A muddy field at Hamilton Crescent, the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick, Glasgow, was the stage for the first ever international football match on this very day (November 30)back in 1872, St Andrew’s Day. England (in all white with the badge of the three lions) faced Scotland (in dark blue shirts with a single lion crest on their badge) in front of a 4,000 strong crowd, but the match yielded no goals. The match ended with the final score at 0-0 between the ‘Auld Enemies’.Spectators for the match had to pay an entry fee of only a shilling, a far cry from the exorbitant prices fans have to shell out for a game now. Most of the team plied their trade in and around London, with the Scottish team comprising entirely of players from the Queen’s Park team playing in the national league in England under the English Football Association (The FA). The English team was brought together from nine different teams in England.The origin of ‘Football’ has been debated over the course of its varied histories, but the legacy outshines the petty squabble for its inception. Be it King Henry IV of England or the Han Dynasty in China or even as back as ‘Episkyros’ played by the ancient Greeks, football was, is and, in likelihood, will be the world’s game. The game has changed a lot with time, and the modern demands of the sport has become more rigorous than what it was back in November 30, 1872. Be it the physical fitness levels and the professionalism required or the modern players earning god-like status on and off the field.advertisementEdson Arantes do Nascimento, simply known as Pele, or Diego Maradona are legends of the game who have transcended the boundaries of sporting legends to become icons of the world. The modern greats Lionel Messi or Cristinao Ronaldo are known faces in almost every nook and cranny of the planet.When Real Madrid and Barcelona (both clubs from Spain) play, the whole world stops to witness the ‘El Calsico’. The question of who is better, Pele or Maradona and Messi or Ronaldo, have come to drive wedges between the closest of friends. The race to the top of the Premier League (the first division league in England) sparks off heated debates in private rooms all over the globe.The game has become the engine of change, a yard stick for measuring progress in the developed world. The kind of money being pumped into the sport in some of the leading countries with player salaries running into the millions, football has come a long way from its humble roots.The Federation Internationale de Football Association or simply FIFA, has looked to grow the ‘beautiful game’ to the wider world, with countries like India, China featuring heavily on the agenda. The awarding of the Under-17 FIFA World Cup to India, which turned heads all over the globe, being a huge success. Professional leagues, with better infrastructure and level of competition. Former players have also worked often as ambassadors for the sport, trying to spread the sport far and wide, in their attempt to be the ‘World’s Game’.The FIFA World Cup is a spectacle that people all over wait for, every four years. The latest in Russia next year will be no different, a stage for global cooperation in a world divided by fragmented belief systems and nationalistic pride, constantly looking over its shoulder for the threat of war.