For the most advanced species on this side of the universe, we humans are surprisingly easy to deceive. There are so many misconceptions and myths surrounding nearly every topic on earth, including football, and none of those legendary tales are lacking staunch believers.
Perhaps the internet - social media, if we're really pointing fingers - is to blame for the continual dissemination of blatantly untrue facts. These facts have, over time, become such common knowledge because of how many times they've been repeated, shared, and retweeted.
There are so many legendary (but untrue) stories and folklore in world football that would put the fake news trend to shame, and in this article, we'll try to uncover a number.
So, let's delve into the fascinating world of unbelievable myths, misconceptions, and legends, and uncover the truths that have remained poorly hidden under our noses all this time!
10. Mario Balotelli
Yes, you read that correctly! Ironically, most of what you've heard about Mario Balotelli isn't even remotely true.
He never dressed as Santa Claus, handing out money to the public. He never went into a petrol station to fill the tank of every nearby car. He never gave £1,000 to a homeless man outside a casino. He's openly said that these stories are untrue, but nearly a decade later, people remain steadfast in their beliefs.
There's a rumor that Balotelli helped a young student who had skipped class in order to avoid a schoolyard bully. While the Italian star did visit the school (just to use the restroom!), the stories about the bully are unfounded.
Similarly, it's long been claimed that the police found Balotelli in possession of £5,000 and that when asked why he had so much money on him, the star replied, "Because I am rich." This story hasn't been confirmed either.
Some stories are true though: Fireworks started a fire in his home, he drove a Ferrari on a go-kart track, and he couldn't figure out how to wear a bip during training!
9. Americans were the first to call football "soccer"
There's a common misconception around the word soccer. Most of us believe that Americans coined the word, just because they already had football - you know, the one played with pads, helmets, an oval-shaped ball, and hardly any feet!
Honestly, no one would be too shocked if that was the story behind the word soccer, but (sadly) there's a lot more to it.
The word soccer has its roots firmly placed in nearly two hundred years of football history - the earliest period of organized football in England. It's a shortened version of association football, which is the full name of our beloved sport.
In fact, soccer remained in use across opulent British social circles until the 1970s when it became popular in America. Football eventually became universal, while Americans remained steadfast in their use of soccer. Go USA!