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Packers in London: Can Americans recognize these mega-popular 'football' stars?

Those stars are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar.
Posted at 12:44 PM, Oct 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 13:44:26-04

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

As the Green Bay Packers fly across the Atlantic Ocean to play against the New York Giants in London in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we wanted to find out what Milwaukeeans know about soccer *ahem* football.

Soccer vs. Football Players

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

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

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

People were really good at identifying NFL stars but, as expected, not nearly as good at naming the soccer *ahem* football stars. However, it wasn't as lopsided as one would think. These soccer stars are the biggest names in the game of the world's most popular sport.

Origins of the Term Soccer

Most people think that 'soccer' is an American word for football. In fact, the word soccer game from the same place the game was invented, England, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

There were multiple types of football back in 1863 when the game was formally 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 to soccer 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 make 'gridiron football'. That's what would eventually become our modern American football. To distinguish between the various types of football in the U.S. people called 'gridiron football' football and 'association football' soccer.