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Best Soccer Books

Recommendations from 6 articles, Richard Osman, Roger Bennett.
15 books on the list
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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
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 ...
The Brazilian Way of Life
Alex Bellos - May 03, 2002
Goodreads Rating
Through the lens of Brazil's trademark sport, Alex Bellos brings us a fascinating portrait of Brazilian identity.The Brazilian soccer team is one of the modern wonders of the world. Its essence is a game in which prodigious individual skills outshine team tactics, where dribbles and flicks are preferred over physical challenges or long-distance pas...
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
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
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...
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
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...
The Story of German Football
Ulrich;Hesse - Jan 01, 1795 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Germany did not have professional players or a national league until the 1960s, yet it became one of the most successful football nations in the world. Tor! (Goal!) traces the extraordinary story of Germany's club and international football, from the days when it was regarded as a dangerously foreign pastime, through the horrors of the Nazi years t...
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...
The Story of Spanish Football
Phil Ball - Jul 01, 2011 (first published in 2001)
Goodreads Rating
English writer Phil Ball has put the history of Spanish football into the context of the epomymous Morbo. Hard to pin down in translation (though the author manfully spends a chapter trying to explain the term in its fullest sense), "morbo" encapsulates the fierce rivalry across a club scene fragmented by history, language and politics. The bitter ...
Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
Futebol by Alex Bellos
Football Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper
Soccernomics by Simon Kuper