Many people who come to the U.S. from other countries don’t understand why we call the most popular sport in the world “soccer” and have a completely different game called “football”. Indeed, American football players seem to very rarely use their feet when compared to soccer players. However, there are a few similarities between the two games. If American football is unfamiliar to you, these similarities may help you to appreciate it.

Believe it or not, American football and modern soccer have common goals that come from a common history. Both sports developed from games played in British schools in the 1800s. American football has some similarities to rugby, which also came from this time period. Though soccer players kick the ball to each other while American football players run with and pass the ball with their hands, both games have the goal of getting the ball into the opposing team’s end of the field to score points.

Children enjoy both soccer and American football with their friends, but at the professional level, both of these sports are major businesses that produce wealthy superstars. Top players become millionaires and are as well-known as famous actors or singers. They also associate with other kinds of celebrities. For example,  just like soccer’s David Beckham married pop singer Victoria Adams of the Spice Girls, American football player Tom Brady is married to international supermodel Gisele. Singer Jessica Simpson has dated more than one NFL (National Football League) player.

Finally, both sports have incredibly devoted fans who do crazy things to support their favorite teams. Perhaps this point can best be explained in pictures.

American football fans
American Football Fans
Soccer fans
Soccer Fans
Photos by Diamondduste & 3arabawy