it always rankles me when I hear Europeans refer to soccer as football
OK, I think I can see where you are coming from but I cannot understand why
Association football is referred to as football in countries where it is the dominant code of football but known as soccer where in countries e.g. USA, Australia where it is not. Imo I view both football and soccer as regional terms for the same type of ball sport, in the same way as I regard chips (UK) and french fries (USA) to be the same food type but with regional differences. Sorry that you find it boring, and I would have said that perhaps it is because you have not been brought up with it but association football is the world’s most popular game and has the largest fan following on the planet so I guess lots of people from many cultures and countries do not share your view. But each to their own!
One of my most exciting moments in life, if not the most, was being at the Uefa Cup Final in 2003, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_UEFA_Cup_Final
, following which the 80,000 fans of the losing team
were awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award for their exemplary behaviour
. Imo 80,000 fans is way below the actual number of fans who actually present in Seville for the game -probably 120,000+
I am off now to re-join hundreds of millions of fans as we enjoy the talents on display during the Spanish La Liga, i.e. national league, match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid - known as El Clásico http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Cl%C3%A1sico