Being a lover of sports & an avid watcher of both American football & Fútbol (soccer in America) & have competed in both and I’ve invested my time in the Dallas Cowboys (Sue me it’s a long story) & I also watch premier league (Man City), Champions league & international play with the same gusto. I was raised in Texas where football is BIG but after I stopped playing a football after high school I put more time into Fútbol because there’s always a pick up game of soccer going but no 7 on 7. When I was hospitalized with sepsis I had to put my play on hold but I didn’t stop watching. This starting Five is about my observations of both with a focus on fútbol as they both come with their own pros & cons, Enjoy!

You can see more games in a year

Watching the NFL & professional fútbol (soccer) you can enjoy both sports equally however with American football there is a approximately 16 games in a season with a bye week and if they did good that season they have a possibility of 4 more games. The drawback to this is some of the best players in the world go through a car crash every game and face CTE every time because it’s a rough sport, the opposite of this is fútbol because players, you can see them during club play in their respective league which is Home & Home through the season & then on the international level like the World Cup & tournaments like Gold Cup or Copa America teams have group play with 3 games each & if they do good there is a possibility of 4 games, heck premier league has games during Boxing Day (December 26th). The negative about this is certain leagues don’t have winter breaks i.e. premier league or the MLS who’s season doesn’t start till March causing some conflicts when a player is called up. Overall you get to see some of your favorite players playing outside their league where as with the NFL you’ll see only great athletes a certain time.

It’s bigger around the world 

If you look at TV ratings for both sports fútbol has a higher rating because the world plays the sport more & it’s the primary sport in places like Brazil , England, or Germany unlike here in the USA where soccer isn’t the primary sport & athletes play football, baseball, & basketball. It’s not terrible to watch and play soccer which is tedious in the US where other places it’s a force. The only thing with bigger ratings right now is esports.

It physical & very tough starting out 

When I started playing fútbol as a way of getting active and participating in the sport I like & had more invested interest in I started playing club soccer at Prairie View A&M University where every time we would play weekly it would be a UN of players on my team with players from Jamaica, Mexico and even Ethiopia vs most of the Nigerian males on campus at PVAMU because they would go schoolyard pick ems & I barley knew anyone. So the the normal thing that happens is when people don’t know you they put you at defender because if you can’t dribble you can hopefully clear the ball from the back, so the best way I can explain it is being at the end of a loaded gun & the bullet is the opposing forward which is a daunting task if fútbol isn’t your main sport. Over time I got better and was able to dribble & be more cerebral playing different positions on different teams like in co ed outdoor soccer at PVAMU I played defensive midfielder primarily & back up goalkeeper , at indoor soccer I was all over the place from forward to goalkeeper when I was playing in League City. After being in the trenches for several years before I was recovering two things came up, first this sport isn’t the one you see in the US where little kids engulfing a ball & getting  orange slices after, this is a physical sport, a contact sport & even with rules like no slide tackling in place an inexperienced referee who wants a dry whistle after the match is over can let a game get out of hand real quick because players will try getting away with anything & I’ve seen it happen before, we had a ref that only did flag football & never soccer so people played them the entire match with fouls that should have been called & it reached a fever pitch when my female teammate got fouled hard in the box &  could have been avoided. Second thing anyone that suggests you play goalkeeper is not your friend. I say this because it’s a technical position & has a hard learning curve whether you’re built for it or you play indoor or outdoor. Goalkeepers aren’t angry people their probably yelling at their defenders because their like little kids with short a attention spans so you’re having to manage them while defending against another team’s offense  get them out of sight lines plus I’ve gotten physically harmed several times because of a shot or getting mowed down by an opposing player all in the name of keeping a team from scoring, you have to to put yourself on the line. This game is not for people that don’t look for contact if so go play baseball.

You can’t just run the  clock out on a game that easy.

In football you can take a knee to run the clock out but that’s not the case with fútbol in indoor soccer or outdoor. In games where you’re up or behind that can change very quickly because you can hold the ball or try to but there’s this thing called stoppage time kicks in & a game doesn’t just end on regulation like other sports plus a team can counter attack easily flipping a score line. Prime example of this when the USMNT played Portugal & Christiano Ronaldo in the World Cup in Brazil 2014 group stage and had them on the ropes about to get a W out here, instead Portugal as a last ditch effort got a goal drawing the game with us. It’s never truly over.

Some of the greats defy gender 

Looking at the sport & putting all the things like equity or equal pay on hold which are very important things you can’t deny the fact that theirs people balling male or female. If you look in the US you have people like Jozy Altidore, Christian Pulisic, Demarcus Beasley, or even Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan & Mallory Pugh. Then when you go international you have athletes like Sasic in Germany, Marta & Neymar Jr. in Brazil, Messi from Argentina, or Kompany from Belgium. Their are great players everywhere and just because in the US athletes play other sports doesn’t mean their not good. 

These may be my own opinions but fútbol is a phenomenal sport to play & watch.