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Who came up with the name soccer?

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Answered 2006-07-24 07:53:32

Every time you say "foosball," you're putting a foot in your mouth-a German foot! Foosball is the American corruption of fussball (pronounced the same), the German word for soccer-literally foot plus ball. While the sport has the more formal name of table soccer, to the American players who love it, it's foosball, or just foos. Unfortunately, the origins of the game are not as easy to trace as those of its name. Like many games, it is quite possible that variations of foosball developed in different countries over roughly the same time period. Since organized soccer first entered the sports scene in the 1860s, the invention of soccer's table version can be safely dated sometime afterward, probably in the late 1800s. The earliest United States patent for a foosball table was registered in 1901, but it is generally agreed that foosball, like soccer, originated in western Europe. A recent article in a Belgian magazine (Le Soir Illustre, No. 2471, November 1979, p. 26) stated that the inventor of the first foosball table was a Frenchman named Lucien Rosengart, who lived from 1880 to 1976. An employee of the Citroen automobile factory, he amassed a huge fortune through his inventive genius. He is accredited with the invention of the minicar, frontwheel drive, and the seat belt, to name a few, besides babyfoot, the original name for foosball. One of the oldest manufacturers of foosball is a Swiss company called Kicker, located in Geneva. Its table is also called Kicker and has been so popular in Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium that the word has become generic: kicker is to these European players what foosball is to Americans. In European countries as well as in the United States, foosball did not become widespread until after World War II. One popular belief is that foosball was invented to help rehabilitate war veterans. While not invented for that purpose, foosball has been used in rehabilitation with great success, especially in rebuilding handeye coordination. Today foosball also plays a role in social rehabilitation, being a part of the recreational programs offered by many state and federal correctional institutions.

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