Performances in sport have improved tremendously over the past 50 years. This applies not only to individual sports but also to team sports. The purpose of this study is to report important changes in soccer from the 1950s to the present day from a qualitative and quantitative standpoint. The focus is upon developments on the field rather than off the field. The problem was approached from two directions: first, people who followed intensely the last fifty years as players, spectators and licensed soccer coaches were interviewed. Second, a documentary analysis of four international matches spread out over several decades was carried out. The four case studies are more or less only a comparison of four important matches. In order to conduct a valid study of time changes in soccer, samples of 20 to 30 matches for each decade need to be examined. From an economic standpoint this was not feasible and so there are limitations to this study.