We have compiled a list of 10 best football books every fan must read. We have tried as much as possible to cover a wide range of topics like History,Satire,Economics,etc in this list. Of course this list is neither perfect nor exhaustive,so feel free to leave your opinions in the comments.
Fever Pitch- Nick Hornby
As a young boy, growing up in London and watching his parents’ marriage fall apart, Nick Hornby had little sense of home. Then his dad took him to Highbury. Arsenal’s football ground would become the source of many of the strongest feelings he’d ever have: joy, humiliation, heartbreak, frustration and hope.
In this hilarious, moving and now-classic book, he vividly depicts his childhood life, his time as a teacher, and his first loves (after football), all through the prism of the game, as he insightfully and brilliantly explores obsession, and the way it can shape a life.
The Ball is Round:A Global History of Football – David Goldblatt
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’s the story of players and managers, fans and owners, clubs and national teams; a chronicle of who won and who lost. But it’s 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. Thus the book describes and accounts for the careers of Pele and Maradona, Puskas and George Best; the histories of the Wunderteam and the incomparable Hungarians, the anti-futbol of Estudiantes de la Plata and the futbol arte of Brazil 1970. It explores the cultural meanings and political uses of football in Peron’s Argentina, Adenauer’s West Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mussolini’s Italy. It ranges from the postcolonial politics of African football to the manufacturing history of the football boot; from the history of stadium architecture to the architecture of power in global football’s leading institutions.
Futebol- The Brazillian Way of Life – Alex Bellos
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 has all the elements of dance and, indeed, is often described as such. At their best, Brazilian soccer players are both athletes and artists. As Alex Bellos brilliantly reveals in his classic book, their game can symbolize racial harmony, flamboyance, youth, innovation, and skill―in short, it’s a microcosm of the country itself.
Soccernomics – Simon Cooper
At last, football has its answer to Freakonomics, The Tipping Point and The Undercover Economist.
Why do England lose?”
“Why do Germany & Brazil Win?”
“How have Spain conquered the World?”
“Penalties – what are they good for?”
“What is the price on achieving success and the true cost of failure?”
These are questions every football fan has asked. Soccernomics (previously published as Why England Lose) answers them. Written with an economist’s brain and a football writer’s skill, it applies high-powered analytical tools to everyday football topics.
Inverting the Pyramid – Jonathan Wilson
Inverting the Pyramid is a pioneering soccer book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe.Through Jonathan Wilson’s brilliant historical detective work we learn how the South Americans shrugged off the British colonial order to add their own finesse to the game; how the Europeans harnessed individual technique and built it into a team structure; how the game once featured five forwards up front, while now a lone striker is not uncommon.
Inverting the Pyramid has become the bible for all football fans when it comes to football tactics. Jonathan Wilson’s style of writing and the timeline he covers makes it a very interesting read even for the casual fans. This book certainly is a must have for every football tactics fan.
Seeing Red- Graham Poll
Seeing Red is Graham Poll’s incisive insight into football from his prime position as the man in black, the one in control, the eye that sees all. A Premier League referee since 1991 and with ten years as an international referee, Graham Poll has handled some of the toughest games in the Premiership involving Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as European Championships and World Cups – in total over 1500 matches.
Morbo – Phil Ball
Morbo is the unique element that gives Spanish football its special flavour. More than mere rivalry, it is the expression in a thousand provocative ways of the feeling between clubs divided by history, language and politics. At its most bitter between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the same spirit courses through the uncompromising politics of the Basque Country, hangs over the divided city of Seville and marks Spain s attitudes towards its national team. In this brand new 2011 edition , Phil Ball examines the recent successes of the Spanish national team in the World Cup of 2010 and the European Championship of 2008, as the dark horses finally managed to live up to their potential. In addition the analysis of the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona is brought up to date to take account of the impact of José Mourinho and the many fractious recent encounters between the two clubs, in both domestic and European competition.
The Damned United – David Pearce
In 1974 the brilliant and controversial Brian Clough made perhaps his most eccentric decision: he accepted the position of Leeds United manager. A successor to Don Revie, his bitter adversary, Clough was to last just 44 days.
In one of the most acclaimed British novels of recent years – subsequently made into a film starring Michael Sheen – David Peace takes us into the mind and thoughts of Ol’ Big ‘Ead himself, and brings vividly to life one of football’s most complex and fascinating characters.
Tor!- The Story of German Football
No Best Football Books list is complete without a book on German football and Tor! we think is the best of the lot. 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 to postwar triumphs and the crisis of the new century. Tor! challenges the myth that German football is predictable or efficient and brings to life the fascinating array of characters who shaped it: the betrayed pioneer Walther Bensemann; the enigmatic genius Sepp Herberger; the all-conquering Franz Beckenbauer; the modern misfit Lothar Matthäus. And even the radio commentator Herbert Zimmermann, whose ecstatic cries of Tor! greeted the winning goal in the 1954 World Cup final and helped change a whole nation s view of itself. This new edition brings events up to date, examining the effect that hosting the 2006 World Cup had on the country, and how German club football has become the most talked-about in Europe, culminating in the 2013 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
A life too short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke
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, including Jose Mourinho’s Benfica and Louis Van Gaal’s Barcelona, and was destined to be his country’s first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport. Heartfelt, but never sentimental, he tells the universal tragedy of a talented man’s struggles against his own demons.
If you feel we missed out on a book,please let us know in the comments. If you are an author/publisher and want us to consider your book for this list,please contact us here.