Did the Aztecs Invent Soccer?

Did the Aztecs Invent Soccer?

Yes! Despite their glorious antiquity, the Aztecs invented various things including soccer. Although it wasn’t nearly the same as the soccer that we know today, the Aztecs did play a game that might have been a predecessor. 

It was named ollama, and it was played on a tlachtli field, which is sometimes used interchangeably as the game’s name. The tlachtli was in the shape of an “I,” with walls around three times the height of the players on the field. 

Stone rings, supposed to depict the dawn and sunset, were attached at the top of these walls. The goal of the game was to use just your hips, knees, and elbows to knock a little rubber ball (which symbolized the sun, moon, or stars) through the rings.

Did The Aztecs Invent Football?

Historically speaking, yes! The Aztecs are indeed one of the very first nations to invent and play what is nowadays called football. 

There is evidence that civilizations such as the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas played ball games that might have influenced the development of football.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why South American national teams have dominated the contemporary game. For thousands of years, they have had a love affair with games.

The Aztecs and other peoples in what is now Mexico created games that might have suited their religious and political ambitions as early as 3000 BC, in contrast to the military-minded ball games of the Chinese and Romans.

The Aztec soccer game is often related to godlike sport and it was referred to as the sport of the Gods, and that is pretty much due to the human sacrifice done to the losers of the game. They were butchered and sacrificed to the Aztec sun God. 

Did The Aztecs Invent Basketball?

Yes indeed, the Aztecs were the very first ones to invent basketball although it had a different name. The game was named “ollamalitzli”. 

Each region of the Aztec empire had its version of the game, with its own set of rules and customs, but the game was essentially the same. Before the Spanish conquest of the region in 1520, the game, which incorporated elements of contemporary basketball, soccer, and modern American football, was popular in both secular and religious circles.

The game is played with a rubber ball called an ulama and can be played like soccer or basketball, with the ball passing through a stone “hoop” erected above the playing court, depending on the area. The courts, like the game itself, vary in size and construction, ranging from extremely small courts found in small Mexican communities to massive courts seen in sites like Chichen-Itza.

The more urbanized, or ritualized, version is comparable to basketball in that it has stone rings for players, and some versions of the game limit players to three steps before transferring the ball to a teammate. Players wore leather or wooden yoke-type belt over their hips to hit the ball with their hips in the most frequent variants of the game, which were primarily played in southern Mexico and Guatemala. Even while the game had many versions, they all had one thing in common: they all played for blood rather than sport.

However, not everyone who took part in the game was killed. Some evidence suggests that the game was played for fun and exercise. Smaller rubber balls and cushioning equipment that is considered to have been designed for youngsters provide some of the strongest evidence for this. Women were allowed to play the game, unlike other games at the time. However, it is unclear if these ladies were active participants or simply slaves compelled to perform before being killed. 

There were some benefits to playing the game. Winners were occasionally given accolades, jewels, and even the clothing of people who had come to witness the game.

Did The Aztecs Invent Popcorn?

Yes! Popcorn was, in fact, rather discovered than invented by the Aztecs giving the fact that maize was a major ingredient in Aztec cuisine. It was consumed in every meal of the day by all social classes. 

At first, popcorn was used to decorate houses, make necklaces, and offered to the gods until the Aztecs discovered that they can consume it. 

When Hernan Cortes first arrived in the New World and met the Aztecs, he saw that they had a peculiar manner of adorning the ceremonial clothing used at festivals and dances honoring Tlaloc, the rain deity. Popcorn garlands would be worn by dancers, and strings of popcorn would embellish headdresses and costumes.

Popcorn was also utilized in an Aztec ceremony to pray to the gods for the safety of their fishermen. The popcorn was supposed to resemble hailstones; therefore it was presented to the gods in the sea to try to appease them.

Did The Aztecs Invent Chewing Gum?

Yes, they did! But let’s also give credit to the Mayans who also played a vital role in popularizing such an invention and introducing it to the Spanish invaders and it was referred to as Tzictli. 

Chicle was chewed by both the Aztecs and the Mayans. It was eaten to stave off hunger, refresh the breath, and keep the teeth clean. Chicle was also utilized by the Maya to fix cavities in their teeth. Glee Gum, Simply Gum, and Tree Hugger Gum are among the few tiny gum businesses that still employ chicle.

Gum however was not always associated with festivals and gods’ offerings as popcorn. It most mostly chewed by women as gum chewing by men, especially in public, was likewise frowned upon by the Aztecs. The gum was also linked to Aztec deities. Tlazolteotl, also known as the “Great Spinner and Weaver,” was a goddess who was connected to childbirth, healing, the moon, and witchcraft. She was also known as the “filth eater”, or Tlaelquanai, who absolved people of their sins before death by eating them. Bitumen was frequently depicted on her face and around her mouth.


The ball games that were played all across the world at the time had very little in common with their current equivalents. They did, however, play a significant part in the cultures of the great civilizations at the time, and they fulfilled a range of societal requirements. We wouldn’t be incorrect if we said the same thing about football now.

Soccer in the era of the Aztecs was a glorious game played for a variety of goals and a win has to be made or else the losers get slaughtered. After all, history merely depicts the path that led to the current state of affairs.