Football is the world's game. More people play it than any other sport. Its appeal goes beyond the fact that it is the most austere - all you need is a ball.

It is also a path to connection and community. Live anywhere in the world, and if you play the game, you have a family. Travel anywhere, and you meet friends for life. You don't even have to speak the language to relate...just share a common appreciation for the game. 

The 1865 Eton field XI pose in the college grounds CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE

Football is a sport of balance and respect. The game is played as much with one's head as with one's body. Even with two sides in opposition, there is respect. Football is the only sport where a player will intentionally stop play if an opposing player is injured.

Football transcends class, religion, gender and socio-economic status. As a sport, it embodies a vast array of emotions: from joy to heartbreak from anticipation to wonder. On fields, pitches and playgrounds around the world, it plays out for the fans all over to live...and re-live the greatest moments of creativity and genius. And the best are crowned "number tens." It it where we make both old and new legends.

Football truly is the beautiful game.