Soccer is a game played by two teams on a rectangular field, with the object of driving the ball into the opponent's goal. The ball is controlled and advanced primarily by using the feet; only goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball. All that is needed to play is an area of open space and a ball. Much of the world's soccer is played informally on patches of ground, without field marking or real goals. In many places, the game is played barefoot using rolled-up rags or newspapers as a ball. Soccer is the world's most popular sport, played by men and women of all ages, with millions of fans throughout the world. A chief reason for soccer's vast popularity is that it has proved to be among the most accessible and adaptable of the world's sports.
Outside the United States, the game is commonly called football and officially association football. The word soccer is a slang corruption of the abbreviation assoc.