German football=Fußball (soccer) for foreigners (PART 1)

Today we talk about "football", "fútbol" and "soccer".

Depending on your country you call it one thing or another, but if you are reading this blog you can then start calling it "Fußball".

For me, as it is for all my European neighbors, "football" is the sport that is played with this ball:

Screen shot of Fußball Dossier at

For the US and Australia, "football" describes a completely different sport:

Screen shot of Oxford University Sport
Screen shot of

So let me start by clarifying what sport I will be writing about.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

Screen shot of the - search for football

Football has been around since the 19th century and it is the most popular sport in the world... maybe not in the US and Australia, but it is in the rest of the world.

And because it's so popular and it is played in over 200 countries across all continents, you can expect some language discrepancies (as we have already learnt):
  • it is called football in English but soccer in the US and Australia
  • it is futebal in Brazil 
  • it is fútbol in the Spanish-speaking countries
  • and it is Fußball in Germany
Confused? let me help you or let me send you to someone who can clear the confusion. Tony Manfred @ the Business Insider created an amazing worldwide map showing how each country on the globe calls football:

Screen shot of the BI article by Tony Manfred:!HTxI6

Got it? not yet? then let me then tell you that the sport of football started in Britain sometime in the 19th century and two centuries later Gary Lineker, a former and very successful English football player came out with the modern definition of the sport of football and with it... he went viral:
Football is a simple game: 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win (Gary Lineker) 
Do you get the idea? 


The Bundesliga is the leading German national competition. It runs from August to May and it sells 18 million tickets annually. The Bundesliga is considered the number one trophy in the country and so every German team fights for it. 
In 2014 FC Munich won the Bundesliga.

Screen shot of the official site of Bundelisga

On a second level, you have the DFB Competition: which stands for "Deutscher Fußball Bund". The DFB is the second most important competition in Germany and it happens every year after the Bundesliga
This year (2014) the FC Munich won the Cup.

Screen shot of the official DFB website
There are 18 German teams playing in the Bundesliga and competing for the DFB-cup. 

Part II will be published very soon but if you don't want to guess when just follow us by email to be the first to read the PART II.

Related Posts:
German TV explained for foreigners
Going to the movies in English in Munich
German adopting English words