In 1888, the Football League was formed in England, becoming the first professional league in the world. This groundbreaking development laid the groundwork for the global phenomenon that football would become. International competitions soon followed, with the inaugural edition of the FA Cup taking place in 1871.
Throughout the 20th century, football clubs and leagues grew in number and significance. Prominent clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, and AC Milan became global powerhouses, attracting talented players and passionate supporters.