Photos | For love of the game: Football fever around the world

Updated On Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

Off the coast of an island in southern Thailand, a squad plays on a floating platform; in the mountains of northern Italy, another takes aim for the goalpost in the snow – football prevails anywhere and everywhere. And while Russia puts the finishing touches to the carefully manicured fields that will host the 2018 World Cup later this week, there’s no holding back football fans around the globe, who manage to play their favorite sport in a surprising variety of ways.

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That there’s no land to play on, makes little difference to these kids. A combination picture shows children playing football on a floating pitch (top), detail of their pitch, flip-flops and a football in the fishing village of Ko Panyi in Thailand. (Soe Zeya Tun / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

That there’s no land to play on, makes little difference to these kids. A combination picture shows children playing football on a floating pitch (top), detail of their pitch, flip-flops and a football in the fishing village of Ko Panyi in Thailand. (Soe Zeya Tun / REUTERS)

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An open clearing surrounded of mountains in the village of Gurgurnica, 35 km away from the nearest city of Tetovo, Macedonia is shared by a basketball court, and an improvised football pitch. A tattered ball and shoes that are fraying don’t mean a game can’t be played. (Ognen Teofilovski / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

An open clearing surrounded of mountains in the village of Gurgurnica, 35 km away from the nearest city of Tetovo, Macedonia is shared by a basketball court, and an improvised football pitch. A tattered ball and shoes that are fraying don’t mean a game can’t be played. (Ognen Teofilovski / REUTERS)

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A boy plays soccer in a backyard garden in Vienna, Austria. On a floating pitch off the coast of Thailand or this prim garden with its own goalpost, football fever sweeps hearts and minds around the world. (Leonhard Foeger / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

A boy plays soccer in a backyard garden in Vienna, Austria. On a floating pitch off the coast of Thailand or this prim garden with its own goalpost, football fever sweeps hearts and minds around the world. (Leonhard Foeger / REUTERS)

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Ghanian boys take time out for an after school match at the compound of the Dambai EP Primary School in the town of Dambai, Ghana. Come June 14, professionals across 32 countries from 6 continents will take to the field, battling for the glory of becoming the next ‘world champions’. (Francis Kokoroko / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

Ghanian boys take time out for an after school match at the compound of the Dambai EP Primary School in the town of Dambai, Ghana. Come June 14, professionals across 32 countries from 6 continents will take to the field, battling for the glory of becoming the next ‘world champions’. (Francis Kokoroko / REUTERS)

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Moscow’s one of 11 host cities lending venues to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Elsewhere in the city, this playground, while not on the official list, is ready to serve tennis fans should need arise. For now, football has it picked. (Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

Moscow’s one of 11 host cities lending venues to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Elsewhere in the city, this playground, while not on the official list, is ready to serve tennis fans should need arise. For now, football has it picked. (Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS)

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On a dusty Kolkata street, painted with a 2018 World Cup logo children brave traffic for a barefoot game. One of them is a fan of Argentinean forward Lionel Messi, another worships Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Both Messi and Ronaldo are contemporary legends but still haven’t quite proved themselves on the grandest stage yet. Will one come out better this time? Time will tell. (Rupak De Chowdhuri / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

On a dusty Kolkata street, painted with a 2018 World Cup logo children brave traffic for a barefoot game. One of them is a fan of Argentinean forward Lionel Messi, another worships Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Both Messi and Ronaldo are contemporary legends but still haven’t quite proved themselves on the grandest stage yet. Will one come out better this time? Time will tell. (Rupak De Chowdhuri / REUTERS)

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While the games during the tournament in Russia will have players sweating it out on trimmed grass pitches, football owes its popularity to the fact that it can be played anywhere and everywhere. This muddy pitch outside the village of Pogi in Leningrad region, at times risky holds no sway in coming between the men and their sport. (Anton Vaganov / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

While the games during the tournament in Russia will have players sweating it out on trimmed grass pitches, football owes its popularity to the fact that it can be played anywhere and everywhere. This muddy pitch outside the village of Pogi in Leningrad region, at times risky holds no sway in coming between the men and their sport. (Anton Vaganov / REUTERS)

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An outlined brick court in front of a temple in Hoang Xa village, outside Hanoi, Vietnam works just as well. No jerseys? It’s shirts versus skins in that case. (Kham / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

An outlined brick court in front of a temple in Hoang Xa village, outside Hanoi, Vietnam works just as well. No jerseys? It’s shirts versus skins in that case. (Kham / REUTERS)

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And its not just the pitch. Whether under the scorching sun or rain and snow. Even extreme weather conditions can’t keep these young football enthusiasts from the ball. In this photo children in Payatas, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines play football on an asphalt pitch under pouring rain. (Dondi Tawatao / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

And its not just the pitch. Whether under the scorching sun or rain and snow. Even extreme weather conditions can’t keep these young football enthusiasts from the ball. In this photo children in Payatas, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines play football on an asphalt pitch under pouring rain. (Dondi Tawatao / REUTERS)

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People play soccer prior to the inauguration of a new sports complex (top) at La Campanera Neighborhood in Soyapango, El Salvador. A relaxed game of football manages to divert young minds away from the neighbourhood’s constant gang violence. (Jose Cabezas / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

People play soccer prior to the inauguration of a new sports complex (top) at La Campanera Neighborhood in Soyapango, El Salvador. A relaxed game of football manages to divert young minds away from the neighbourhood’s constant gang violence. (Jose Cabezas / REUTERS)

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That’s the reason football’s called ‘the people’s game’. All football asks for is space to kick the ball around in and a boot to send it flying. Sometimes just the former’s needed and you’re set. Just like these Malians playing a game in flip-flops in Bamako’s ACI 2000 neighbourhood. (Annie Risemberg / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

That’s the reason football’s called ‘the people’s game’. All football asks for is space to kick the ball around in and a boot to send it flying. Sometimes just the former’s needed and you’re set. Just like these Malians playing a game in flip-flops in Bamako’s ACI 2000 neighbourhood. (Annie Risemberg / REUTERS)

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A player dribbles with the ball as another looks to defend during a match in Santiago, Chile. In its formalised and codified form, Britain is the cradle of modern football. The sportization of the game in schools and the impact of colonisation took it to Asia and Middle East and South America. (Ivan Alvarado / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

A player dribbles with the ball as another looks to defend during a match in Santiago, Chile. In its formalised and codified form, Britain is the cradle of modern football. The sportization of the game in schools and the impact of colonisation took it to Asia and Middle East and South America. (Ivan Alvarado / REUTERS)

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Trust Japan to throw robots in the mix! A combination image shows students checking soccer robots (top), and details of a pitch, a ball-handling device, and a ball at the Robot Vision Laboratory of the Tokyo Polytechnic University in Atsugi, Japan. (Toru Hanai / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

Trust Japan to throw robots in the mix! A combination image shows students checking soccer robots (top), and details of a pitch, a ball-handling device, and a ball at the Robot Vision Laboratory of the Tokyo Polytechnic University in Atsugi, Japan. (Toru Hanai / REUTERS)

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Young men play one-on-one in front of the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna, Austria. Soccer is simple. Be it be the rules, lack of high end equipments and skills, or ones social background, football is a game played via moving circular body. (Lisi Niesner / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

Young men play one-on-one in front of the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna, Austria. Soccer is simple. Be it be the rules, lack of high end equipments and skills, or ones social background, football is a game played via moving circular body. (Lisi Niesner / REUTERS)

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A net-lined enclosure saves trips to fetch the ball at this urban pitch in Mumbai. India failed yet again to qualify to the group stages but there’s no shortage of fans eagerly waiting to cheer for their favourites once the referee blows the whistle. (Francis Mascarenhas / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 11, 2018 02:52 PM IST

A net-lined enclosure saves trips to fetch the ball at this urban pitch in Mumbai. India failed yet again to qualify to the group stages but there’s no shortage of fans eagerly waiting to cheer for their favourites once the referee blows the whistle. (Francis Mascarenhas / REUTERS)

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