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Football Books: News and Reviews



The Rules of the Game, by Pierluigi Collina 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

The Rules of the Game, by Pierluigi Collina (2003)

On June 30, 2002, Pierluigi Collina officiated over Brazil and Germany in the World Cup Final.

A matter of weeks later he was back on the field refereeing an Italian Cup first round encounter between Sampdoria and Siena. This vantage point makes Collina well-placed to comment on the game, on the stars, the media and the matches he has overseen, including England’s world cup victory over Argentina and Manchester United’s dramatic treble-winning European Cup Final.

This book takes the reader into the world of the referee, the preparation needed for each game, the managing of players and the other officials and the camaraderie behind the scenes. Collina describes how it feels to make a difficult decision, the pressures from the crowd and the players while taking us through the most important, and significant, matches he has refereed.

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Calcio: A History of Italian Football 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Calcio: A History of Italian Football, by John Foot (2006)

This is a well-researched and intelligent analysis of all aspects of Italian football throughout the ages. With a good deal of humour and intrigue, Foot’s engaging and accessible commentary discusses the scandals, key players, teams, fans, dodgy dealings and much more.

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The Complete George Best: Every Match, Every Goal 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

The Complete George Best: Every Match, Every Goal, by Darren Phillips (2007)

George Best is widely regarded as the finest footballer ever produced by the British Isles, and his death last November prompted lengthy analysis of his career and his standing in the game – a debate this book aims to help settle.

The author attempts to shed more light on Best’s football career which was, after all, the source of his fame before it was overtaken by his Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle. Read more…

My Side: The Autobiography, by David Beckham 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

My Side: The Autobiography, by David Beckham (2003)

This much-hyped book offers, as the title suggests, the England captain’s version of the brickbats, bouquets, rumours and controversy that have peppered his career – including the 1998 World Cup sending off to his signing for Real Madrid.

At the time of writing this book, Beckham was still only 28, and only recently had been awarded the OBE, but one can’t help viewing this book as merely a cynical marketing opportunity – one of the first in a string of promotions for the Brand Beckham product. Indeed, the nature of media and celebrity pervade this book, arguably more than the game of football does.

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Interesting, Very Interesting: The Autobiography, by Barry Davies 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Interesting, Very Interesting: The Autobiography, by Barry Davies (2007)

Commentator Barry Davies, whose face and voice are instantly recognisable to any UK sports fan, relives the magic of some of the most compelling and exciting moments in televised sport over the past 40 years.

He has broadcast at a record 10 World Cup finals, and until stepping down in 2004 he was Match of the Day‘s longest-serving commentator.

But his expertise goes far beyond football: 10 Olympic Games, memorably crying out in the 1988 hockey final when Britain scored to win gold, “Oh, where were the Germans – but frankly, who cares?”; and numerous Winter Olympics, sharing in Torvill and Dean’s success in 1984 and heartbreak 10 years later. He is also synonymous with Wimbledon and the Boat Race. The controversies of sport are also addressed, from the Hand of God to crooked judges and professional rivalries off-screen, together with many light-hearted mishaps played out in front of millions of viewers.

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Barca: A People’s Passion, by Jimmy Burns 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Barca: A People’s Passion, by Jimmy Burns (1999)

Jimmy Burns hopes that this book will be of interest to “readers who have never been to a football match in their lives”.

This is a tall order, but, just as with Barcelona’s motto, “more than a football club”, this aims to be more than a football book. It is the passionate and often romantic story of one of the biggest clubs in the world, whose stadium, visited by tourists from across the world, holds 120,000. Read more…

The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football, by David Goldblatt (2006)

In this extraordinary tour de force of a book, David Goldblatt describes the rise of football, from a chaotic folk ritual to a sector of the global-entertainment industry.

It is the story of players and managers, fans and owners, clubs and national teams; a chronicle of who won and who lost. But it is also a history of states and markets, money and power. And, above all, how all these forces interact. It is a history which attempts to locate where the line between the realm of glory and the realm of power has been crossed, that celebrates the love of the game, but knows that it can be bought. Read more…

Badfellas: FIFA Family at War 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

Badfellas: FIFA Family at War, by John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson (2003)

WORLD football’s governing body FIFA has claimed credit for the success of one of the world’s greatest and most lucrative sporting spectacles, the football World Cup, and the expansion of the world game more generally.

Yet, as Asia staged its first World Cup, behind the scenes the administration of the world game was in shambles. Though the President of FIFA, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, secured a second term at a heated FIFA Congress on the eve of Japan/Korea 2002, internecine rivalries persisted at the heart of the organization, – and FIFA finances continue to be veiled in secrecy. Read more…

The African Game, by Andrew Dosunmu 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

The African Game, by Andrew Dosunmu (2006)

THIS title talks about the beautiful game … through the eyes of a continent.

It offers a fascinating vision of Africa’s love affair with football as documented by celebrated Nigerian photographer and filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu.

Punctuated with essays by journalist Knox Robinson, this book looks to football as a way to explore modern African life, culture and identity.

Highlighting Puma’s relationship with football in Africa, as the official supplier of sportswear and equipment to the African football teams, the book follows a narrative of the sport through Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Angola, Ghana, Tunisia and Egypt.

The book mixes classic portraiture and gripping reportage-style photography to frame Africa, its sporting heritage, and its everyday vibrancy in a way that is rarely seen.

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Football Against the Enemy, by Simon Kuper 0

Posted on August 22, 2011 by samh

Football Against the Enemy, by Simon Kuper (1994)

SIMON Kuper travelled to 22 countries from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to the USA, to examine the way football has shaped them.

At the same time he tried to find out what lies behind each nation’s distinctive style of play from the carefree self expression of the Brazilians to the anxious calculation of the Italians. During his journeys he met an extraordinary range of players, politicians and of course the fans themselves, all of whom revealed in their different ways the unique place football has in the life of the planet.

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