Similar to cricket, the landscape of pre-war soccer cards is vast. There are countless sets that exist. However, few are cataloged here because most sets were international releases and not listed in the American Card Catalog.
Since the sport is mostly found on international sets, it is, of course, called football most of the time. However, the distinguishing ‘Association Football’ name is sometimes used in sets where rugby (also called football internationally) is present. Those cards are typically called Australian Football when a differentiator is necessary.
Soccer cards have continued to gain in popularity in the U.S. While many collectors are seeking modern soccer cards, a good bit are drawn to the earlier cards in the pre-war era where players, such as Billy Meredith, Dixie Dean, and others, are highly sought after. And while not listed in the American Card Catalog, the 1896 Godfrey Phillips set covered here, includes what are sometimes called the first true soccer cards.
Due to the overwhelming number of soccer sets, only sets listed in the American Card Catalog, as well as some other uncataloged popular issues, are listed below.