Football (or soccer, as it is known in the US) is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world, regularly played by hundreds of millions of children and adults in all corners of the globe. It should come as no surprise, then, to find out that such an important activity has found its way onto a variety of countries’ circulating coins. I don’t think that any other individual sport has been featured on as many coins as soccer has.
|Great Britain 1996 2 pound coin|
My favorite soccer-themed coin of all is the Great Britan 2 pound coin from 1996. This coin commemorated the 10th European Football Championship (Euro 96), which was held in England. The reverse of the coin is designed to look like a soccer ball, and the 16 small dots surrounding the year represent the 16 teams which participated. (Germany won.)
|Spain 1980 1, 5, 25, and 50 peseta coins|
In 1982 Spain hosted the World Cup, and in 1980 Spain’s coins celebrated the occasion with special soccer imagery on their reverses.
|Somalia 2001 25 shillings|
In 2001, Somalia’s 25 shilling coin featured a uniformed soccer player on the back.
|Congo 2002 50 centimes|
In 2002, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 50 centime coin had a similar idea, with a uniformed soccer player heading a ball.
Here are other circulating soccer-themed coins that I know of. If you are aware of any that are missing, mention them in the comments.
- Argentina 1977-1978 50 pesos
- Belgium 2000 50 francs
- China 1991 1 yuan
- Ethiopia 1974 2 birr
- Germany 2011 10 euro
- Jamaica 1982 1 dollar
- Mexico 1986 200 pesos
- Netherlands 2000 5 gulden
- Poland 2002, 2006 2 zlote
- South Africa 2002 50 cents
- United Arab Emirates 1991 1 dirham
Update 7/4/2013: Added Spain 1, 50 peseta coins to picture.