December 07, 2007

Six great soccer books.: The Guardian's Scott Murray lists his top six soccer books: "From a history of German football to leftwing rages on fans' rights ..." Don't forget to check out the reader faves in the article's comments. And, of course, add your own here.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:55 PM - 6 comments

He missed All Played Out by Pete Davies. Easily the best book about football that I've ever read. Though perhaps that's coming from the perspective of an England fan who lived and breathed Italia '90.

posted by squealy at 01:27 PM on December 07, 2007

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro is a brilliant book and I was very surprised not to see it on the list.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:56 PM on December 07, 2007

Getting down to six is a very hard thing to do. I own a couple on his list already. For the greatest single article ever written about football from a fan's perspective, I go for that Roddy Doyle piece in My Favourite Year. It brings tears to my eyes just remembering it, and I'm not Irish. Here's a few more: Football In Sun and Shadow by Uruguyan poet Eduardo Galleano A Season With Verona by the otherwise unreadable novelist Tim Parks The Far Corner (referenced in the article) by Harry Pearson (easily the funniest on any list) Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters by Johnny Warren (former Australian captain), a great book about growing up playing a minority sport Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper (a classic - the chapters on Eastern Europe - especially on Dinamo Kyiv and their involvement in nuclear warheads - are worth the price of the book alone) and THose Feet - the origin of the English football style. There's a whole chapter on masturbation.

posted by owlhouse at 03:31 PM on December 07, 2007

Sorry, Those Feet is by David Winner, who also wrote Brilliant Orange. And I'll also add The Goalkeepers History of Britain by Peter Chapman for possibly the best analysis of the nation's post war decline from between the sticks. Some good ideas for stocking fillers for my family in there. Off to the bookshop this morning, then.

posted by owlhouse at 03:42 PM on December 07, 2007

Best football books I've read are: When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Book How Soccer Explains the World The former has a bunch of irreverent WSC style writings on the game. Hugely interesting. When Saturday Comes is about the only soccer magazine worth reading. The latter book examines the game in different countries, it's political impact etc... The chapters on Brazil and Serbia are especially fascinating.

posted by Drood at 12:20 AM on December 08, 2007

I'll second owlhouse with Harry Pearson's The Far Corner: an account of a year spent watching football at every level in the north-east, with dashes of history, culture and local folklore. It's very, very funny, and deeply rooted in its subject-matter: Pearson's a long-suffering Boro fan (is there any other?) but he's also the kind of fan who'd watch a Sunday pub cloggers' match with three old gadgies and a dog. In some ways, it's now also a period piece: written in 1995, in the wake of Fever Pitch, it shows an early appreciation of the English game's gentrification at the top level. (His piece in My Favourite Year is also spot-on, at least from my experience watching the 1991 season.)

posted by etagloh at 09:05 PM on December 08, 2007

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