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Best Soccer Books

Recommendations from 6 articles, Richard Osman, Roger Bennett.
Best Soccer Books
14 books on the list
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Futebol book cover
The Brazilian Way of Life
Alex Bellos - May 06, 2014 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Since the 1950s, when Pelé first started playing, soccer has been how the world sees Brazil, but it is also how Brazilians see themselves. The essence of their game is one in which prodigious individual skills outshine team tactics, where dribbles and delicate flicks are preferred over physical challenges or long-distance passes, where technique ha...
The Miracle of Castel di Sangro book cover
The Miracle of Castel di Sangro
A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
Joe McGinniss - Jun 06, 2000 (first published in 1999)
Goodreads Rating
Master storyteller Joe McGinniss travels to Italy to cover the unlikely success of a ragtag minor league soccer team--and delivers a brilliant and utterly unforgettable story of life in an off-the-beaten-track Italian village.When Joe McGinniss sets out for the remote Italian village of Castel di Sangro one summer, he merely intends to spend a seas...
Recommended by
Richard Osman
Inverting The Pyramid book cover
Inverting The Pyramid
The History of Soccer Tactics
Jonathan Wilson - Aug 14, 2018
Goodreads Rating
Soccer fans love to argue about the tactics a manager puts into play, and this fascinating study traces the world history of tactics, from modern pioneers right back to the beginning, where chaos reigned. Along the way, author Jonathan Wilson, an erudite and detailed writer who never loses a sense of the grand narrative sweep, takes a look at the l...
The Damned Utd book cover
The Damned Utd
A Novel
David Peace - Mar 11, 2014 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Overachieving and eccentric football manager Brian Clough was on his way to take over at the country's most successful, and most reviled, football club: Leeds United, home to a generation of fiercely competitive but ageing players. The battle he'd face there would make or break the club - or him. David Peace's extraordinarily inventive novel tells ...
Recommended by
Roger Bennett
Tor! book cover
Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger - May 12, 2002
Goodreads Rating
Tor! The Story of German Football does exactly "what it says on the tin". As the author explains, his aim was to write an entertaining history of the German game. He has certainly achieved his goal, or "tor" as they would say in Germany. Hesse-Lichtenberger sets out to prove that football in Germany is not necessarily the efficient, predictable mac...
Soccernomics book cover
Simon Kuper Stefan Szymanski - Apr 24, 2014 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
'Soccernomics' applies high-powered analytical tools to everyday football topics. It's about looking at data in new ways, revealing counterintuitive truths about football and explaining all manner of things about the game which newspapers just can't see....
How Soccer Explains the World book cover
How Soccer Explains the World
An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
Franklin Foer - May 11, 2010 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Soccer is much more than a game, or even a way of life. It is a perfect window into the cross-currents of today's world, with all its joys and its sorrows. In this remarkably insightful, wide-ranging work of reportage, Franklin Foer takes us on a surprising tour through the world of soccer, shining a spotlight on the clash of civilizations, the int...
A Life Too Short book cover
A Life Too Short
The Tragedy of Robert Enke
Ronald Reng - May 17, 2012 (first published in 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Here, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend's life. On November 10, 2009, the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was 32 years old. Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. He was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe's top clubs, includ...
Recommended by
Roger Bennett
Duncan Hamilton - May 05, 2008 (first published in 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Duncan Hamilton was there through all the madness, the success, the failures, the fall-outs, the drink, and the crumbling of Brian Clough's years as manager of Nottingham Forest. This is a tender portrait of one of football's most colourful characters....
The Ball is Round book cover
The Ball is Round
A Global History of Soccer
David Goldblatt - Jan 02, 2008 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
The definitive book about soccer. With a new foreword for the American edition. There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the ...
A Season with Verona book cover
A Season with Verona
Parks Tim - Mar 06, 2003 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Is Italy a united country, or a loose affiliation of warring states? Is Italian football a sport, or an ill-disguised protraction of ancient enmities?Tim Parks goes on the road to follow the fortunes of Hellas Verona football club, to pay a different kind of visit to some of the world's most beautiful cities. This is a highly personal account of on...
Morbo by Phil Ball
Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
Football Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper