I have never been a big fan of soccer, or football as it is called across the pond. The sport has never been in my blood since I neither grew up with it nor attended games for my children. Until the last few years I had no interest in the sport or much knowledge about its rules. North of 50 is quite the opposite as he even has a favorite Premier League team, Arsenal. I couldn't even tell you what city they are from (unless to my surprise there is a city named Arsenal).
The one thing I have discovered is the game is uniquely suited to the European tastes and culture. It is simply not American due to its nature. Huh, you say? Figure this. The Euro style is very laid back and from my vantage point not punctual. Americans are more of an in-your-face crowd with rigid rules. Soccer seems to have few if any rigid rules as even the time keeping is sort of ish-ish. American's favorite sport is US football and it has very rigid standards and time keeping. At the end of a soccer game the refs determine if they'll play a few extra minutes 'just because'. NFL fans would rip the place apart if that were to happen.
Europeans also seem to run helter-skelter about doing what ever it is they choose. Soccer seems to be the same way. The ball bounces back and forth and is kicked about with no outwardly discernible plays. Football is structured with signals, codes and highly diagrammed plays which must be executed to perfection for everything to go right.
I think the two games mirror their respective continents quite nicely and even the rest of the world as it is the number one sport across the globe. We as a people seem to function much differently than the rest of the world. Perhaps that's why we play differently. But I think if US football ever made it big in Europe, the Germans would likely kick everyone elses 'arsenals'.