From the Field

Photos: Kids play football around the world

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football.

Football in the United States, which reaches its high point each year during the Super Bowl, is the game the rest of the world calls American football. But for most of the world, football is soccer. In honor of both American football and the beautiful game — soccer — we celebrate young athletes around the world who play football.

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Friends are vital for May Phoo Ko, who lives in Myanmar. Football helps create a team spirit and helps her understand the power of teamwork. “My friends call me Thay Thay (meaning small) because I am so small. They love me very much,” says May Phoo Ko. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Khaing Min Htoo)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Syrian refugee children cheer their friends on at one of two football pitches built by World Vision at Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. The small patch of green is a bright spot in the drab desert camp. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Christopher Lee)

Football around the world On a day when her community in Ethiopia celebrates a new water system built by World Vision, this girl receives another gift, too — a brand new soccer ball. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

All around the world, boys and girls play the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Grace Mukoma, 10, loves to play soccer at the World Vision Child-Friendly Space near his home in Central Kasai Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Girls at Santa Teresita Preschool in Guatemala play with a World Vision Gift Catalog soccer ball during their physical education class. Gift the gift of a soccer ball today! (©2015 World Vision/photo by Lindsey Minerva)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Even with a homemade ball incorporating plastic bags and string, the game goes on in Rwanda. Find out how to make your own homemade soccer ball. (©2014 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Four-year-old Richard plays with a homemade soccer ball in front of his family’s home in Zambia. His mother, Beatrice Moondo, carries Richard’s little sister, Innete. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Alassane, 9, loves playing football with his friend. “On days when I don’t have lessons after lunch, I go to play football with my friends for the whole afternoon,” he says. Alassane (in striped shirt) is a World Vision sponsored child in Senegal. (©2016 World Vision)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Boys play soccer as the day’s light fades and the moon rises over Zambia. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Laotian primary school boys kick the soccer ball during a break from afternoon classes. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Khamphot Somphanthabansouk)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Boys play a friendly football game on artificial turf in Soracachi, Bolivia. Soccer is a national obsession there. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Syrian refugee girls play soccer inside Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. It was 10-year-old Zaynab’s first day to play the game. “I was goalkeeper, and I loved it! I saved one goal. I made new friends today. I will come and play every day,” Zaynab says. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Suzy Sainovski)

All around the world boys and girls learn teamwork, coordination, and endurance by playing the world’s most popular sport — the game we in the U.S. call soccer and the rest of the world calls football. Steadied by his mother, Ani Chitemyan Razmik, 9, tosses a ball with his father at the family’s home in Armenia. Ani was born with infantile cerebral paralysis and was able to attend a World Vision-run summer camp, where he enjoyed “a holiday at least for a few days in his life,” says Ani’s mother, Marine. (©2009 World Vision)

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Ezekiel and his mom Rachael race to the finish line in a 5K color dash in Saint Peter, Minnesota, in June, 2013. The event was organized by “Livestock,” a non-profit music festival, founded by Jill and Alex Hass, to provide animals through World Vision’s Gift Catalog. “This was our first color dash,” says Rachel. “The picture captures his attitude toward life.” She added that “Loving others and helping them is central to our goal to further Christ's Kingdom by showing love. Running the race, and donating money toward World Vision and other charities is important to us because it helps us think outside of ourselves.”
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