Football is the world's biggest sport. Its viewership is unparalleled, its digital social-media fraternity is growing by the millions, and the power it has to impact the lives of people demonstrates why it's known as the beautiful game.
Here is the story of modern-day football, told in numbers:
The number of football followers worldwide. It is the world's most famous sport, and is able to reach this massive audience – around two-thirds of the global population – with its blockbuster competitions like the Fifa World Cup, Uefa Champions League, English Premier League, LaLiga and South Africa's very own Premier Soccer League.
£197-million (~R3.5-billion) the highest transfer price
The stupendous fee of £197-million (R3.5-billion) was the price Paris Saint-German paid to make Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior officially the world's most expensive football star ever. All that money, for just one player.
4 of the richest events
Of the top five competitions in sports with the highest prize money, four of them are football events – the Uefa Champions League, Fifa World Cup, Europa League and the Uefa Euros.
Football has more than 50 professional leagues throughout the world.
212 regions watching
The English Premier League is the world's most-watched sports league, with a global audience derived from 212 regions around the world.
150-million social media followers for one player
Cristiano Ronaldo is football's most followed player on social media, with 150-million followers on Facebook and Twitter.
100-million social media followers for one club
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona compete on the field and in cyberspace. The two sides both have more than 100-million followers on Facebook and Twitter.
92 goals in a year
This is the record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year. The honour belongs to Lionel Messi
49-game winning streak
The number of games Arsenal FC went unbeaten in the English Premier League – the longest unbeaten run in history, seeing them crowned as "the invincibles", capped by an undefeated EPL season win.
There's only one beautiful game...