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Football (or soccer) is the most popular sport all over the world, where people enjoy going to watch a game or play as a part of one, and has seen the likes of Pele, Ronaldinho, and Maradona play the game.
When playing football as an adult, you play with two teams of 11 (along with managers too), a referee and his three or five assistants depending on what the game is.
It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and is not nearly comparable to the other sports out there. Football has a global following of around 4 billion people whilst the second, cricket, has only 2.5 billion.
In football, there is no set age you have to be in order to play it because the sport is so popular that there are youth sides as well as a walking football sport for the elderly if they struggle with running. Women have also got their own football leagues. This diversity in who can play it has allowed for the game's popularity to rocket through the ranks of sports over the years where some are not providing the youngest generations with any sport preparation.
Youth football is an important part of getting younger people ready for when they get those chances to play for world-class teams, such as Barcelona, Chelsea, or any other side you can think of. Even if they're not there are other teams that aren't as good that like to give younger people the chance to play in youth versions of their actual team, often known as academies. Young people are also given the chance to join grassroot football teams that are there to help you play the sport in a way you can enjoy yourself and make friends, which is important for any side of life you end up taking.
Not only do young people have the opportunity to play for youth teams like this but if they have a different passion for the sport, like refereeing, then there are also courses you can take so you can do whatever it is you want to try which, in the long run, can also help you get prepared for getting a job in that aspect of the game if that is what you would like to do.
Youth football games have got varying rules for each age and are different from the adult teams. The youngest teams don't do offsides, have a smaller time to play, and a smaller pitch. They also play with less players. As you go up the ages the offside law is introduced and the other aspects increase. However, most of the rules in football are the same but they get a little change each season to allow for the younger teams to enjoy playing the sport even more.