Women’s soccer - additional information
Soccer, officially known as association football, is considered to be the most popular sport in the world among both men and women. According to the “Big Count,” a large scale survey conducted by the sport’s governing body, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), there are around 265 million soccer players in the world, over 20 million of which are women.
Although sports similar to soccer are believed to have originated in ancient times, the rules of the present-day version were first drawn-up in 1848, at Cambridge University, England. The first recorded games played by women in Scotland and England took place in the late 1890s. Historically, women’s traditional roles in society at the turn of the last century, as well as their impractical clothes, were incompatible with the requirements of soccer. Nevertheless, the sport flourished and in the 1920s there were already around 150 women’s teams in England alone. In the early 1930s, women’s soccer leagues were established in France and Italy, while other countries, such as Germany, Norway, and Sweden followed suit in the 1940s. In the United States, the first women's soccer league was the Craig Club Girls Soccer League, established in the 1950s, but the sport did not gain universal appeal until some two decades later, when it became a popular varsity sport.
The United States women's national soccer team, which played its first game in 1985, is currently considered the best women’s soccer team in the world. They have won a total of three FIFA Women's World Cups, the last time in Canada in 2015, four Olympic women's gold medals, and ten Algarve Cups. According to FIFA, the world’s best men’s national soccer team, as of 2015, is Argentina.