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Football vs Futbol

Every four years the World Cup is held, and every four years, Americans everywhere ask exactly why we’re supposed to care about soccer.  As somebody that avidly watches football but played soccer for more than a decade, I feel uniquely qualified to compare some of the major differences and decide which sport is truly the best.  Let us begin.


Shoulder Pads for Football

Imagine wearing this and a helmet for 3 hours

Football players wear helmets, shoulder pads, flack jackets, knee pads, thigh pads, mouth guards, gloves, forearm pads…the list goes on.

Soccer players wear shin guards and soccer goalkeeper jerseys.
That’s it.  People can pick on soccer players for being weak sissies, but they don’t run around wearing 40 pounds of Kevlar body armor.  This one goes to Futbol.

Game Length

The clock on a football game may say 60 minutes, but anybody that’s watched a game knows that it’s more like a 3 hour engagement.  Between commercials, time outs, half-time, penalties, instant replay, injuries, and huddles, what is supposed to be a 1 hour game quickly balloons – and that’s just during the regular season.  In soccer, the clock never stops.  If you’re injured they get you off the field as soon as possible, teams only get three substitutions per game, and there are no time outs.  Any time that’s wasted is just added on to the end of the clock so that a game lasts only 90 minutes.  Futbol wins on this one.

Instant Replay

Ref under the hood for Instant Replay

At least he’s getting it right

While Instant Replay in football does add to the length of the game, it also lends to getting the calls right.  While there will always be room for human error, having the ability to slow down video to review certainly cuts down on the number of calls that are wrong and change the outcome of games.  While soccer doesn’t currently have Instant Replay, this past World Cup and several blown calls during it, are causing there to be more and more calls for some sort of technology to help the refs get the calls right.  This one goes to Football.


Brandi Chastain celebrating

This will not draw a yellow flag

Doing much beyond spiking the ball in the end zone will draw a penalty flag and probably a fine in the NFL.  The days of Emmitt Smith taking off his helmet after every touchdown are long gone, and that’s a shame.  While football may be the “ultimate team sport”, America has always celebrated individual excellence.

On the other hand, in soccer, celebrations often involve tumbling, piling on, dancing, and sometimes stripping.  If you’re not celebrating a goal in soccer it’s because you accidentally scored on your own team.  I think we can all agree that Futbol wins this one.

Biggest Game

Super Bowl

At least it happens every year

Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial holiday in the US.  The pomp, the circumstance, the pageantry, we love watching football’s biggest game every year.  The World Cup is arguably bigger, with 32 teams being invited to compete in a tournament that results in one team, one country, being crowned World Beaters.  The Super Bowl only lasts one day, while the World Cup lasts an entire month.  That being said, I’m giving this one to Football as the Super Bowl happens every year, and the World Cup once every four.

Annoying Fans

Steelers Fans with Terrible Towels

At least they’re not rioting

Every sport has annoying fans.  Football has several teams that have cities known for obnoxious fans.  The Steelers and the Terrible Towels, anybody that’s ever rooted for the Cowboys, the Black Hole of the Raiders (though the Raiders themselves could be called a black hole) – football fans can obnoxious at best, and mind blowingly annoying at worst.

Soccer has hooligans.  Rioting when they win or lose, hooligans destroy property, get in fights, and make a general nuisance of themselves.  They give the sport a bad name and embarass themselves and those around them.  While part of me wants to call this one a tie with both sports losing, I think I’ll give it to Football as we don’t really hear too much about hooligan activity accept around championship games.


Tom Brady and David Beckham

International Superstars

Every sport has superstars, faces of the sport that everybody knows whether they follow the sport or not.  For football that star is Tom Brady.  The Patriot’s quarterback is known around the world thanks to modeling he does for several clothing lines, not to mention his marriage to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

David Beckham is the Tom Brady of soccer.  With a movie named for him (“Bend it Like Beckham” starring Kiera Knightly), a high-profile marriage to former Spice Girl Victoria “Posh Spice” Adams, standing as a fashion icon, and being the face for several international fashion ads, there are few people in the world that aren’t aware of who David Beckham is.

We’ll call this one a tie, with both Futbol and Football having huge international superstars.  Looks like we’re going to a tie-breaker.

Tie-Breaker:  Women

Futbol WAGS

Makes you want to get on the pitch don’t it

Football has cheerleaders.  While they’re great to look at and are often featured in calendars and make appearances at charity events, there’s one thing that Futbol has that Football hasn’t yet embraced.  WAGS.  Wives And Girlfriends of Soccer Players have become an institution in soccer, particularly in English soccer.

Often models, actresses, a combination thereof, and almost always in the tabloids, WAGS present much the same appeal as cheerleaders, accept they are far more in the public eye.  This one goes to Futbol as does the game.

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  1. Pingback: The Sports Service: Football Vs Futbol Which is better

  2. where has this "futbal" thing came about? It was named football in the UK before any Spanish or whoever came along AND before american football came along.

    • we have a funny accent. specially in the north where we like football too. deal with it.

  3. This guy does not live in the USA because he is wrong about football. Many of his uniform objects are optional like gloves and flack jackets. Football players also can celebrate a lot. Taking off your helmet is certainly not a foul. No one promised the game to be 1 hour. On TV it says (ex.) 1-4 not 1-2. The uniform is also only 5-8 LBS at most. LEARN YOUR STUFF BEFORE YOU GO MAKING UNINFORMED KIDS THINK FOOTBALL SUCKS!

  4. SuperBowl v WORLD CUP?

    NFL v Premier League, La Liga, Bundeliga, Seire A.

    wrond comparison mate

  5. Sorry dude but you are so way off the mark here. Football was invented in England in 1863 – that was during the American Civil War.

    What has the world cup got to do with Biggest Game ??? Even the European Chamions League (every year) is 3 x bigger than the superbowl (American Football = 400 million Fans – Real Football = 3.5 BILLION fans_ – the Champions league is far greater skill and supported WAY more than the Super Bowl – get your facts right brosif ;)

    • "Real Football" are you f-ing kidding me "brosif"(you must be a marine). Riddle me this, if soccer is so great, why do Super Bowl ads cost more than ads run during ANY soccer game? And where you get your fan numbers from anyways? have you personally asked everyone in the world what sport they like to watch? Lastly, if soccer is so great, why is attendance at games significantly less than football games (http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/01/04/nfl-maintains-massive-lead-in-attendance)?

      • I totally agree. Money totally represents quality… which is why anyone who says Twilight isn't one of the greatest films ever made is a total f-ing moron.

  6. RE: International starts. You got this wrong AGAIAN. NO -ONE knows or cars abouyt American Football players outside of America., so of course you cannot call them international stars. the fact that you even mention the likes of David Beckham shows the error in your reporting as he is English. I could name 20 INTERNATIONAL super stars right now from Real Football. I can probably name 3 or 4 American Football stars – and I live in America ffs lol

    • Yeah, dude, I couldn't name ONE soccer "star". Face it, in a few more decades, soccer will be dead, with Good Football reigning as the world's greatest sport.

  7. WAGS is not a tie – Cheerleaders are far hotter than skanky Wags – so I give that one to American football ;)

    • Cheerleaders aren't WAGs.

      WAG stands for Wives and Girlfriends, not random women who are picked for their hotness to stand around the pitch.

      • sorry my reply was meant to be to Jay’s response to the comment above this. On the subject of WAGS ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!? Have you ever SEEN most of the Cheerleaders and american football wives with their inch think layers of makeup?? Theres no comparison! Hell most of the female FANS of international soccer are WAY hotter than the cheerleaders we’ve got over here in the US.

    • Gotta agree with Charlie here. As an American I can say with full confidence that outside of fans of the sport(of which I am one) there are a lot of people IN THIS COUNTRY that couldnt tell you who the “superstars” of the sport are. This is certainly not true of soccer where, even if you live half way around the globe and dont follow the sport that closely you probably know who the top guys in the EPL and La Liga are.

  8. who the hell is Tom brady? I'm from asia, and no one here knows who is tom brady. But everyone here knows who is David Beckham. Asia is 2/3 the world pops by the way.

  9. Stupid as hell. What the hell is futbol? You Americans are so stupid, inventing up words and changing sports and spelling things wrong.

    Soccer is football, that's it.

    • Hey you british twat, don't make me come over the pond and kick your f^cked up brit teeth down your f^cking throat. The fact that you lump all americans together shows how truely stupid you are, WERE THE MOST DIVERSE COUNTRY ON THE PLANET, DIP SH!T. BTW the reason someone came up with futbol is so American Football will stop being confused with that sissy sh!t you like to call football. soccer is lame, get over it.

  10. Yeah, Once you're pansy ass soccer players decide to stop taking dives and crying when their nudged of the ball you can tell me soccer is better than football.

  11. Zach, if soccer players had as much safety equipment as football players, they wouldn't "cry" as much… And did you know that a soccer player takes more damage to his head than a boxer?

    • and youd have to be a bad boxer to take that many hits to the head

    • yea just because we can take a hit you cant with out wearing 5 pounds of gear and we can and anyways football has no emotion to the game like there is in soccer

      • just because we don't burn the city down after a game dosn't mean there's no emotion. I'm proving it right now wanting to beat your ass for being so ignorant. you can take a hit? than why do you pussies fall down over being tapped by another player. Where I come from, we call that pussy. If a linebacker hit you, without pads, you wouldn't need to fake anything, you'd be drinking your food for the rest of your life.

    • they also take more shots in the mouth

  12. Yeah… That's true, Zach.

    Soccer players are pretty much pussies.

    • nfl players wear alot of SHIT to not get hurt right? seems like nfl players are the pussys

      well you tried

  13. Wow this is a bad comparison

  14. oh and comparing Brady to Beckham? please don't make me laugh. That's like comparing the King of Morocco to the President of the U.S.A.

  15. What's "futbol"?

    And American football players do not even come close to matching the fame of REAL football players around the world. The US is one country… Not the world, as some of you seem to believe. They might be famous their, but the rest of us haven't got a clue who they are. The only (former) American football player I know of is OJ Simpson. I've never even heard of the dude who you compared to Beckham, and I'm pretty sure that most of the world will agree.

  16. *there

  17. if american football players played without pads it would be a lot more entertaining and more skill would be needed. i'm tired of seeing brutes smacking into each other in the NFL. So rugby is the better option.

    soccer aka football is still the best there is

  18. american football clearly isn't football, its a rare occasion the ball actually touches the players foot, it think real actual football, yes the one that you have to touch the ball with your foot and not with your hand, is more deserved of the name football and not this futbol thing, american football is just rugby with pads on

  19. American football = Handegg.

    "Soccer" = FOOTball.

  20. Alright, here are my problems:

    Equipment: "People can pick on soccer players for being weak sissies, but they don’t run around wearing 40 pounds of kevlar body armor. This one goes to Futbol."

    So BECAUSE Soccer players don't need much of any equipment, they are "not sissies"? Total BS. Football is a real cutthroat sport where people charge into each other at full speed, so they need those so they don't die.

    Soccer, not so much. Since it's mostly a bunch of sissies playing it, they can get away with a couple things.

    Also, football players have all that armor yet still sprint around the field making it that much better. So it's pretty clear that Football wins.

    Game Length: Clearly someone hasn't watched too much of that World Cup, eh? Ever notice how it goes past those 90 minutes because they add on time for several things such as offsides callings, ball going out of bounds, etc. because they don't stop the clock. At least in REAL football, when the clock hits 0 in the last quarter, and the scores aren't equal, you know it's over.

    I'll agree with you on the celebration. They've gotten too strict.

    Hm… So it looks to me like actually soccer loses. Interesting how proper judgment will always point to real, hardcore, AMERICAN Football.

    That is all.

    • Actually, I got to agree with you on that… Soccer players really are sissies.

    • yourarticlesuks says:

      agreed, this article is total shite

    • Yea, try telling that to the rest of the world Usa Population = 4.5% of world population, to put it simple You are outnumbered. I think the other 6 billion of us have got it right. (BTW i live in America aswell. Im not saying American Fooball isnt good, cause its a great sport, but I think Soccer is better)

  21. agreed with everything accept international superstars david beckham is a billion times more famous then tom brady

  22. Pele Beckham says:

    the only reason why soccer is the number 1 sport in the world is because you can be dirt poor and still play it. kick a can between two trees and call it soccer.

    ive only heard of two soccer players, beckham and pele. they have no greats in their sport. theres not much skill needed in soccer. its mostly luck. thats why they celebrate so much when they make a goal, they are surprised they actually fucking scored!

    and u soccer fags always talk about stamina , oh the constant running is tough! lol so youre saying a guy who runs cross country marathons is tougher than mike tyson? hmmmm i think id rather fight the marathon guy. even now tyson is a fatass he'd still whip the shit out of every single soccer player on earth. FACT!

  23. purley biased says:

    now in all fairness rugby is a much harder game than yankeball padded players as they charge into each other WITHOUT kevelar.

    know im off track but still, ruby isnt realy in america.

    soccer is more fun because there are very few rules.

    also soccer isntt a puusy game if you play it on tarmac with a bunch of lad raring for a fight.

    sorry yanke ball just dont cut any ice with me as we play full contact rugby aswell.

    dont bother replyong trying to refute me as im to biased.

    note im baised only in this matter against americans

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  26. Dave McGraw says:

    Its FITBAW(L) not Futbol you stupid Americans, after all these years, the Yanks still simply cannot grasp the English language…

    Tricky language English until you get the hang of it!

  27. First off, Soccer players suffer equally as much from injuries as football player, so sorry, not sissies, unless their bones just break easier. Secondly, the amount of stamina involved in staying running full speed for 90 minutes of a game is incredible, and with only 3 subs, every player is expected to be able to do it!

    Also, to the guy who said scoring in soccer is luck, you obviously have never watched a soccer game. Or looked up history. How many teams have won a world cup? If its just luck how come only Europeans and South Americans have ever won a world cup? You would think someone else might eventually win it, no? I mean seeing as its just luck….

  28. impossible to compare american football with real football. NFL use hand while REAL FOOTBALL use leg. You should compared american football to RUGBY. RUGBY is way better than FUTBALL…BS

  29. I’m American, and that comparison was atrocious. I can’t imagine anyone outside of the US knowing who Brady is; he’s barely even a media whore in the States. Furthermore, whoever wrote this is an idiot. While I do love the sport, there is no defending “football” (handegg) on an international stage.

  30. yourarticlesuks says:

    this was an incredibly stupid article, you were almost wrong on all counts. I am a lover of both sports so I will correctly judge.

    Equipment goes to football BECAUSE they have that extra 40 pounds, footballers get the shit knocked out of them, in futbol some sissy players tumble when their elbows get knocked.
    Game length is a tie, more time for football but less commercials for futbol
    Celebrations goes to futbol because countries/cities go nuts if their team wins. Example: Spain win for world cup vs Steelers superbowl
    Instant reply–>WTF? it makes football more fair, but horrible calls make futbol so exciting
    Biggest Game–how could you give it to football, sure, i see the superbowl every year but the world cup gets more views than anything else
    Superstars–tie, who cares about celebrities anyway, you shallow people
    Annoying fans–hooligans beat football enemy teams any day of the week
    Women–you deny cheerleaders, yur a wuss

  31. You Know It ! says:

    You forgot one very important item:

    Football – manly
    Futbol – gay

  32. Look at it this way;
    Beckham internationally recognised superstar, brady’s wife is more famous in England than he is.
    You’re arguement about why the advertisements before superbowl are more expensive than any other countries is ridiculous. The only other countries in the world where the economy is large enough to produce those prices IE. Britain and other large European countries show the game on their versions of the BBC which as a channel does not have adverts.
    You realise that hooliganism has pretty much died out in world football dont you? The only examples of hooliganism on any kind of large scale is in Poland and thats more a politcal thing than anything else.
    Maybe try researching your articles before you write them

  33. Anonymous says:

    American football can never ever ever match up to real football no matter what. And the person who did this is obviously am american who is bias towards american football