watched program on the planet. However, despite this praise, many people still find it difficult to follow and enjoy football matches. This state of affairs is partly due to a lack of understanding and the "ordinary" nature of football compared to other sports. That said, “the beautiful game” is accessible to everyone, and the drama, intrigue and excitement surrounding this discipline doesn't just come from the goals. You actually need to know exactly where to look for such emotions.


Part 1 of 3: Understanding the Rules

Watch Football (Soccer) Step 1

Step 1. Understand the basic structure of the game

Football is relatively a simple game with good rules. The objective is to score more goals than the opposing team by sending the ball to the back of the net. Each team is made up of 11 players who play together and defend against opposing attacks, but they cannot use their hands or arms to do so. Here are the main rules applied to football.

  • Each team has a goalkeeper who has the full right to use his hands to defend his goal, but only within the confines of the frame.
  • A goal is scored when the whole ball crosses the goal line and is in the frame.
  • Although light contact is allowed, a group of 3 referees intervene on the playing area to enforce the rules and ensure that the players are attempting to attack the ball and not the members of the other team.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 2

Step 2. Learn more about the length of a match

One of the things that confuses new football fans is the length of time. Unlike other sports, the clock does not count to 0, but rather to 90. The game is divided into two halves of 45 minutes each with a break of 10 to 15 minutes. Also, the clock never stops and the game only ends when the referee gives the final whistle (usually 2-3 consecutive whistles).

  • The game does not end unexpectedly. Continuity is very important in football and if the clock was constantly stopped, restarted and controlled like in American football or basketball, then the game would go on for ages.
  • The game does not always end in the 45th or 90th minute. Instead, the referee allows extra time to compensate for ball exits, goal scoring, substitutions, etc. This implies that the game can end in the 93rd minute. Most TV shows will show you the number of extra minutes that have been added to the corner of the screen, depending on whether half time or the end of the game is approaching.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 3

Step 3. Master the different parts of a soccer field

The football field is a simple rectangle. You'll find a few more brands, but the main ones are all intuitive and easy to understand.

  • The game begins in the central circle. The ball is placed in the center of the field and the starting team is required to pass it. Players of the other team cannot enter the circle until the ball has been touched.
  • The frame also called the penalty area or the surface is the rectangle that there is on each side of the field in front of the goals. The goalkeeper can only use his hands in this area.
  • The sidelines are the longest sides of the pitch. If the ball goes entirely beyond that line, then the last team to touch it returns it to the other for a touch.
  • The goal lines. These are the last two lines of the field. If the ball crosses this line and is on target, it is a goal. When he crosses the line, but is not on target, then it is a goal clearance or a corner kick, depending on who last touched the ball.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 4

Step 4. Learn to distinguish between what is a fault and what is not

We speak of a fault, when a player makes illegal contact on his opponent by pushing him, tackling him or striking him. However, there are several contacts that are never whistled. Determining what can be considered a foul and what is not is one of the most difficult things in football, as there are very few clear and crisp "infractions" (so to speak) in the game. football or basketball. The best way to judge a foul is to ask yourself if the player playing the ball i.e. did he make contact with the ball or did he foul the other player, pushing him / her. knocking / tackling for possession of the ball? FIFA determines the types of fouls, such as:

  • kicking or trying to kick an opponent;
  • pushing or trying to push an opponent;
  • jump or charge at an opponent;
  • knocking or attempting to do so;
  • hitting or trying to strike an opponent;
  • tripping or trying to trip an opponent;
  • spit on an opponent;
  • hold back an opponent;
  • take the ball with your hands.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 5

Step 5. Understand the offside rule

This rule is a source of consternation for many, but it is actually very simple. It simply states that a player cannot receive the ball from a teammate if they are behind the last defender. Here is an example to better illustrate what an offside is.

  • The American striker Alex Morgan passes in front of the defender, which allowed him to have as only obstacle between her and the goal, the goalkeeper.
  • Meghan Rapino, Alex's teammate who faces the defender Alex has just passed, passes the ball to him. Alex is in an irregular position and the referee blows his whistle to stop the action.
  • The only thing that complicates this rule is the speed of the game and several important adjustments made to it. However, it is so simple this rule.

    • If Alex does not touch or play the ball, being in an offside position, she is no longer in an offside position.
    • If Meghan passes the ball and Alex runs to get into an offside position to receive it, it is not in an illegal position. What matters here is where it is when the ball is passed, not where it receives it.
    • If Alex and Meghan are in their own half, then they cannot be offside under any circumstances.
    • You can also be offside on a hit or missed pass, if you receive the ball before someone else touches it. You cannot be considered in an offside position if an opponent passes or shoots the ball.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 6

Step 6. Realize that most infractions are punished with a free kick

If there is a foul or a player is offside, then play is restarted with a free kick awarded to the opposing team. No opponent must come 10 meters closer to the ball before the free kick is taken, after which normal play resumes.

  • If the ball crosses the side lines, it is put into play with a touch which must be taken with both hands above the head.
  • If an attacker misses the target and the ball crosses the last line, the goalkeeper gets relief. If, on the other hand, a defender takes the ball out in their own half of the field, the other team receives a corner kick.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 7

Step 7. Understand the difference between a yellow card and a red card

Essentially, a yellow card is a warning to tell the player that the foul committed was reckless, dangerous or excessive. However, a red card is a much more severe punishment, as it implies that the player is immediately sent off the pitch and his team is forced to play the rest of the game with a reduced squad.

  • Two yellow cards for the same player in the same game “always” imply a red card.
  • Some infractions, such as violent action, intentional fouling or the use of the hand to stop the ball or prevent an obvious goal, as well as insulting or threatening the referee are directly punished with a red card.

Part 2 of 3: Enjoying the Game

Watch Football (Soccer) Step 8

Step 1. Enjoy the pace of the game, not the goals

Football isn't synonymous with river scoring, but that doesn't mean the game isn't exciting. Football is all about rhythm: the exchanges between the two teams in their attempts to discover and attack the weak point of the other, while defending theirs. In football, it's more about tension and speed, sudden changes in pace and speed, than constantly scoring goals. It is very difficult to score goals, which makes every goal a great and special moment that took a long time to materialize.

  • See goals as the culmination of a long attack, as in a fierce battle in the front lines before one side manages to take the victorious step.
  • The more you learn about soccer, the more interesting it will become for you and the fun will go beyond that provided by incredible goals. Football is also creative, intense and fluid to be reduced simply to individual actions.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 9

Step 2. Pay attention to the different profile matches on the lawn

A football match is made up of hundreds of small challenges and individual challenges. It could be a winger trying to ridicule a defender or a scorer faking to win an aerial duel in the box. Most often, these individual fights determine the outcome of the entire game. For example, an attacker might find it difficult to get rid of his defender before the latter tackles the ball. However, if you notice that the latter starts by making more and more strikes as the game continues, you can assume that he is starting to gain the upper hand. All it takes is a goal for the outcome of the game to be decided.

Watch Football (Soccer) Step 10

Step 3. Understand the role and freedoms of each actor in the field

How does each player move around the pitch, attack and defend to help their team? What he does when his team does not have possession of the ball. This is where games are won and lost, as all 11 players have to work together, no matter where the ball is.

  • The defenders. Do they give opponents space or mark them in the panties? Do they stay close to their surface or do they rush to attack? A quick, offensive defender like Philip Lahm or DeAndre Yedlin is often the nicest player to watch on the pitch, tackling the ball to regain it and then move up the field. Weaker teams or defenders give attackers plenty of space and time, waiting for a second defender to come and help them instead of attacking on their own.
  • The environments. What are the players doing in the middle of the field? It is at this level that the pace of the game is decided and it is the most important position on the field, from a tactical point of view. Are they getting out of their own half too much or are they retreating too much? When they stay behind and wait for opportunities, they are more likely to help fill in the gaps left by the defense. Midfielders who dribble, attack and pass the ball a lot forward try to help the team score a goal, exposing their defense in the process and pressing on other teams to quickly respond to their attacks.
  • Attackers / goal scorers. Do they often look back to receive the ball and pass it forward at full speed? Do they wait in corners on the court, using size and speed to retrieve, turn and hit the ball? Do they move to the rhythm of the passes, often using movement and dribbling to get rid of defenders and gain space? An attacker plays to confuse defenders even when he doesn't have the ball, and these confrontations are often the most crucial.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 11

Step 4. Find out how teams create and delete spaces

Managing space in real time is the secret weapon of a good football team. Passes are not always made with the intention of scoring a goal. Rather, they are used to force the other team to move, move and adapt, potentially making a mistake and leaving an opening. The basic principle in football is to manipulate the other team to have space in front of the camp and to strike when you are on attack or to close the space so that the other team cannot evolve. when you are on defense.

  • Observe the number of balls which are passed to the players in full race. This is due to the fact that they move in the openings. They must recover the ball before the defender catches them, thus closing the space that was created.
  • Does a team close all spaces by placing defenders near their camp? This is a tactic used to prevent goals, especially when this team is leading the score. This option, however, may result in the defensive team being subjected to long shots.
  • Watch the defense of a great team like Italy to see how one team masterfully controls the management of space. You will notice that the players move together, eliminating the spaces in front of and behind them in the process.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 12

Step 5. Review the team lineups

Much like the defensive patterns in American football, soccer teams have general formations which greatly influence the style of play. The formations are written from the bottom up, without considering the goalkeeper. So a 4-4-2 would mean that there are 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 2 forwards or scorers.

  • The classic 4-4-2 formation is a solid and well-established strategy that has continued to be used for decades. However, it lacks creativity and is often used by teams with a defensive vocation or who practice a game of counterattack.
  • The formation of a team says a lot about its strategy. Has she positioned a striker and a solid midfielder? If so, then she aims to take control of the midfield and deploy the quick players into the spaces left at the sides. Did she place 5 defenders to protect the rear? Player positioning actually shows how the team intends to attack or defend.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 13

Step 6. Observe the style of play of a team

Your love for football will increase once you notice what teams or players are doing, but also the reason behind it. How do tactics, combinations and pace of play work together in a good team? How does she attack (more to the sides, going through the middle, doing long runs on the court?) And to what degree does that work for her? Do all of his passes go through one player or are all players touching the ball on the pitch?

  • It can help to observe how the best teams in the world play a harmonious and recognizable game. The Brazilian team are known for their speed, talent and speed. Italy are known for their slower play and rock-solid defense. The USA team play a fast, counterattack-based game and try to put their chances against better teams with quick attacks.
  • If you follow American sport a lot, then think of every attack as a game in football. While one American football team might focus on moving the ball around for efficiency and the other would be running, a football team might use the wings (sides) to attack and put players in the box. or a few players to build muscle and attack the middle. The only difference is that football matches are fluid and intense and players cannot choose to change action every 15 seconds, therefore the strategies are constantly evolving.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 14

Step 7. Enjoy the spectacle of a great game

There are great challenges marked by near-collisions, by technical virtuosity and by passionate players. In addition, the matches take place without commercial interruption and are rich in action. Tactics and substitutions are executed with great care. Big teams may not have scored when they should already be leading by 5 goals and underdogs can sneak up even after 85 minutes of constant pressing to score one.There are often 2 or 3 highlights in the middle of an intense football match, in which a lot of goals are not scored. We take better advantage of football in these conditions.

Watch Football (Soccer) Step 15

Step 8. Go to the stadium in person

The best way to become a football fan is to be in the stands. You can feel the rise and fall of fans' emotions, see the tactics of both teams fall into place throughout the game and you will also learn some great songs in the process. As with other sports, it's much better to enjoy the show in person, as you can genuinely get blown away by the game.

Part 3 of 3: Finding Great Matches To Watch

Watch Football (Soccer) Step 16

Step 1. Follow soccer games all year round as you move from league to league and competition to competition

There are soccer matches all year round, given that there are so many different leagues, competitions and teams out there, so you can almost always be sure of getting a good match. Although the availability of certain matches will depend on your location and your TV provider, it is getting easier and easier to follow your favorite teams online. What's more, the scale of the sport means that almost every country or region has a team.

  • If you want to follow a game, but cannot find it on television, search for the game in question and its date, then add the word "streaming" to your internet browser. Several football blogs will offer several ways to follow the match.
  • Follow the evolution of your local teams, including semi-professional teams. Just like in baseball, football players or teams can move down or up in the rankings from season to season and even become great national teams after several years. Leagues and rankings are changing and the size of the international market is synonymous with frequent player changes.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 17

Step 2. Find the national league that is current

Almost every country on the planet has a soccer championship and although most of them are played during the winter, several are scheduled to make way for international competitions which are held later in the year. These teams are commonly referred to as clubs.

  • The English Premier League, generally considered the best league in the world, takes place between late August and early May. Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 which are the other major leagues in Europe are held in a similar time frame.
  • MLS (Major League Soccer), the American league, takes place between March and October. La Liga MX which is the Mexican championship is held both in summer and in winter.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 18

Step 3. Choose a team or league to follow to inquire about scores

All sports are more fun when you support someone. Choose a club or league based on your personal taste. It could be your hometown, your favorite player, or just a great team. Each championship has its own subtleties, peculiarities and facets.

  • The English Premier League is the favorite league of all the great players, because it is also the richest league. The game is interesting, tactical and fast. In addition, there are several clubs which can participate in any competition.
  • Spanish La Liga is spectacular and fast. The players are technical and the game is beautiful. Also, the best clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid are among the best in the world every year.
  • The German Bundesliga is technical and physical and produces many of the best players in the world. It is perhaps less followed than the other European leagues, but it presents a superb quality of play.
  • As for the MLS, it is a young championship that is developing very quickly. It is based on the physique and is made up of promising young players.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 19

Step 4. Pay attention to major club tournaments

Almost all the championships in the world do not play the playoffs. Instead, points are awarded for each game and the club with the highest total wins the championship. However, there are several major tournaments that clubs can participate in each year and it is during these tournaments that you can enjoy the best game ever.

  • The Champions League is a competition which takes place between the best European clubs. It takes place during summer and winter and the final takes place in May.
  • The FA Cup is a tournament which takes place between professional and semi-professional teams from England, regardless of club rankings.
  • Every continent has a cut like this. In Latin America, it is called "Copa Libertadores", but the European version is the most followed.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 20

Step 5. Follow the matches of your national team during the planetary competitions

A national team is only made up of the citizens of the country, and these kinds of teams play in the biggest competitions in the world like the World Cup. International matches are played in the summer and include a series of qualifying matches and tournaments, the main one being the World Cup which is played every 4 years.

  • Friendly matches are games that are not too important, but are essential in building a team, choosing players and defining strategies. Since most of the players leave their countries to play for their clubs during the season, these matches are very important for the coaches.
  • Qualifications for major competitions such as the Gold Cup, the World Cup and the Confederations Cup are held annually. These important matches determine, definitively, the 32 nations which will participate in the World Cup.
  • The competitions are the main events that every national team expects. Winning some of the events like the Gold Cup automatically qualifies you for the World Cup which is the ultimate competition in soccer.
Watch Football (Soccer) Step 21

Step 6. Follow blogs, your teams and other accounts to be informed of upcoming games

There are so many football games on TV at any given time that it's really hard not to find something worth seeing. However, this wealth of information could prove overwhelming, especially for new hobbyists. If you don't have a squad or can't decide what to watch, the Premier League is the best choice for you. It is held between August and May and all matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays, which makes it easy to take a seat and enjoy a good game even if you are not up to date with the schedule.


  • The best way to enjoy football is to watch the best show. The World Cup, the Olympics and the English Premier League are a great start.
  • Listen to commentary and watch the halftime shows to learn more about tactics and strategies. It makes the game more exciting.

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