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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Welcome to Week One, Football History, Myth and Power.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds The question at the heart of this week is how does history help us to understand football?

Skip to 0 minutes and 23 seconds Football history is certainly about dates, facts, and figures. But it is also a little bit more than this. It helps you to compare and contrast.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds On April 4, 2015, a Stoke City football player by the name of Charlie Adams, scored a goal against Chelsea, shooting from 65 yards. And people started talking about this goal as the goal of the century. But what criteria would you use to talk about the goal of the century?

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds Your family, your friends, your community, will probably talk about great golden moments in football. Or the golden era in football. I talk about golden eras, debate with my father about golden eras. And he tells me that his era was better than mine. But how do you judge golden eras in football? How do you compare and contrast these different time periods? The history of football ball is important to be able to answer such questions. The history of football is also important in order to destroy certain myths about the game of football. Women’s football is not a new game. Where we’re filming here today in Scotland, we have church records of football being played by women as early as 1628.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds Women’s football is not a new game. But it is one of the fastest growing games in the world.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds Where does the power lie in football? Where did it lie in the past? FIFA is generally referred to as one of the most powerful organisations in football today, if not the most powerful organisation. FIFA started in 1904 with just seven members. Today it has 209 members, maybe more. More countries today are members of FIFA than the United Nations.

Skip to 3 minutes and 4 seconds Comparing and contrasting membership between 1904 and today, we are able to say whether FIFA has become more or less powerful. But you can’t do that without historical information, knowing historical background, comparing and contrasting different periods, and having historical information to be able to do that. This is what we do in Week One when we explore Football History, Myth and Power. We’re really keen to hear your views in the discussions. Respect each other’s opinions. There will be people joining in the discussions from different countries around the world. Let’s hear from you. We look forward to football discussions on Football History, Myth and Power, during Week One.

History, myth and power


How does history help us to understand football? How do you compare golden eras or decide on the goal of the century? What criteria would you use?

Early on in his career David Beckham scored a goal from the halfway line against Wimbledon that some say really kick-started his career. The introductory video talks about one great goal during the 2014-15 season from the player Charlie Adams that gained a lot of attention at the time, with some claiming it as “the goal of the century”. However, you may have seen better goals in previous seasons or in seasons since.

Join in the conversation and tell us about the best goal you have seen and what criteria you have used to judge it as the best goal. This lesson is really about thinking how to compare and contrast different actions, periods and contexts against one another. The context is important. Understanding the context may help you to consider the importance of goal a, b or c or later on in the course, what is the best football nation or team and why.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Football: More than a Game

The University of Edinburgh