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Recommended Books About World Football

Updated on October 24, 2012
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

I had previously written 'Recommended Football Books' which was all about British football and its great teams,managers players as well as novels about football. This though is about World football books. There are probably hundreds of great books but i decided to just stick with a nice team of 11 and again there are some about great teams,players,countries. Some triumph and a fair amount of tragedy.

They may all be different but i think they are all really good books that i have enjoyed in different ways. What about you. Have you read any of these? Did you like them? What other books would you suggest?

MARADONA: HAND OF GOD by JIMMY BURNS

This is an interesting book and a worthwhile read about Diego Maradona. It looks at his life and all his ups and downs through it whether on the pitch or off it.



CALCIO A HISTORY OF ITALIAN FOOTBALL by JOHN FOOT

This is a very good and thorough book for anybody interested in Italian football. It covers all sorts of topics-such as legendary players, the international teams, various tragedies through the years and the match fixing scandals. Also looks at some of the top managers and centre forwards that have made their name in Italy and coverage of Italys World cup performances.

Great reading for anybody wanting to know about a lot of areas of Italian football.

A LIFE TOO SHORT: THE TRAGEDY OF ROBERT ENKE BY RONALD RENG

This is the story of Robert Enke,the German goalkeeper who took his own life in 2009 at the age of 32 while suffering depression. At that stage he was tipped to be Germanys goalkeeper in the next years World cup but it really shows that this illness can hit anybody. The book looks at various moments in his career and it focuses on things that people might have taken for granted with footballers and other successful sportsmen,such as moving to a new country or getting openly criticised. You might assume that they would be able to cope easily but obviously that is not always the case.

He seems to have had some great help from some from within the game while others will be shame faced if they were to read about themselves.

A really good book,despite the sad topic. Not just for football fans but for others wanting to understand more about depression and its sufferers.

GARRINCHA: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF BRAZILS FORGOTTEN FOOTBALLING HERO by RUY CASTRO


A very good book about Garrincha,Brazils brilliant right winger in their first 2 World cup wins in 1958 and 1962. At one time regarded as possibly the very best in the World even above Pele This takes you through his fantastic career,and as the title of the book implies it turned very badly for him after he had finished playing with a lot of tragedy along the way.

THE BEAUTIFUL TEAM: IN SEARCH OF PELE AND THE 1970 BRAZILIANS by GARRY JENKINS

At the time of their 1970 World cup win the Brazil side was regarded as perhaps the finest of all time and many still believe it today. Certainly one of the most entertaining to watch. This book looks at the impact that side made and tracks down the individual players and hears how the success affected them. Some loved the attention and fame while for others it was too much for them.

AJAX,BARCELONA,CRUYFF by FRITS BAREND,HENK VAN DORP,DAVID WINNER and LEX VAN DAM

The ABC of Cruyff, looking at his time with Ajax and Barcelona. A fascinating book as it looks at one of the games best ever players and how he shaped his teams. Whether as a teenage player or as a manager it was him that seemed to decide how his team played. He comes across as a huge ego but with the ability to match he got away with demands that others never would have.

BRILLIANT ORANGE: THE NEUROTIC GENIUS OF DUTCH FOOTBALL by DAVID WINNER

This is an interesting book about the Dutch team and what makes them unique. A look at what fuels their rivalries and makes them one of the Worlds more noted and individual football nations.

AJAX,THE DUTCH,THE WAR by SIMON KUPER

A really interesting book and it covers things i had never thought of before. The writer Simon Kuper lived in Holland for a few years but is not slow in pointing the finger at his adopted country.

The book really shows that contrary to what many believe the Dutch were very passive against the Nazis and indeed on many occasions they actually helped them. At Ajax,who had many jews with them at the time it told of a club who done little to help them and in fact hindered them quite a bit.

A fascinating story and mentions football in general during the war as if it was still played constantly and the war was almost secondary which is a totally different view than i have seen before.

FOOTBALL AGAINST THE ENEMY by SIMON KUPER

Also by Simon Kuper this book is very interesting. He travels the World in search of the interesting stories featured. What makes a particular country so fascinated by football? Why are some rivalries so fierce?

MIRACLE OF CASTEL DI SANGRO by JOE MCGINNISS

A detailed look at the small Italian team who somehow got promotion to Serie B . It follows the players and officials from a sleepy little town who have somehow got into this level of football. The writer stays with them for the whole of the season 1996/97 and you feel as if you get to know some of the people involved as it goes on.

PUSKAS ON PUSKAS by FERENC PUSKAS and ROGAN P. TAYLOR

A good book about the great Hungarian and Real Madrid player Ferenc Puskas who was one of footballs major stars of the 1950's and 1960's. It shows what he was like as a player and a person and fills in some details on somebody who isn't too well known to recent generations.

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    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 

      5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Voted up - nice concise summaries and a fair spread of world football literature, from the profound to the glossy. A Life too Short is a must read for those who want an alternative view into the professional game. Insightful and sensitively handled.

      The Brazil of 1970 is the best team I've ever seen - for flair and all round creativity (superior to the current Spain team!) - this book look well worth a read.

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 

      5 years ago

      good hub

    working

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