Football as social sport culture phenomenon

Dr.Hab., Professor L.D. Nazarenko1
Dr.Hab., Professor I.S. Kolesnik1
1Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University named after I.N. Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: football, World Cup, social sport culture phenomenon.

Background. It was for the first time in 2018 that Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup, and every national football fan hoped to see the national team at most in the top 8. It was unexpected and exciting for many to see a fully fit, motivated and determined national team making successful statements in the first two matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup [3].

Objective of the study was to explore the fast progress of the Russia national team to the world football elite.

Methods and structure of the study. The study included a performance analysis of the leading teams; comparative analysis of the Russia national team players’ performance versus the other team players; plus a progress analysis of the Russia national team in the World Cups.

Results and discussion. The regular FIFA World Cups are ranked almost as high as the Olympic Games in terms of the sport celebrities, beauty of the game, its dramatic and emotional effects. Modern football, with its origins from the folk games, have accumulated and merged the best traditions and sport values of many countries to cultivate excellent physical, volitional and ethical qualities in players. Football skills are not limited nowadays by speed, strength and shooting accuracy and teamwork. It is also important to perfectly anticipate the teammates’ actions and opponents’ counteractions and response tactics that are often very fast and aggressive; be able to assess every game situation to timely pass the ball to the teammate in the winning position [1, 2].

It his highly important for the modern football player to have a well-developed thinking culture to momentarily assess every game situation and find solution. The game is highly demanding to the individual self-control, courage, determination and responsibility, particularly in the critical moments of a match; plus the ability to understand and impose the coach’s tactics in every match. It is the high intelligence and versatile physical, mental, technical and tactical fitness of every player with the excellence agenda and must-win attitudes that makes the modern football game so appealing for millions of spectators the world over.

Elite football games require high-quality harmonized teamwork with every player perfectly understanding the would-be combination by the first signs to act correspondingly in harmony with the others; excellent physical fitness for the hard work; improvising abilities with reasonably independence in the decision making; and the ability to momentarily find the best solution in every game situation.

This popular game totally clear and appealing for every age group offers ample self-discovery and perfection opportunities with great benefits for the individual creativity, physical progress and best personality qualities. Major football competitions attract supporters from all over the world, with millions watching the matches by TV. Crowd meets every individual success or failure with roars of excitement or disappointment, with every goal celebrated by storms of emotions, with no one left indifferent. The players appreciate their role in defending the national colors and strive to meet expectations of the host nation, supporters and coaching teams with their national schools, ideas and achievements. The supporters who spare no energy and emotions expect the best possible and impossible performance from their teams. No other sport can arguably achieve such a total unity of athletes and supporters. This is why the top-ranking football matches are so often visited by the top government officers willing to feel the souls of the enthusiastic fans and join the multinational crowds in their appreciation of this great sport so appealing to every nation, age, gender and social group.

Prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup many national fans hoped to see our team at best among the top eight, although the first wins in matches with Saudi Arabia and Egypt teams greatly inspired both the national team and supporters. Even the loss in the match with Uruguay, the former World Champion, motivated every player of the national team to mobilize the own resource and do one’s bst for pride in further matches with the world best teams. The next win in match with Spain, the reigning World Champion and three-time European Champion, demonstrated that the Russian football made a great progress. The next match with Croatia when the national team had every chance to defeat the strongest opponent demonstrated once again that the determined and passionate performance of every player with a great support from the home crowd may do miracles and bring great wins.

Conclusion. Modern elite football has evolved into something much bigger than a sport discipline as it provides a sort of role model with its respect, devotion, passion, friendship and healthy competitive spirit to unite people of the world regardless of their political views, world outlooks, national traditions and lifestyles, to get a feel of the violence-free cohabitation without conflicts and misunderstandings. The role model provided by the modern football implies the desire to become the best among the equals due to the determined self-excellence, hard work, team spirit and fair play with its simple and commonly accepted rules and standards. This is why the modern football has gone far beyond the sport limits to become a unique athletic and cultural phenomenon and effectively unite people of all nations. The 2018 FIFA World Cup gave us every reason to be proud with our athletes and people.


  1. Davydova S.A., Dulina N.V., Ikingrin E.N., Korichko Yu.V. Chempionat mira po futbolu FIFA-2018: ozhidaniya i mneniya studentov Rossii [2018 FIFA World Cup: Russian students' expectations and viewpoints].Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2018, no. 6, pp. 68-70.
  2. Lubysheva L.I., Mochenov V.P. Novy kontseptualny podkhod k sovremennomu ponimaniyu sotsialnoy prirody sporta [New conceptual approach to modern understanding of social nature of sport]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2015, no. 4, pp. 94–101.
  3. Chempionat mira po futbolu FIFA-2018: ozhidaniya i plany [2018 FIFA World Cup: expectations and plans]. [Electronic resource]. Available at:

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It was for the first time in 2018 that Russia hosted a FIFA World Cup, and every football fan in the nation hoped the national team would be able to make it at least to the top 8. It was beyond all hopes to see the national team so highly competitive, determined, confident and eager to win. Objective of the study was to explore the fast progress of the Russian national team to the world football elite. The analysis was supported by statistics of the world best teams in the FIFA World Cup; comparative analysis of the Russian team competitive performance versus the other national teams; and a progress analysis of the Russian team ascendance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We believe that it was the national team success in the match with Spain that demonstrated fast progress made by the Russian football to win a place in the global elite. The success was once again proved in the highly competitive match with Croatia that demonstrated that the enthusiastic crowd support and determination of every player may secure success in a top-ranking global event.