I grew up as a multi-sport athlete and sports fanatic, but somehow, I never played or watched soccer. Now in my late 20's, I have taken some interest in the sport and jumped in head-first to learn about the game and watch it on its biggest stage: the World Cup.
Of all the most popular sports, I have the most respect for soccer. According to STATS, a company that uses a motion-tracking technology called SportVu to collect detailed statistics on players from a number of sports, football cornerbacks and wide receivers average about 1.25 miles a game, basketball players only slightly more, and tennis players about 3-5 miles in a three set match, the average soccer player (not including the goalie) averages about 7 miles a game, and some players up to 9.5 miles. That includes a lot of sprinting, which is an impressive feat of fitness and athleticism even without considering everything else that goes into the game.