Translations dictionary


or futbol [foot-bohl]

What does fútbol mean?

Fútbol is a direct Spanish translation of the English word football. It is an international team sport more commonly known in the United States and Canada as soccer.

Where does fútbol come from?


The word football has been in official use since at least the early 1400s. Various forms of the game had been played over the centuries when the English Football Association first codified its rules.

From England, the sport spread to South America by way of European sailors making port in Argentina. The first football club was formed there in 1867. As the popularity of the sport spread throughout South America, so did the phonetic rendering of football into Spanish: fútbol.

Today, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) plans international fútbol tournaments while the International Football Association Board (IFAB) sets official rules for the sport.

Currently, the sport boasts hundreds of millions of players at various levels, and many more fans, around the world.

Examples of fútbol

@Hindsband Flex Their Futbol Skills in "New for You" Video, Announce Second Album
@REMEZCLA, January 2018
Until recently, the United States–particularly the southernmost ones away from the soccer hipsters of Brooklyn, New York, and Portland, Oregon–have not been known as a haven of fútbol culture.
Keaton Lamle, Guardian, August 2017
Your not latino, call it soccer. You don’t play futbol. Futbol is played with people (LATINO) who know how to engage in community soccer, as somebody who grew up on the cancha (soccer field) I know what playing futbol is, and the way you take up space, steal the ball, don’t pass, is far from how my culture plays ball.
Oberlin Microaggressions (blog), September 2013

Who uses fútbol?

While fútbol is a direct rendering of the English football into Spanish, the two words have different meanings depending on where they are used.

In Spanish-speaking countries, fútbol is the term for association football, while gridiron or American football is sometimes called fútbol americano.

In the United States, football refers to gridiron or American football, while soccer is the term used for association football. Americans who use football or fútbol to mean soccer may come across as pretentious, especially if they grew up in the United States and are using the European or South American terms to portray themselves as truer fans of the game.

The United Kingdom refers to association football as football. Australia and New Zealand’s governing bodies adopted football in place of soccer in the 2000s, despite potential confusion with Australian-rules football, or footie.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of fútbol like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of fútbol that will help our users expand their word mastery.