History Of Soccer Research Paper Topics

Produced by Students at Duke University in the Fall of 2009 and the Fall of 2013

These pages were originally written by students in Duke’s “World Cup and World Politics” class taught by Professor Laurent Dubois during the Fall term of 2009. The students all initially wrote individual research papers, and based on these papers we formed groups around the topics below. They then collectively produced these web pages.In 2013, the students in the Duke class “Soccer Politics,” taught by Laurent Dubois and Achille Mbembe, edited and updated these pages.

Please do not quote or draw from these essays without proper citation. The authors for each web page are noted at the beginning of the main page for each topic.  To access the sites click on the page descriptions below or the links to the right.


Explore the History, Politics and Economics of the sport in Africa from colonialism to the present and reflect upon the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Written in 2009 by Katie Greenstreet, Cole Grossman,  Nelson De Oliveira, and Robert Weaver

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Morganne Gagne, Lauren Oliveri, and June Zhang


Learn about the history of football in Brazil through the biographies of great players: Friedenreich, El Garrincha, Zico, Pelé, Ronaldo, Kaká, and Neymar; as well as its famous managers.

by Federica Burelli, James Goldberg, Steve Johnson, Kayla Kirk, Chris Straka, and Quentin Ybarra

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Ramsey Al-Khalil, Jordan Cirocco, and Halsey Friedel

El Clasico as Spanish History

Delve into the roots and history of one of the greatest footballing rivalries on the globe: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

by Austin Esecson, Remy Lupica, and Neel Muthana

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Austin Ness, Vishnu Kadiyala, Natasha Catrakilis, Julianna Miller, and Basil Seif

European Icons of the 1980s and 1990s

Follow the careers and controveries surrounding of some of the greatest players in recent European history: Beckenbauer, Keane, Cantona and Henry.

Written in 2009 by Will Burke, Christophe Lafargue, Lucas Lallinger, Chris Senior and Andrew Wenger

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Michael Reintgen, Matt Ochs, and Jun Yoon

Football and Politics in Europe: 1930s-1950s

Learn about the uses of and struggles over football in Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Communist Hungary

by Hilah Almog, Emma Anspach, and Taylor Spragens

Edited & Updated in 2013 by Brittney Balser and Alessandro Santalbano

The Football Industry in Contemporary Europe

A critical analysis of the coaches, managers, players, and back-room deals that make today’s European football industry work

by David Lue, Sabreena Merchant, Jeffrey Nash, and Ethan Settel

An Exploration of Politics & the Beautiful Game in The Middle East

The history and politics of football in Iran, Iraq and Turkey, and an exploration of women’s soccer in the region

Written in 2009 by Velihan Erdogdu, Risa Isard, Brian Kim, and Danny Mammo

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Maggie Lin and Patricia Spears

Players and Migration

Learn about the legal implications of the Bosman ruling and follow controversies and debates surrounding players of immigrant background in France and Sweden

by David Carlson and Aron Yassin

The Politics of Football in Latin America

Explore the intersection of politics and football in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay

by Will Flaherty, Courtney Ginn, Langley King, David Levine and David Nammour


From the nineteenth century to the present, an exploration of the history and passions surrounding Scottish football

by Bradford Colbert, Tran King, and Cullen Sinclair

Soccer in the U.S.

Soccer has struggled to find a place in the professional sports of the U.S.  Why? What does the future hold?

Written in 2009 by Julia Fogleman, Lucas Nevola and Kelsey Ontko

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Matt Darlow, Dan Carp, Bryan Silverman and Matt Berezo

The Soccer War

In 1969, a qualifying World Cup match between El Salvador and Honduras started a war

Written in 2009 by Claire Lockerby, Steven McMullen and Yuriy Veytskin

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Matthew Schorr, Lindsey Barrett and Colby Leachman

The World Cup in 2018 and 2022

After 2014 in Brazil, who will host these future world cups? Find out about the process and its history and the current bids

Written in 2009 by Umberto Plaja and Steffi Decker.

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Ian Bruckner, Vinay Kumar, Colby Shanafelt, Tuck Stapor, and Jordan Pearson

Women’s Soccer in the U.S.

Learn about the development of women’s soccer, relive the 1999 World Cup, and explore the past and future of professional Women’s Soccer

by Gretchen Miller, Jon Scheyer, and Emily Sherrard

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Gilda Doria, Christina Malliris, and Avery Rape

Zidane and the 1998 World Cup

Zinedine Zidane, the son of Algerian immigrants, became an hero and commercial icon in France after clinching the 1998 World Cup for France

Written in 2009 by Sara Murphy and Alex Tschumi

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Kavin Tamizhmani, Becca Fisher, Caitlin Moyles, Rosa Toledo, and Elena Kim

We welcome comments, critiques and suggestions. Enjoy!

The Chinese Super League

Chinese Super League Buys Old and Tired European Players

Why is the Chinese Super League Winning and the MLS Loosing?

Written in 2016 by William Hague


  • Length: 1389 words (4 double-spaced pages)
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Table of Contents

History of the Activity……………………………………..4
Nature of the Activity………………………………………..4
Playing Area…………………………………………………………………..5
Physical Conditioning…………………………………………..6
Practice Drills…………………………………………………………..6


Soccer is the worlds most popular sport. It is the national sport of most European and Latin-American countries, and of many other nations. Millions of people in more than 140 countries play soccer. The World Cup is held every four years. Soccer is one of the most famous international sports. Soccer is known world wide and is played in the Olympics.

In a soccer game there are two teams of 11 players who try to score a point by kicking a ball into the opponents net. Soccer is played on a rectangular field with a net on each short side of the field. All players must hit the ball with their feet or body and only the goalie is allowed to touch the ball with his/her hands. There are many things you can do to condition yourself to play.

Soccer the way we play it came from England in the 1800’s. Soccer was not that popular until the mid-1900’s. Today soccer is very popular and it is one of the nations fastest-growing sports. There are many exercises and drills you can do to improve how you play soccer. There is also many physical conditioning that players can do. Soccer can help you stay fit and healthy. Many people can play soccer and benefit from it. Soccer is very fun and a great recreational sport.

History of the Activity

Games similar to soccer were played in China as early as 400 BC. In about 200 AD the Romans played a game in which two teams tried to score by advancing a ball across a line on the field. The Romans passed the ball to one another but they never kicked it. London children in about 1100 played a form of soccer in the streets. During the 1800’s the people of England played a game similar to soccer. Many rules changed and each person interpreted the rules differently. In 1848 a group of school representatives met at Trinity College in Cambridge and drew up the first of soccer rules. In 1863 English soccer clubs founded the Football Association. By the late 1800’s soccer began to spread to the rest of the world. The Canadian Soccer Association was established in 1912 while the United States Soccer Federation was set up in 1913.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Soccer." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018

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The first World Cup Championship was in Montevideo, Uruguay. Since then it has been played every four years except during WWII. During the 1970’s soccer grew to be a very popular spectator sport as well as participant sport.

Nature of the Activity

A soccer game begins with a kickoff in the center of the field. A coin is flipped to decide which team will kickoff. The other team kicks off at the start of the second half when the teams switch sides or nets. After a team scores the other team gets to kickoff to begin again. The kickoff takes place in the middle of the field. When the ball is kicked it must travel the circumference of the ball and touch another player before the kicker can touch the ball again.

After the ball is in play it remains in play unless it crosses a goal line or a touch line. All players attempt to stop the ball from coming in there zone while at the same time trying to score a goal. A player may kick the ball into the net with any part of the body except the hands and arms. If the ball goes out of bounds the play is restarted with a corner kick, a goal kick, or a throw-in. The referee decides what type to use. If the ball crosses the goal line and the defensive team touched it last then there is a corner kick by the offense. If the offense touches the ball last and crosses the goal line then it is a goal kick. A throw in happens when the ball crosses the touch line.
When it crosses the touch line the team that did not touch it last throws the ball in bounds. The ball is thrown over their head with two hands. Fouls are called when a player does not obey the rules and acts unsportsmanlike. When a foul is called the opposite team receives a either a penalty kick, a direct free kick or and indirect free kick.

Physical Conditioning

There are many exercises that people can do to improve in soccer. Exercises that strengthen your legs and improve flexibility are ideal. Physical conditioning is important if you plan on being good at soccer. Here are five exercises that are ideal for soccer:

1. Running: running helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. In soccer there is lots of running for the ball so endurance and a speed is a must.

2. Leg Extension: using weights can help strengthen the legs. Using weights makes you kick harder and makes the ball travel farther, as a result you become a better player.

3. Leg Machines: exercising all muscles in the leg makes you kick harder and prevents injury when you are diving all over for the ball. The strong muscles help prevent injuries.

4. Stretching: stretching allows you to be more flexible. Sometimes soccer players need to kick the ball in the most awkward positions. Flexibly helps the player to kick the ball in those positions more effectively.

5. Weight Training: all around weight training makes a soccer player even better. A stronger body helps prevent injury and improve all around performance.

Practice Drills

Practice Drills help the soccer player be more skillful and a better player. There are many drills that can be done. Drills like dribbling to head butting are often used. Some of these drills include:

1. Practicing kicking the ball is a very important and often done drill. To practice the player will kick the ball into the net. Often there is a goalie that they try to score on. Kicking is the most important skill in soccer. Practicing will make your kick stronger and more controllable.

2. Passing is also a very important skill. One drill that can be done is to run side by side with another player and pass the ball back and forth. This skill will improve your passing and receiving skills. Passing is also vital in the game of soccer.

3. Heading is one of the only ways to legally hit the ball when it high in the air. With another player heading can be practiced. One player throws the ball high over top of the other player. The player then will jump up and hit the ball with his forehead and try to control the ball. Heading is very hard and often lots of practice is required.

4. Control of the ball is also very important. By setting up pylons in any order and distance and weaving through them in a pattern like formation can improve your control of the ball. Trying to go quick can also improve your speed of running while dribbling a ball.

5. One on one practices improve both your dribbling and tackling. With two players one is given the ball and must keep the ball away from the other player. While one player is improving his faking and dribbling the other is practicing his defense and tackling. When this drill is done often it can improve your offense as well as defense.


Soccer can be done in many age groups. Children often play the sport in school as early as elementary school. Many adults also play the sport. Seniors rarely play soccer because of the easiness it is for them to get injured. Soccer is often very demanding. Soccer for many kids can be very fun. Most children don’t think of soccer as work and often enjoy playing soccer. Adults also sometimes find soccer fun and even some adults have careers in the area as a professional soccer player.

Soccer is very valuable in obtaining "life long" fitness. Soccer can be a very demanding sport. Soccer can improve your cardiovascular fitness as well as strength and flexibility. All the physical conditioning and practice drills are very important in keeping fit. Soccer players are able to be healthy and strong because of the physical involvement.


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