It’s no secret that soccer is the most popular sport on the planet. Its showpiece competition, the World Cup, was watched by some 3.57 billion people in 2018, with over one billion tuning in to the watch the final between France and Croatia alone. Simply put, there are legions of fans who just cannot get enough soccer in their lives.
If you count yourself among their number, you might find that even the steady stream of games available to view on subscription platforms and pay-per-view sites is not enough to satiate your thirst. If that sounds familiar, here are a handful of alternative ways in which you can indulge your obsession with the sport.
Playing soccer-themed games
If you’re not familiar with FIFA or Football Manager, you’re in for an absolute treat, since both games offer an unprecedentedly deep dive into the world of soccer. The former allows you to control the players on the pitch, while the latter puts you in charge of transfers, tactics, training and team selection as you try to steer your team to success.
Alternatively, you could explore the world of themed video slots, which incorporate football into the gameplay and graphics of the gambling experience. Meanwhile, Fantasy Football is another great option. As a game which offers you the chance to pick a starting XI and earn points based upon real-world events, it’s proven to be hugely popular in recent years.
Sign up to social media
Do you take an interest in the behind-the-scenes goings on at your club? These days, most teams have a highly active social media presence, allowing you to read up on their daily activities via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Individual players are also engaging with such platforms with increasingly regularity, giving you an unprecedented opportunity to interact with your heroes on a more personal level. From gaining an insight into their day-to-day lives to hashing over the finer points of the beautiful game, social media is a fantastic portal for discussion of and devotion to soccer.
Place a bet
Do you think you know soccer inside out? By staying up to date with recent gambling news, you could leverage your knowledge of the game to beat the odds and earn some money. Nowadays, sportsbooks accept bets on a wide variety of metrics. Aside from the outcome of a match or the eventual winner of a competition, you can even lay wagers on such seemingly trivial things as corners, yellow cards and even throw ins.
The relatively recent legalization of gambling in many jurisdictions around the globe has seen the sector go from strength to strength. As far back as 2013, the entire industry was estimated to be worth anywhere up to $1 trillion, with soccer comprising the lion’s share (70%) of that figure.
Pick up a ball
Okay, okay, okay – so playing soccer yourself might not sound all that alternative, but the truth is that there are far more armchair fans of the game than there are those who actively participate in it. The good news is that amateur soccer is so widespread that you should be able to find a local league to play in, regardless of your own ability level or where you reside in the world.
Playing soccer is not only an excellent way of improving your understanding of and deepening your connection with the game – it’s also simply a fantastic way of staying in shape. The cardio you’ll gain from huffing and puffing for 90 minutes cannot be beaten by many other forms of exercise, so strap on your shinpads and pick up a ball today!
If watching your favorite teams and players on screen simply isn’t enough anymore, there are a variety of other ways with which you can become involved in soccer.