Football/Soccer books you have to read

Every football fan, soccer coach and player should aim at developing his knowledge of the game. And reading books is the most essential part of the learning process of every football fan.

in the current article you’ll find a list of every football book worth reading that gives you a fresh look at the beautiful game.

Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics – Jonathan Wilson 

Football’s tactical revolution is traced from the very beginnings of the game, through its pioneers in England, Scotland, and as far afield as Hungary.

Inverting the Pyramid provides a definitive understanding of the tactical genius of modern-day Barcelona, for the first time showing how their style of play developed from Dutch “Total Football”, which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park in the 1870s and taken on by Tottenham Hotspur in the 1930s. Inverting the Pyramid has been called the “Big Daddy” of soccer tactics books; it is essential for any coach, fan, player, or fantasy manager of the beautiful game.

How to be a Footballer – Peter Crouch

You become a footballer because you love football. And then you are a footballer, and you’re suddenly in the strangest, most baffling world of all. A world where one team-mate comes to training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them, and another has so many sports cars they forget they have left a Porsche at the train station. Even when their surname is incorporated in the registration plate.

Peter Crouch

Peter tall man crouch has proved himself a comedy star after retiring, he always finds a way to put a smile on your face and he has got the stories to back it up. In this book he’ll be taking you through anecdotes of his footballing career trying to get the reader as close as possible to the life of a professional player.

Klopp: Bring the Noise – Raphael Honigstein

Raphael Honigstein, author of Das Reboot and Budesliga correspondent for the Guardian, has interviewed Klopp and followed his career since his early years, and better than anyone knows how to “bring the noise” to his subject.

German journalist Raphael Honigstein give you a free pass to the inner circle of one of the best coaches of the planet by interviewing former players, colleagues, friends and family to provide the most in-depth depiction of the Liverpool manager.

Andrea Pirlo: I Think, Therefore I Play

This is his story, in his words. It is written with a level of humour and insight which confound his image as a dead-eyed assassin on the field of play. All the big names are in there: Lippi, Ancelotti, Conte, Maldini, Shevchenko, Seedorf, Buffon, Kaka, Nesta, Balotelli, Costacurta, Gattuso, Berlusconi and Ronaldo (‘the real one’). But they’re not always in their work clothes.

Andrea Pirlo I think therefore  I play

We hear Berlusconi playing the piano and telling ‘various types of jokes’ at Milan’s training ground. We see Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi drawing Nesta’s ire as they take him on a mystery tour of the German countryside in a hire car days before a World Cup semifinal. And we smell the aftermath of Filippo Inzaghi’s graphically described prematch routine.

With the 2014 World Cup being his last international tournament, this is a timely salute to a special talent who may yet have one final chapter left to write.

Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography

This Ferguson has a whole library of fascinating autobiographies, but this is arguably his best. Its most recent edition came out in 2013, just after he had retired as Manchester United manager. 

My autobiography

Sir Alex Ferguson’s best-selling autobiography has now been updated to offer reflections on events at Manchester United since his retirement as well as his teachings at the Harvard Business School, a night at the Oscars and a boat tour round the Hebrides, where he passed unrecognised.

Messi – Guillem Balague 

I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi

Diego Maradona

Guillem Balague has had unprecedented access to Messi’s inner circle: his coaches, team-mates and family. In addition, Pep Guardiola has provided exclusive analysis of the player. The result is an authoritative and compelling account of the wonderful mystery that is Messi.

Messi-Guillem Balague

I can tell my grandkids one day that I coached Lionel Messi

Pep Guardiola

Balague reminisces about the Argentine’s upbringing in Rosario, his very best years at Barcelona, before finally looking to the final years of his glorious career.

My Turn: The Autobiography – Johann Cruyff 

Johan Cruyff is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. Throughout his playing career, he was synonymous with Total Football, a style of play in which every player could play in any position on the pitch. Today his philosophy lives on in teams across Europe, from Barcelona to Bayern Munich, and players from Lionel Messi to Cesc Fabregas.

Johan cruyff my turn

My Turn tells the story of one of the greatest ever, traversing spells at Ajax and Barcelona and exploring how his life in Amsterdam would go on to influence not just his own playing style, but his impact on football for decades to come.

In March 2016 Cruyff died after a short battle with lung cancer, bringing world football to a standstill in an outpouring of emotions. Johan Cruyff was a brilliant teacher and analyst of the game he loved, and My Turn is his legacy.

The Special One: The Dark Side of Jose Mourinho

An explosive and shocking biography of Jose Mourinho – revealing the dark side of ‘the special one’.

When José Mourinho announced his return to English football, it sparked celebrations from fans and press alike. As one of the most charismatic figures in the game, his reappearance could surely only be a good thing…

Did Jose Mourinho really conspire to lose a second leg tie in the Champions League against Barcelona to blame it on the referee? Was he an explicit booster for his agent Jorge Mendes’s business through his Real transfer dealings? Did Mourinho really break down when he wasn’t given the United job? How did the Real players really behave in the dressing room? And what about the curious case of Fabio Coentrao?

As part of El Pais, Diego Torres is one of the premier investigative journalists in Spanish football, and in this explosive biography of ‘the special one’ he uncovers secrets and lies that will change the way we see Mourinho.

Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches

Carlo Ancelotti is one of the greatest managers of all time, with five Champions League titles to his name. Yet his approach could not be further from the aggressive theatricals favoured by many of his rivals

In Quiet Leadership, Ancelotti reveals the full riveting story of his managerial career – his methods, mentors, mistakes and triumphs – and takes us inside the dressing room to trace the characters, challenges and decisions that have shaped him. The result is both a scintillating memoir and a rare insight into the business of leadership.

I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Professional football’s most mercurial player, Swedish national hero, tabloid fixture, fashion icon, modern-day philosopher and black belt in Taekwondo.

Guardiola has no balls. He drove me like a Fiat…I’m a Ferrari

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Born to a Muslim father from Bosnia, and a Catholic mother from Croatia, Zlatan recounts his extraordinary life story, from his poverty-stricken upbringing as an immigrant in Malmö, Sweden, to becoming one of the world’s most sought-after and expensive players, gracing Europe’s finest clubs, from Ajax to Juventus, Internazionale to Barcelona, Milan to Paris Saint-Germain, and now Manchester United.

My Life in Football

Ian Wright, Arsenal legend, England striker and TV pundit extraordinaire, is one of the most interesting and relevant figures in modern football.

His journey from a South London council estate to national treasure is everybody’s dream. From Sunday morning football directly to Crystal Palace; from ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ to inside the Wenger Revolution; from Saturday afternoons on the pitch to Saturday evenings on primetime television; from a week in prison to inspiring youth offenders, Ian will reveal all about his extraordinary life and career.

Commitment: My Autobiography

Didier Drogba is renowned for his heading ability, sharp shooting and sheer strength. He has played for his native Ivory Coast and for clubs in France, China and Turkey, but it is as a Chelsea striker that he is best known. His feats with Chelsea have made him a cult hero among supporters.

In Didier Drogba’s honest and revealing autobiography he will talk about life as an immigrant in Paris, the importance of his education and how finding success later than most professional footballers has kept him grounded

Away from football Drogba has been widely applauded for his involvement in trying to broker peace in the Ivorian civil war – he is a UN Goodwill Ambassador and does a huge amount of work with the Didier Drogba Foundation – Time magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Go behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge and find out about life on and off the field for this humble Chelsea hero.

The Quality of Madness

Marcelo Bielsa is one of football’s greatest eccentrics and greatest enigmas.This is the first English biography of one of football’s most contradictory characters. A definitive and comprehensive biography, from growing up in Argentina under a military dictatorship to reviving the stricken power of Leeds United.

Bielsa is described by Pep Guardiola as: ‘the greatest football manager in the world’. To the Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino, he is ‘my footballing father, the reason I became a player, the reason I became a manager.’

The Age of Football: The Global Game in the Twenty-first Century

In The Age of Football, David Goldblatt charts football’s global cultural ascent, its economic transformation and deep politicisation, taking in prison football in Uganda and amputee football in Angola, the role of football fans in the Arab Spring, the footballing presidencies of Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, China’s declared intention to both host and win the World Cup by 2050, and the FIFA corruption scandal.

Following the intersection of the game with money, power and identity, like no previous sports historian, Goldblatt’s sweeping story is remarkable in its scope, breathtaking in its depth of knowledge, and is a brilliantly original perspective of the twenty-first century. It is the account of how football has come to define every facet of our social, economic and cultural lives and at what cost, shaping who we think we are and who we want to be.

Football Leaks: Uncovering the Dirty Deals Behind the Beautiful Game

In 2016, a whistle-blower known only as ‘John’ began leaking a treasure trove of top-secret files, revealing the clandestine dealings of clubs, players and agents at the highest levels of international football.

From the eye-popping details of player transfers, to loopholes and opaque tax structures that ensure maximum earnings, this is a tale of rapacious greed and dodgy deals. It is also a gripping story of a fan who wanted to free football from corruption, but finds himself on the run.

The Making of the Women’s World Cup: Defining Stories from a Sport’s Coming of Age

Kieran Theivam and Jeff Kassouf detail the most incredible tales from previous Women’s World Cups to create a wonderful composite view of the women’s game.

The book covers topics such as Michelle Akers, playing through the pain; the early years, including the 1996 Olympics; the US team’s World Cup triumph on home soil in 1999; Germany’s dominant years between 2003 and 2007; superstar Marta; Kelly Smith and the Golden Boot that changed the game in England in 2007; how Japan’s team brought the first smiles to that country since the devastating tsunami; the beginnings of Australia’s golden generation; the 122nd-minute USA-Brazil quarter-final equalizer; and the Laura Bassett own goal that broke English hearts and brought them together at the same time.

A Game of Two Halves: Famous Football Fans Meet Their Heroes

Ever wondered which goal Frank Lampard is proudest of, who Jürgen Klopp thinks will manage Liverpool in the future, what Rio Ferdinand thinks of Man United in the post-Ferguson years or exactly how many grey cashmere jumpers Pep Guardiola owns? In this collection of frank and funny conversations between soccer players and their biggest fans, these vital questions (and many more) are finally addressed.

A Game of Two Halves shows a different side to some of the biggest names in the sport, reminding us of the common ground we all share. Profits from this project will be donated to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support their work with child refugees. Featuring forewords by Raheem Sterling and Gary Lineker and interviews between Jürgen Klopp and John Bishop, Pep Guardiola and Johnny Marr, Lucy Bronze and Clare Balding, Frank Lampard and Omid Djalili, Rio Ferdinand and Rachel Riley, Ian Wright and Wretch 32, Héctor Bellerin and Romesh Ranganathan, Steven Gerrard and David Morrissey, Gary Lineker and Fahd Saleh, Eric Dier and David Lammy, John McGlynn and Val McDermid, and Vivianne Miedema and Amy Raphael

SoccerWomen 

Women’s soccer has come a long way. The first organized games on record — which took place three hundred years ago in the Scottish Highlands — were exhibition matches, where single women played against married women while available men looked on, seeking a potential mate.

Today, champions like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Brazil’s Marta and China’s Sun Wen, have inspired girls around the world to pick up the beautiful game for love of the sport. Inevitably, given the hardships and discrimination they face, women who play soccer professionally are so much more than elite athletes. They are survivors, campaigners, political advocates, feminists, LGBTQ activists, working moms, staunch opponents of racial discrimination and inspirational role models for many.

Based on original interviews with over 50 current and former players and coaches, this book celebrates these remarkable women and their achievements against all odds.

The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer

Soccer is not only the world’s most popular sport; it’s also one of the most widely shared forms of global culture. The Language of the Game is a passionate and engaging introduction to soccer’s history, tactics, and human drama. Profiling soccer’s full cast of characters — goalies and position players, referees and managers, commentators and fans — historian and soccer scholar Laurent Dubois describes how the game’s low scores, relentless motion, and spectacular individual performances combine to turn each match into a unique and unpredictable story. He also shows how soccer’s global reach makes it an unparalleled theatre for nationalism, international conflict, and human interconnectedness, with close attention to both men’s and women’s soccer.

Filled with perceptive insights and stories both legendary and little known, The Language of the Game is a rewarding read for anyone seeking to understand soccer better — newcomers and passionate followers alike.

Categories:Football

5 replies

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