What's the difference between these two sentences:
1- I played football when I was young
2- I was playing football when I was young
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There isn't necessarily a difference—they could mean the same thing. But there could be a small difference in interpretation. Sentence #1 suggests that you briefly played football when you were young. It could have been a single instance of playing football when you were young.
The progressive verb "playing" in sentence #2 suggests you repeatedly played football as a child, and are probably still playing football in the present. It sounds like how a pro football player would tell their origin story: "I was already playing football when I was 5".