The Best Soccer Books

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What are some of the best soccer books to buy? Here’s a quick run down of some soccer books to read this summer or any summer or winter or fall. Is there a soccer book that’s missing from this list that we should recommend? Let us know what your favorite all-time soccer book is.

The Complete Book of Soccer Restart Plays 180 restart plays each clearly explained and diagrammed. Includes: Free Kicks, Corner Kicks, Throw Ins, Penalty Kicks and Goal Kicks. ‘The systematic study of soccer play in the last few years shows that restarting the game at set plays, whatever the situation, is often the main cause for goal scoring.’ To purchase click here!

How Soccer Explains The World: An Unlikely Theory Of Globalization Foer, a New Republic editor, scores a game-winning goal with this analysis of the interchange between soccer and the new global economy. The subtitle is a bit misleading, though: he doesn’t really use soccer to develop a theory; instead, he focuses on how examining soccer in different countries allows us to understand how international forces affect politics and life around the globe. To purchase click here!

Pele – My Life and the Beautiful Game This autobiography is an excellent, descriptive anology of a great athelete who exceeded far more than any other player in the history of game. The story is told through the eyes of the man behind the legend, in his own words. It is a motivational story for any player, any age, at any level in the game. Pele’s encounters are an inspiration to anyone who reads this book. To purchase click here!

Cristiano Ronaldo: Champion of the World
Already a star at the youth level on his home island of Madeira and earning a big move to Sporting Lisbon at just 12, Cristiano Ronaldo left a small town for a big city and was forced to adapt to a completely different life, miles away from his family. His spirit and natural flair took him into the Sporting first team, attracting the interest of Manchester United, who bought him in the summer of 2003. This is the story of a player who attracted praise and criticism alike from soccer fans of all stripes yet won over the United fans with his array of tricks. His dealings with the glare of the media as well as his controversial role in the 2006 World Cup Rooney incident are covered here, as well as his role in inspiring United to the Premiership title and his PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year double honor. Love him or hate him, this is the story of a player who always provokes a reaction.
To purchase click here!

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey–and Even Iraq–Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport
Call it Moneyball for soccer: journalist Kuper (Soccer against the Enemy, 2006) and economist Szymanski (Fans of the World, Unite! 2008) apply cold, hard facts to our commonly held beliefs about the beautiful game and tell us that everything we think we know is wrong. England’s national team doesn’t underachieve (if anything, given its size, location, and talent pool, it overachieves); paying big money for hot players isn’t a good idea (usually, the players’ exertions mean they’ll underperform next year); and soccer clubs make terrible (though remarkably durable) businesses. Unlike Kuper’s more sober Soccer against the Enemy, there’s a teasing playfulness, almost braggadocio, here, as the authors burst bubble after bubble using the words, “We have the data to answer this question.” As they acknowledge, some fans will resist subjecting long-held emotional attachments to the cold light of statistical analysis. And some may argue their findings: just as Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s are coming off their third losing season, author-praised AC Milan is off to a terrible start. But whether analyzing the relationship of spending to winning or applying game theory to the penalty kick, the authors’ delight in discovery proves both persuasive and contagious. It’s a fascinating book with the potential to effect genuine change in the sport. To purchase click here!

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