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`Magnificent... Freakonomics for football' - Guardian This is the revised and expanded 5th edition of the international bestseller about why Spain, Germany and Brazil win, and why the USA, Japan, Australia - and even Iraq - are destined to become the kings of the world's most popular sport. Football truly is the world's favourite game, followed in over 200 countries by hundreds of millions of people pouring their hearts and souls into supporting their chosen team every week. But behind the passion are questions that all true football aficionados want to know: why do England lose whilst German and Brazil win? How have Spain conquered the world? Why do so many clubs buy the wrong players? Fully revised and updated, Soccernomics is the revolutionary guide from an economist and a sports writer who answer all these questions and more.
Celtic's greatest side became European champions in 1967, but if you think you know their history - think again. This is their tale as never told before. The remarkable story of how Jock Stein brought together a group of local lads, engaging on their first European Cup campaign, and led them all the way to the top will never be repeated. As they progressed, they continued to challenge on four fronts, giving new pride to the city of Glasgow, and creating a legend that resonates still, fifty years on. A Year and a Day provides unprecedented detail on the twelve months that brought such unique success. Discover which Clyde player almost became a Lisbon Lion and who he would have replaced. Learn how Jock Stein got his prediction for the final horribly wrong and even what the Lions had for breakfast on the great day. Find out who spirited away the match ball - and keeps it to this day - at the end of Celtic's tumultuous quarter-final with Vojvodina. The book includes an excruciatingly honest interview with Jimmy Johnstone, Celtic's greatest player, previously unpublished in full. The other Lisbon Lions also have their say, and here too, for the first time, are extensive interviews with representatives of all of the opponents that Celtic faced on the way to Lisbon, providing frank and shocking insights. Teeming with fresh material, this book scrutinises every step Celtic took on the way to winning the European Cup. Even the players who won the great trophy will discover in these pages new revelations about how they emerged triumphant. It is the last word on their magnificent achievement.
Lee McCulloch plays for Rangers and is club captain. He signed for his boyhood heroes in July 2007 in a GBP 2 million transfer from Wigan and he has helped the club to three SPL titles and a UEFA Cup Final. His popularity with the Rangers fans has increased dramatically in recent months during the turmoil at Ibrox. When others walked out, Lee stated he would play for the club for nothing and was also the first player to pledge his future to the Rangers newco. In his explosive autobiography, McCulloch opens up on the turmoil at Rangers in the past two years as the club was sold by Sir David Murray to Craig Whyte and the historic events that followed, from administration to liquidation and to the club being reformed under Charles Green. He lifts the lid on the remarkable and fascinating inside story from the dressing room and their battles with those in power at Ibrox. From his humble upbringing in Lanarkshire where he was driven to succeed in football by his strict disciplinarian father, to joining Rangers and how his first season there left him in tears and regretting the decision to move to Ibrox, this book has it all. Lee was also a success at Wigan and was the club's record signing when he joined them from Motherwell in 2001 for GBP 700,000. He was recently voted into their all-time Greatest XI and tells the story of their rise to the English Premiership and the part he played. Lee has been capped for his country 18 times and tells what it was like to play under five Scotland managers - Berti Vogts, Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, George Burley and Craig Levein. He also reveals boozing sessions with Berti Vogts that left him shocked and opens his heart on why he quit Scotland under George Burley and the bust-ups that followed with the SFA. With his high profile as Rangers captain, his loyal following including more than 50,000 Twitter followers, and his unique insight into the recent turmoil at Ibrox, Lee McCulloch's autobiography is Simp-Lee the Best.
Published to coincide with the club’s centenary celebrations
100 Years of Leeds United tells the story of a one-club city and its tumultuous relationship with its football team.
Since its foundation in 1919, Leeds United Football Club has seen more ups and downs than most, rising to global fame through an inimitable and uncompromising style in the 70s, clinching the last Division One title of the pre-Sky Sports era in 1992, before becoming the epitome of financial mismanagement at the start of the 21st century.
Despite this demise, United remains one of the best supported – and most divisive – clubs in football, with supporters’ clubs dotted across the globe.
In 100 Years of Leeds United, Chapman delves deep into the archives to discover the lesser-known episodes, providing fresh context to the folkloric tales that have shaped the club we know today, painting the definitive picture of the West Yorkshire giants.
By turns tragic and uplifting, More Noble Than War is the history of Israel and Palestine through the lens of the world's most popular sport, football. Football has never been apolitical. This is especially true for Israel and Palestine. The sport was introduced originally through the church, and then encouraged by the British Army, with Jews and Arabs playing on the same team. After the creation of Israel in 1948, teams split down Jewish and Arab lines and tensions grew. For Palestine, football continues primarily abroad, where the top four teams in Jordan are refugee teams; while Israel has a thriving domestic league. But some of Israel's best players are of Palestinian descent, creating a rare occurrence in which a Palestinian is heralded and praised by Israelis. In recent years, efforts are being made to bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians with mixed youth leagues. This is a vibrant and often shocking story filled with driven, even ferocious people who are inspired by nationalism as much as a love of the game. There are many sacrifices, as brilliant teams are scattered by wars, sidelined through boycotts, and stories of players arrested, expelled, driven to hunger strikes, and beaten or shot. It is a story not simply of Jewish-Arab rivalry, but also deep and often violent animosities within both communities. In this unusual history of the world's most intractable conflict, Nicholas Blincoe sets out to answer questions such as: is it hopelessly romantic to think of football as a fourth field, beyond farmlands, graveyards and battlefields? Or will it always be just another space to be fought over and polluted?
FC Sankt Pauli - the football club in the red-light district of Hamburg; a transvestite chairman; terraces populated by punks, pimps and prostitutes; a club run by anarchists, united under the skull and crossbones flag. This is the cliche that has been lazily peddled, one which attracts clueless stag parties from the Reeperbahn to the Millerntor stadium. But it's not the real St Pauli. In Pirates, Punks & Politics author Nick Davidson puts the record straight, intermingling the history of FC St. Pauli, and the district it represents, with an account of his own involvement with the club. Back in 2007 Davidson travelled with his father to watch his first game at the Millerntor. What he found reinforced his faith in football. This book goes beyond the stereotype to seek out the real St. Pauli - a club with a passionate, left-wing fan base that has made a stand against, fascism, racism, sexism and both in football and wider society. As the author and countless others have discovered, the Millerntor is also a place which welcomes with open arms fans seeking an alternative to the rabid commercialisation of football elsewhere, encouraging them to stay for hours after the final whistle and immerse themselves in the vibrant fan culture. Read this book and fall in love with a different kind of football.
Infographics are the fresh, interesting new way of displaying information facts and statistics on any subject. Opta World Football Infographics is the first book extensively to explore the rich history, statistics and culture of of football through this innovative new medium. With data extensively sourced from the world's leading football data provider, Opta World Football Infographics reveals the answers to the questions that have long puzzled fans, such as "Who is the best footballer ever?" with candidates including Pele, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, or which major football league provides the best value for money, or into which part of the goal is best place to put a penalty to score (or be saved) in the World Cup. This book covers football from stadiums to superstars, titles to tournaments, across the world. In fact Opta World Football Infographics, with its painstakingly researched and creatively designed pages, takes our passion and fascination for the beautiful game to a whole new level.
'An intelligent and stylish study...packed with new information and insight...cements Adam Crafton's reputation as one of the brightest young journalistic talents' Ian Herbert, author of Bob Paisley Quiet Genius As Pep Guardiola shatters records and confounds the norms of English football and players such as David De Gea and David Silva light up the national game, Spanish stars are transforming the way English football is conceived. But the origins of this particular Spanish invasion date back to 1937, when the Spanish Civil War led to a stream of refugees fleeing their country for the safe haven of England. Their families reveal how the refugees learned the game here, before returning to Spain where one would score Real Madrid's first goal in the Bernabeu stadium and another would be the first man to conceive of Barcelona's vaunted La Masia academy that would later launch stars such as Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez. In recent years the reputation of Spain's footballers has grown, and every club craves a sprinkling of tiki-taka magic. Through dozens of exclusive interviews, Adam Crafton has spoken to many of the key Spanish figures who have come to England and he creates a compelling portrait of their impact on the English game. We discover how and why it is that some players, such as Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina and Juan Mata, have had great success here, while others have toiled so painfully. But this is not just a footballing story, pure and simple. Crafton provides the historical and social context that helps to explain how the relationship between the two nations is constantly changing, yet always close. For anyone who enjoyed Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid or Sid Lowe's Fear and Loathing in La Liga, this book is a revealing and brilliant insight into this most benign of Spanish invasions.
This is the story of golf as it's never been told before. A dog-legged compilation of sports reports, spoof correspondence and reminiscences from pros, caddies, playing partners and armchair pundits: Mary Queen of Scots cheers herself up at the links at Leith following the murder of her husband Lord Darnley; Dwight D. Eisenhower's valet shoots the breeze as he clears up the Oval Office following a particularly gruelling Presidential putting practice session; Bob Hope's chauffeur experiments with some one-liners whilst waiting for his boss in the clubhouse car park; and John Daly's local bartender describes the unique skills of his best customer. The albatrosses, the Big Berthas, the yips and the holes-in-one that have provided the perfect excuse to linger at the nineteenth hole are amusingly recalled for the delectation of the Fair Isle sweater brigade.
Jim Baxter was one of Scotland's greatest-ever football players, a left-footed wonder who became a Rangers icon and a leading member of the celebrated Scotland side of the 1960s. In this insightful biography, Tom Miller takes an in-depth look at the legend known as Slim Jim. Baxter joined Rangers in 1960 for a then record transfer fee of GBP 17,500 and quickly showed his worth, helping them to an incredible run of ten trophy victories between 1960 and 1965. He also played an instrumental role in Scotland's strong international run, especially playing against England, where in 1963 he scored both goals in a 2-1 victory after Scotland were reduced to ten players. And his 1967 game of keepieuppie, while waiting for teammates to get into position, in the midst of the British Home Championship has gone down in football history. Yet off the field, Baxter was a contradictory character. Though an affable man who eschewed the sectarianism that blighted Glasgow football, he was also a gambler and regularly drank to excess. After stints at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest, his football career ended with a brief spell at Rangers again. Baxter died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. In this insightful biography, lifelong fan Tom Miller brings Slim Jim and his passion for Rangers to life, capturing the halcyon days of 1960s football and charting the rise and fall of arguably the greatest footballer Scotland has ever produced.
Our view of football will never be the same again. Written by a
world-respected football historian, this football unique gift title
reveals the global game's greatest myths and untruths.
The sequel to The Roar of the Lionesses - named one of The Guardian's best sports books of 2016. England's Lionesses headed to France for the 2019 Women's World Cup endeavouring to improve on their third-place finish in Canada four years previously. But they didn't have the easiest of preparations, with dramas and headlines emerging for all the wrong reasons. Back home, FA upheavals brought yet another restructure of competition in women's football. The top flights switched back to a winter season, and now all the elite teams had to employ players on a full-time professional basis. While the superstars went in search of spectacular silverware, the goalposts were being moved for pros, part-timers and amateurs alike. Even women playing football for fun were forced to consider their place in the system. Carrie Dunn's Pride of the Lionesses offers a timely inside analysis of one of the UK's fastest-growing sports. Is women's football in England actually growing from top to bottom - or is it just another slick PR campaign?
Rangers in the 1980s chronicles the fortunes of the club during one of the most turbulent, transitional decades in their history. The story is told by the players of the era, who recount their routes to Ibrox, memories of their time with the club, and retrospective opinions on both Rangers FC and the changing game. After securing the domestic Treble in season 1977/78 and narrowly missing out on winning all three trophies again in 1978/79, Rangers entered a period of several seasons in the wilderness. Under the guidance of John Greig, a successful but ageing team was broken up and Ibrox Stadium was redeveloped. Jock Wallace tried to mastermind a return to the club's former glories. Then the arrival of the visionary David Holmes kick-started a revolution. Former players such as Richard Gough, Ally Dawson, Bobby Russell, Hugh Burns and Derek Johnstone share their enthralling inside stories of life at Rangers, recalling the rollercoaster ride experienced as the club strove to re-establish itself at the pinnacle of the Scottish game.
No sport has undergone so traumatic a transformation as rugby since the turn of the century. The last of the major sports to be granted a licence to make or dispense money, rugby was propelled on a trajectory that has twisted its cumbersome frame to the very limits of integrity and continues to do so. The pressures exerted throughout, on infrastructure, economics, administrators and, most poignantly of all, the players themselves, have conjured the perpetual impression of a sport on the brink of explosion or implosion, a drama compelling and appalling to behold. Unholy Union is a snapshot of the sport in the early 21st century, pulling apart how we have come to be where we are, while brazenly prescribing what needs to be done next. It is ambitious in its scope, drawing on rugby's long history from the same cradle as its bigger sister, association football, while tapping into the edgy, prescriptive zeitgeist of this raging age of social media. This book will be irreverent and provocative, asking uncomfortable questions of rugby, sport and life, but it will be imbued throughout with love for a game whose ancient spirit is that of the foot soldier, that of the cavalier. The task at hand is to preserve it in the face of the professional onslaught.
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