I came across this sentence and I guess the 'spirit' here means ghosts.
Am I guessing it right?
You will be in the company of the spirit of soccer itself.
I don't have a full context(sorry for that) but tried to remember it after reading your answers and comments.
Here's the situation; two boys were practicing soccer in a historic soccer field and one complained that the practice was not going well. Then the other said that a lot of famous soccer players(some are dead) played games in this field, so even though these boys were doing poorly at the moment, they might be in the company of the spirit of soccer itself. So I thought of 'ghosts' because of famous but 'dead' soccer players and 'historic' soccer place mentioned in their conversation. Does it make sense?
Taking the background into account, the spirit here is probably best decribed with a combination of definition 1, 6 and 10 of the Collins dictionary, namely
the force or principle of life that animates the body of living things (but only figuratively here used for soccer)
the prevailing element; feeling and
the deeper more significant meaning
What one of the boys basically said was that this place was so full of historic importance, that "the essence of soccer" or "the soul of soccer" was there - perhaps hoping that they would be great one day themselves.
A similar thing might be said by a young tennis player practising in Wimbledon or a law student doing an intership at the Supreme Court or the United Nations.