Can Americans recognize these mega-popular “soccer” stars?


We all know Americans love football. But what do they know about the other kind of Soccer?

As the Green Bay Packers cross the Atlantic Ocean to take on the New York Giants in London at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we wanted to know what the people of Milwaukee know about *ahem* football.

Football against football players

So we came up with a test. Many Milwaukeeans are probably able to name the top 3 NFL players after seeing their picture. Can the people of Milwaukee name the 3 biggest *ahem* soccer stars in the world?

The NFL players we picked were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The footballers *ahem* were Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. To give some context, Tom Brady and Lionel Messi are considered the greatest of all time in their respective sports. However, Brady only has 12.7m followers on Instagram compared to Messi’s 364m followers.

Watch the video at the top of this article to see how people did it. If you want a spoiler alert, here it is.

People were really good at identifying NFL stars but, as expected, not so good at naming football stars *ahem*. However, it wasn’t as unbalanced as one might think. These football stars are the biggest names in the most popular sport in the world.

Origins of the term football

Most people think “soccer” is an American word for football. In fact, the word football game comes from the same place where the game was invented, in England, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

There were several types of football in 1863 when the game was officially created. Rugby was called ‘rugby football’ and football was called ‘association football’. The terms were abbreviated to “rugger” and “assoccer”. Eventually, the name “assoccer” was shortened in football, and the term football made its way to the United States.

Rugby football was also introduced to the United States. Sports fans formed a combination of ‘rugby football’ and ‘association football’ to create ‘grid football’. This is what would become our modern American football. To distinguish between different types of football in the United States, people call football “gridiron football” and football “association football”.

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