Soccer

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Roberto Baggio, Italian soccer player and Buddhist

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players using a spherical ball. Association football is the most popular football variant worldwide, and is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world.

As the most popular sport in the world, there have been at least a few Buddhist themed movies with soccer as the main subject. One movie included comedy and drama and included monks and nuns as players who used super-human abilities gained from meditation and the jhanas to perform in an extraordinary manner, including flips and somersaults in the air. The most popular and well-known film with a Buddhist and soccer focus was the year 2000 film, The Cup. In that movie two refugees sent to a Buddhist monastery in India go searching for a television to rent so that they can watch the World Cup with the monks at the monastery.

Roberto Baggio, a Buddhist pictured here, is one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Virtually every all-time, dream team for the World Cup includes Baggio.

Theravada Buddhist monks take precepts against watching theatrical shows and other forms of entertainment, but sometimes make an exception during the World Cup competitions, which come once every four years (see BBC News article in references).

All-time best teams (nations) at Soccer

The following teams / nations have the best records in combined men's and women's World Cup performances:

Team Titles Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place Points
Germany 6 5 4 3 50
Brazil 5 3 3 2 37
Italy 4 2 1 1 25
U.S.A. 3 1 4 0 23
Argentina 2 3 0 0 17
France 1 1 2 2 13
Uruguay 2 0 0 3 11
Norway 1 1 0 1 8
Japan 1 1 0 0 7
England 1 0 1 1 7
Spain 1 0 0 1 5

Points above based on 4 points for each title, 3 points for each time runner-up, 2 points for each third place finish, and 1 point for each fourth place finish. Only teams with at least one title (men's or women's competition) are shown.

All-time best teams (nations) at Soccer (adding in Olympic Games)

The following teams / nations have the best records in combined men's and women's World Cup and Olympics performances:

Team Titles Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place Points
Germany 8 7 9 5 76
Brazil 6 8 5 6 64
U.S.A. 7 3 5 1 48
Italy 5 2 3 1 33
Argentina 4 5 0 0 31
Sweden 1 3 6 2 27
France 2 2 2 4 22
England 4 0 1 2 20
Uruguay 4 0 0 3 19
Hungary 3 1 1 0 17
Norway 2 1 2 1 16
Spain 2 2 0 1 15
Japan 1 2 1 2 14
Nigeria 1 0 1 0 6
Mexico 1 0 0 0 4
Cameroon 1 0 0 0 4

Points above based on 4 points for each title / gold medal, 3 points for each time runner-up / silver medal, 2 points for each third place finish / bronze medal, and 1 point for each fourth place finish. Only teams with at least one title (men's or women's competition) in the World Cup or Olympics (Gold medal) are shown.

References