In order to understand or explain the difference between football and soccer, a person needs to firstly start from a geographical point of view. In the United States of America, football is the term used for American football or the game similar to rugby whilst soccer is used to refer to what the rest of the world sees as football. So, the difference in the US is that these two games are completely different sports.
However, in the rest of world football refers to Association Football or the game played by 22 players and the sport that Americans refer to as soccer. Therefore, to ask someone from the rest of the world if there is a difference, they might tell you that there truly isn’t since for them, it is the same sport. However, people nowadays now – due to globalization – that Americans refer to football as soccer so they will probably understand the question.
The Origins of the Terms
Worldwide, football (by the way, here are the football betting predictions) is what Americans deem as soccer but why do they call it soccer in the US if the rest of the world calls it football?
In order to answer this question, let’s explain the origin of world football. Football is actually a shorter version of the original name called “Association Football”. This name has been created in England in 1863 in order to distinguish the name from Rugby Football and similar games including the term football.
As for the term soccer, it isn’t clear how it originated but it is most likely a derivative of the original term. For example, rugby football is also called rugger.
The American Way
In the USA American football has been created and they started calling it plainly football. In order to distinguish between American football, e.g. football, and football as the rest of the world sees it, the Americans used the term soccer. This is also because soccer hasn’t been popular in the US until recently and it is still not as popular as other sports. Therefore, it was logical for them to call American football as plain football and football as soccer.
The term soccer is used in the US but it is also understood throughout the world. However, some people in the UK may get offended if someone calls football soccer since football is their invention and they might feel like the Americans are trying to steal their name.