How have we arrived at this point of such clear inequality between men's and women's football?
Between 1921 and 1972, women were banned from playing in football League grounds in the UK. Yet in 1998 FIFA declared that "the future is feminine" and that football was the fastest growing sport for women globally.
The result of several years of original research, the book traces the continuities in women's participation since the beginnings of the game, and highlights the significant moments that have influenced current practice. The text provides:
*insight into the communities and individual experiences of players, fans, investors, administrators and coaches
*examination of the attitudes and role of national and international associations
*analysis of the development of the professional game
*comparisons with women's football in mainland Europe, the USA and Africa.
A Game for Rough Girls is the first text to properly theorize the development of the game. Examining recreational and elite levels, the author provides a thorough critique, placing women's experience in the context of broader cultural and sports studies debates on social change, gender, power and global economics.
It’s a lonely walk through a divorce, but when family and friends are there to encourage and lift spirits, it gives great hope. The children of a broken home especially need the strength of family and God.
When all hell on earth breaks forth, how much we need the Peace that only comes from Heaven.
Born to Balkan immigrants who divorced when he was a toddler, Zlatan learned self-reliance from his rough-and-tumble neighborhood. While his father, a Bosnian Muslim, drank to forget the war back home, his mother’s household was engulfed in chaos. Soccer was Zlatan’s release. Mixing in street moves and trick plays, Zlatan was a wild talent who rode to practice on stolen bikes and relished showing up the rich kids—opponents and teammates alike. Goal by astonishing goal, the brash young outsider grew into an unlikely prodigy and, by his early twenties, an international phenomenon.
Told as only the man himself could tell it, featuring stories of friendships and feuds with the biggest names in the sport, I Am Zlatan is a wrenching, uproarious, and ultimately redemptive tale for underdogs everywhere.
Praise for I Am Zlatan
“Terrific . . . Far more insightful than your typical jock memoir, Ibra’s book tells his story of growing up as the son of immigrants in Sweden and pulls no punches when it comes to his opinions of some of the biggest names in the game.”—Sports Illustrated
“The most compelling autobiography ever to appear under a footballer’s name.”—The Guardian
“The story of Zlatan—from his days as an immigrant kid juggling a soccer ball so he won’t get bullied to his emergence as the genius player who scored the greatest goal ever—is as compelling and fancy-footed as his game.”—Aleksandar Hemon, National Book Award finalist and author of The Lazarus Project
“I love this book. I love it because it’s so much bigger than soccer. I Am Zlatan is a story of hope and grit and what an immigrant kid who comes from nothing can accomplish with hard work and belief in himself. It’s also a beautiful window into our new, more open, more diverse world.”—Marcus Samuelsson, bestselling author of Yes, Chef
“Probably the bestselling European immigrant’s tale since Zadie Smith’s White Teeth . . . Once you get past the obligatory snigger prompted by the phrase ‘footballer’s autobiography,’ you can see that Zlatan’s book strangely resembles an earlier immigrant’s tale: Portnoy’s Complaint.”—Financial Times
“He is skillful. He is outspoken. He is Zlatan.”—The New York Times
“The best sports autobiography in years.”—PolicyMic
From the Trade Paperback edition.
So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America’s most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players -- including some of the all-time greats -- to madness.
League of Denial reveals how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage.
Comprehensively, and for the first time, award-winning ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru tell the story of a public health crisis that emerged from the playing fields of our 21st century pastime. Everyone knew that football is violent and dangerous. But what the players who built the NFL into a $10 billion industry didn’t know – and what the league sought to shield from them – is that no amount of padding could protect the human brain from the force generated by modern football; that the very essence of the game could be exposing these players to brain damage.
In a fast-paced narrative that moves between the NFL trenches, America’s research labs and the boardrooms where the NFL went to war against science, League of Denial examines how the league used its power and resources to attack independent scientists and elevate its own flawed research -- a campaign with echoes of Big Tobacco’s fight to deny the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It chronicles the tragic fates of players like Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who was so disturbed at the time of his death he fantasized about shooting NFL executives; and former Chargers great Junior Seau, whose diseased brain became the target of an unseemly scientific battle between researchers and the NFL. Based on exclusive interviews, previously undisclosed documents and private emails, this is the story of what the NFL knew and when it knew it – questions at the heart of crisis that threatens football, from the highest levels all the way down to Pop Warner.
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 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” (Zonal Marking) of soccer tactics books; it is essential for any coach, fan, player, or fantasy manager of the beautiful game
Winner of the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports
Eight years of unfettered access and a keen sense of a story’s deepest truths allow Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist George Dohrmann to take readers inside the machine that produces America’s basketball stars. Play Their Hearts Out reveals a cutthroat world where boys as young as eight or nine are subjected to a dizzying torrent of scrutiny and exploitation. At the book’s heart are the personal stories of two compelling figures: Joe Keller, an ambitious coach with a master plan to find and promote “the next LeBron,” and Demetrius Walker, a fatherless latchkey kid who falls under Keller’s sway and struggles to live up to unrealistic expectations. Complete with a new “where-are-they-now” Epilogue by the author, this thoroughly compelling narrative exposes the gritty reality that lies beneath so many dreams of fame and glory.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • KIRKUS REVIEWS
Look for the exclusive conversation between George Dohrmann and bestselling author Seth Davis in the back of the book.
NCAA football is big business. Every Saturday millions of people file into massive stadiums or tune in on television as "athlete-students" give everything they've got to make their team a success. Billions of dollars now flow into the game. But what is the true cost? The players have no share in the oceans of money. And once the lights go down, the glitter doesn't shine so brightly. Filled with mind-blowing details of major NCAA football scandals, with stops at Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Missouri, BYU, LSU, Texas A&M and many more, The System explores and exposes the complex, and perhaps broken, machine that churns behind the glamour of college football.
With a New Afterword
undefeated, he was roundly mocked, yet just over 12 months later the
Arsenal manager guided his team to footballing immortality.
The Gunners’ 2003-2004 campaign was extraordinary, and not just because of their remarkable league achievement.
From the highs and lows of Europe, to disciplinary
charges, pitched battles, the frantic scramble to finance a new stadium,
a club record transfer deal in January, and winning the title at the
ground of the old enemy, this special collector’s edition book looks
back on everything that happened during an unforgettable campaign.
Match reports, behind the scenes stories, exclusive
interviews and illustrations, stats, tactics, pictures; all the things
you know, and lots of stuff you’ve forgotten. Together: tells the story
of Arsenal’s ‘unbeaten’ season.
Hope Solo is the face of the modern female athlete. She is fearless, outspoken, and the best in the world at what she does: protecting the goal of the U.S. women's soccer team. Her outsized talent has led her to the pinnacle of her sport—the Olympics and the World Cup—and made her into an international celebrity who is just as likely to appear on ABC's Dancing with the Stars as she is on the covers of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and Vogue. But her journey—which began in Richland, Washington, where she was raised by her strong-willed mother on the scorched earth of defunct nuclear testing sites—is similarly haunted by the fallout of her family history. Her father, a philanderer and con man, was convicted of embezzlement when Solo was an infant. She lost touch with him as he drifted out of prison and into homelessness. By the time they reunited, years later, in the parking lot of a grocery store, she was an All-American goalkeeper at the University of Washington and already a budding prospect for the U.S. national team. He was living in the woods.
Despite harboring serious doubts even about the provenance of her father's last name (and her own), Solo embraces him as fiercely as she pursues her dreams of being a world-class soccer player. When those dreams are threatened by her standing within the national team, as when she was famously benched in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup after four shutouts and spoke her piece publicly, we see a woman of uncompromising independence and hard-won perseverance navigate the petty backlash against her. For the first time, she tells her version of that controversial episode, and offers with it a full understanding of her hard-scrabble life.
Moving, sometimes shocking, Solo is a portrait of an athlete finding redemption. This is the Hope Solo whom few have ever glimpsed.
Signed poster inside.
Born in the Liverpool suburb of Huyton in 1980, Steven first joined Liverpool as a YTS trainee and played his first game for the first team aged just 18. His career has gone from strength to strength ever since and he is now the team's captain and its lynchpin. Liverpool's incredible comeback in the Champions' League final in Istanbul in May 2005, recovering from a 3-goal deficit against AC Milan to win on penalties, is testament to the amazing power Gerrard has over his team. His presence on the pitch is a force to be reckoned with and places him amongst the very first rank of players in the world.
A relatively private figure, Steven has rarely spoken out in public. Now, his legions of fans will be allowed an intimate glimpse of what makes their hero tick. He speaks for the first time about the torturous will-he-won't-he Chelsea rumours and his undying passion for Liverpool. We experience first-hand the highs of winning in Istanbul and elsewhere, as well as the occasional lows of being parted from his much-loved family and friends. And of course, the book contains a full blow-by-blow account of England's world cup campaign in Germany 2006.
Steven Gerrard's book is the definitive football autobiography. Like its subject, it's honest, passionate and exhilarating. If Steven Gerrard isn't your hero yet, by the time you've read this he will be...
In June 2013, when Lance Armstrong fled his palatial home in Texas, downsizing in the face of multimillion-dollar lawsuits, Juliet Macur was there—talking to his girlfriend and children and listening to Armstrong's version of the truth. She was one of the few media members aside from Oprah Winfrey to be granted extended one-on-one access to the most famous pariah in sports.
At the center of Cycle of Lies is Armstrong himself, revealed through face-to-face interviews.
But this unfolding narrative is given depth and breadth by the firsthand accounts of more than one hundred witnesses, including family members whom Armstrong had long since turned his back on—the adoptive father who gave him the Armstrong name, a grandmother, an aunt. Perhaps most damning of all is the taped testimony of the late J.T. Neal, the most influential of Armstrong's many father figures, recorded in the final years of Neal's life as he lost his battle with cancer just as Armstrong gained fame for surviving the disease.
In the end, it was Armstrong's former friends, those who had once occupied the precious space of his inner circle, who betrayed him. They were the ones who dealt Armstrong his fatal blow by breaking the code of silence that shielded the public from the grim truth about the sport of cycling—and the grim truth about its golden boy, Armstrong.
Threading together the vivid and disparate voices of those with intimate knowledge of the private and public Armstrong, Macur weaves a comprehensive and unforgettably rich tapestry of one man's astonishing rise to global fame and fortune and his devastating fall from grace.
Only, it's not quite that simple. Spanish soccer expert and historian Sid Lowe covers 100 years of rivalry, athletic beauty, and excellence. Fear and Loathing in La Liga is a nuanced, revisionist, and brilliantly informed history that goes beyond sport. Lowe weaves together this story of the rivalry with the history and culture of Spain, emphasizing that it is “never about just the soccer.” With exclusive testimonies and astonishing anecdotes, he takes us inside this epic battle, including the wounds left by the Civil War, Madrid's golden age in the fifties when they won five European cups, Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, the doomed Galáctico experiment, and Luís Figo's “betrayal.”
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics, and language—while never forgetting the drama on the field—Lowe demonstrates the relationship between these two soccer giants and reveals the true story behind their explosive rivalry.
Robbie Rogers knows better than most that keeping secrets can crush you. But for much of his life Robbie lived in paralyzing fear that sharing his big secret would cost him the love of his family and his career as a professional soccer player. So he never told anyone what was destroying his soul, both on and off the field.
While the world around Robbie was changing with breathtaking speed, he knew that for a gay man playing a professional team sport it might as well be 1958. He could be a professional soccer player. Or he could be an out gay man. He couldn’t do both.
Then last year, at the age of twenty-five and after nearly stepping away from a brilliant career—one that included an NCAA Championship, winning the MLS Cup, and competing in the Olympics—he chose to tell the truth. But instead of facing the rejection he feared, he was embraced—by his family, by his teammates, and his fans.
In Coming Out to Play, Robbie takes readers on his incredible journey from terrified teenager to a trailblazing out and proud professional soccer player for the L.A. Galaxy, who has embraced his new identity as a role model and champion for those still struggling with the secrets that keep them from living their dreams.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
One of the best footballers in Britain today, and the 2005 Footballer of the Year, Lampard has been applauded by fans, managers and fellow players alike. A vital cog in the midfield engine room for Chelsea and England, he is poised to become one of the true legends of the game.
The young lad from Romford was born into a football family. His father, a former West Ham star, saw the raw talent in his boy at an early age and was unstinting in his determination for him to succeed. The hard work paid off and Frank Jr kept it in the family by signing to West Ham in 1995, then managed by his uncle Harry Redknapp.
Since transferring to Chelsea in a blaze of controversy, he silenced any critics and proved himself indispensable to his club. No-one his age has played more Premiership football than Lampard, and no-one played more at Chelsea – in fact, he has broken the record for number of consecutive appearances for the Blues. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a season by a Premiership midfielder.
In his book, Lampard opens up on his early years, how he dealt with the fame and fortune that has come his way since becoming a key member of the England side, his frank opinions on former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson and his manager at Chelsea Jose Mourinho, fascinating insights into Roman Abramovich and revealing tales on his current team-mates.
He reveals both the privileges and the pressures of being one of the 'golden generation' of England players. He gives a fascinating inside account of World Cup 2006 in Germany, and describes the disappointment of not fulfilling the dream of bringing the biggest prize in football back to England.
At the age of 25, Spain’s Fernando Torres has already established himself as one of the Liverpool greats and a proud wearer of the fabled No 9 shirt.
His first book, framed within 25 pivotal themes of his life, provides a captivating illustrated story of his career to date, alongside revealing insights into his formative years in Madrid, as a child football prodigy and lifelong fan of local club Atletico.
Nicknamed ‘El Nino’ (The Kid), Torres opens up about life on the streets besides Atletico’s Vicente Calderon stadium, signing for the club at aged 15 and appointed club captain by 19, becoming, as one local journalist put it, ‘one part folk hero, one part native son, one part messiah.’
When Liverpool broke their club transfer record to bring Torres to Anfield in July 2007, it proved the turning point in his career. Competing in the goldfish bowl of the English Premier League, settling into the North West and playing alongside Liverpool heroes like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, in the company of Spanish team-mates Pepe Reina, Xavi Alonso and Albert Rieira, and performing in front of the Kop who quickly adopted him as one of their own – Torres describes what it means to him to play on one of the greatest stages in world football, and compares and contrasts life in Spain with his new career in England.
Away from the football, Torres talks about life out of the spotlight with his family and close friends, and what inspires and motivates him.
WINNER OF THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2012 FOOTBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR
Why does an international footballer with the world at his feet decide to take his own life?
On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty-two years old and a devoted husband and father.
Enke had played for a string of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona and Jose Mourinho's Benfica and was destined to become his country's first choice in goal for years to come. But beneath the veneer of success, Enke battled with crippling depression.
Award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his friend's life, shedding valuable light on the crushing pressures endured by professional sportsmen and on life at the top clubs. At its heart, Enke's tragedy is a universal story of a man struggling against his demons.
Authoritative, insightful, fearless and never less than 100% honest, no-one has better credentials for documenting the story of United under Sir Alex Ferguson. Neville reveals the behind-the-scenes secrets of his early days with the likes of Giggs, Scholes and his best mate David Beckham; what it was like to play with Cantona, Keane and Ronaldo; the Treble in 1999; and of course an entire career of playing for the greatest manager in the game.
Then there are all his experiences with England, from being the youngest starter at Euro 96 when football came home, to the ups and downs of five major championships and seven managers - Venables, Hoddle, Wilkinson, Keegan, Eriksson, McClaren and Capello. There are opinions and analysis on Gazza, Rooney, WAGs and the true story of the FA and Rio Ferdinand.
For twenty glorious years, Gary Neville has worn his heart on his sleeve. This is his story.
In The Keeper, the man who electrified the world with his amazing performance in Brazil does something he would never do on a soccer field: he drops his guard. As fiercely protective about his privacy as he is guarding the goal on the field, Howard opens up for the first time about how a hyperactive kid from New Jersey with Tourette’s syndrome defied the odds to become one of the world’s premier goalkeepers.
The Keeper recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of sports and a devout Christian faith that helped him cope when he was diagnosed with Tourette’s in the fifth grade. He looks back over his fifteen-year professional career—from becoming the youngest player to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to his storied move to the English Premier League with Manchester United and his current team, Liverpool’s Everton, to becoming an overnight star after his record-making performance with the United States Men’s National Team. He also talks about the things closest to his heart—the importance of family and the Christian beliefs that guide him.
Told in his thoughtful and articulate voice, The Keeper is an illuminating look at a remarkable man who is an inspirational role model for all of us.
The Keeper is illustrated with two 8-page color photo inserts.
Whether you call it soccer, football, fútbol, or the “beautiful game," it is the most popular sport in the world, and Argentine footballer Lionel Messi stands as one of its finest players—not only of his time, but of all time. Admired around the globe for his athleticism, skill, and fierce competitiveness, Messi has, at the age of 24, already shattered records at one of the most storied clubs in the world, FC Barcelona. Now, in this comprehensive biography, Messi fans can learn more about his life and career. Argentine journalist Leonardo Faccio describes how Messi, as a talented youth player in Buenos Aires, left his home for Spain in search of the medical help his family could not afford to treat his rare hormone deficiency. Small of stature, but possessing tremendous natural gifts, Messi developed into a star at Barcelona’s famed Masia soccer school. In this book, Faccio has written not only a biography of an enigmatic celebrity, but a meditation on athletic genius, drawing on interviews with Messi himself, as well as with everyone from his family, teammates, childhood friends—even his favorite butcher. In-depth and intimate, soccer fans who enjoy watching Messi come alive on the field will delight as he comes alive on the page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This is Beckham's fascinating life story in his own words. His rise through the ranks at the biggest club side in the world. His complex relationship with United boss Alex Ferguson. The England story, from being vilified by the nation before returning as the prodigal son to eventually captaining his country. His acrimonious falling-out with his manager and departure from Old Trafford in June 2003. And starting a new chapter of his life on foreign soil in the glare of the world’s press.
Now from Beckham himself, we gain a vivid and eye-opening insight into the family man behind the famous footballer, the international model and fashion leader. He describes how he first met and then married ex-Spice girl Victoria Adams, and the upbringing of their two children Brooklyn and Romeo. How his family's every step is monitored by a posse of newshounds and paparazzi. Also, the influence of his parents, growing up as a shy youngster in the family home, and how their subsequent split affected him.
Intimate and soul-searching, this is the real David Beckham like we have never seen before.
Thierry Henry – gifted, charismatic and a genuinely world-class footballer – has passed into Arsenal legend as the hero of a team that finally ended Manchester United’s dominance. But as he approached the autumn of his career, Thierry’s crown began to slip – from the infamous ‘Hand of Gaul’ incident to a dismal World Cup 2010 campaign. Suddenly, a player who Arsene Wenger once dubbed ‘the greatest striker ever’, a man who had spent his career at the very top of the game, began to learn how lonely such a position could be.
Drawing from numerous interviews and impeccable sources, as well as his own observations over the course of Henry’s entire career, award-winning author Philippe Auclair has produced the most complete portrait of the Arsenal hero ever to be written. Clear-eyed, lyrical and passionately argued, Thierry Henry: Lonely at the Top is as raw, shocking and thought-provoking as it is celebratory of Henry’s outstanding flair and talent.
‘Superb . . . a thoroughly recommended read’ James Olley, Evening Standard
‘Illuminated by finely turned phrases and vivid insights’ Richard Williams, Guardian Sports Books of the Year
Wayne Rooney is widely regarded as one of the leading football players of his generation. A talisman for Manchester United, since his transfer to them in 2004, Rooney is their star player and the first name on the team sheet.
In the 10 years since he made his debut as a 16 year old for Everton, he has acquired trophy after trophy, accolade after accolade and headline after headline.
‘My Decade in the Premier League’ is the inside account of life as a Premier League footballer from the man every one wants to hear from. This is his story, in his words. From gracing the ground at Goodison as an excitable 16 year old to lifting the Champions League trophy with Manchester United. From the emotional high of scoring the winner against Manchester City with that overhead bicycle kick to the crushing low of the thrashing City handed out at Old Trafford in the 2011-12 season.
This is a book for the fan who would kill to get just 30 seconds on the pitch at The Theatre of Dreams – to run on the famous turf and score in front of the Stretford End. ‘My Decade in the Premier League’ gives a real insight in to what goes in to being part of the biggest club in the world; the training pitch, the dressing room, the manager, the coaches and, most importantly, the buzz of crossing that white line and hearing the 76,000 strong crowd chant your name.
In intricate, emotional detail Wayne talks about every season he has spent in the Premier League and how it feels to be one the most celebrated footballers on the planet.
That story has until now never been told. It is a story that runs from a hard, hidden childhood spent in Dublin's orphanages all the way to the pain of two marriage break-ups and the struggle to cope with life after football. Quite apart from his all too public struggle with alcoholism, the story runs through the surreal highs and calamitous lows of a life lived habitually on the edge of chaos.
It is not just a football story. It is an extraordinary human story that is certain to surprise with its candour.
Here, for the first time, read about the father he never met; the mother whose love never died; the routine loneliness and ritual bullying endured by a black kid growing up behind closed doors in 1960s Dublin; the emotional breakdown suffered on leaving that institution; the recovery that - remarkably - brought him all the way to Old Trafford; the rollercoaster ride that followed. Here, the guilt, fear, self-loathing are all laid bare in a story fired with hope and determination for the future.
It may well be the most candid sports book ever written.
There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.
In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport-now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
It is often said that 95% of what happens in football takes place behind closed doors. Many of these stories I shouldn't be telling you. But I will.
Who is The Secret Footballer? Only a few people know the true identity of the man inside the game. Whoever he is-and whatever team he plays for-TSF is always honest, fearless and opinionated. Here he takes readers past the locker-room door and reveals the inner-workings of a professional club, the exhilarating highs and crushing lows and what it's really like to do the job most of us can only dream of doing.
TSF chronicles the exploits of his Premiership colleagues with a gimlet eye and frank humour. Managers, agents and players are not spared from his observations-their mindsets, their relationships with those outside the sport, their behaviour good and bad. In his inimitable style, TSF recounts entertaining and eyebrow-raising vignettes, naming names and dropping colourful details along the way.
When it comes to advice on the pitfalls of life as a professional footballer, Paul Merson can pretty much write the manual. In fact, that's exactly what he's done in this hilarious new book which manages to be simultaneously poignant and gloriously funny.
Merson was a prodigiously talented footballer in the 80s and 90s, gracing the upper echelons of the game - and the tabloid front pages - with his breathtakingly skills and larger-than-life off-field persona.
His much-publicised battles with gambling, drug and alcohol addiction are behind him now, and football fans continue to be drawn to his sharp footballing brain and playful antics on SkySports cult results show Soccer Saturday.
The book delights and entertains with a treasure chest of terrific anecdotes from a man who has never lost his love of football and his inimitable joie de vivre through a 25-year association with the Beautiful Game.
The DO NOTs include:
DO NOT adopt 'Champagne' Charlie Nicholas as your mentor
DO NOT share a house with Gazza
DO NOT regularly place £30,000 bets at the bookie's
DO NOT get so drunk that you can't remember the 90 minutes of football you just played in
DO NOT manage Walsall (at any cost)
How Not to be a Professional Footballer is a hugely entertaining, moving and laugh-out-loud funny story.
Before Messi, before Ronaldo, before Beckham, there was Edson Arantes do Nascimento—known simply as Pelé. A national treasure, he created pure magic with his accomplishments on the field: an unprecedented three World Cup championships and the all-time scoring record, with 1,283 goals in his twenty year career.
Now, with the World Cup returning after more than sixty years to Brazil—the country often credited with perfecting the sport—soccer has a unique opportunity to encourage change on a global level. And as the tournament’s official ambassador, Pelé is ready to be the face of progress.
For the first time ever Pelé explores the recent history of the game and provides new insights into soccer’s role connecting and galvanizing players around the world. He has traveled the world as the global ambassador for soccer and in support of charitable organizations such as Unicef, promoting the positive influences soccer can have to transform young men and women, struggling communities, even entire nations. In groundbreaking detail and with unparalleled openness, he shares his most inspiring experiences, heartwarming stories and hard-won wisdom, and he puts the game in perspective.
This is Pelé’s legacy, his way of passing on everything he’s learned and inspiring a new generation. In Why Soccer Matters, Pelé details his ambitious goals for the future of the sport and, by extension, the world.
Commemorative poster inside the jacket
An international career soon beckoned and, after turning out for the England under-21 and B teams, he received a call-up to the England training camp for Italia '90. Earmarked as an England captain in the making, Paul became a target for top clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool, but he always stayed loyal to his beloved club, deeming Maine Road the spiritual home at which his destiny lay.
But then, in September 1990, disaster struck. Paul ruptured his cruciate ligament; sustaining the worst possible injury that a footballer can suffer. And so began his nightmare.
Neglected, ignored and misunderstood by his club after a succession of failed operations, Paul's career began to fall apart. Watching from the sidelines as similarly injured players regained their fitness, he spiralled into a prolonged bout of severe depression. With an enforced retirement from the game he adored, the death of his father and the collapse of his marriage, Paul was left a broken man.
Set against a turning point in English football, I'm Not Really Here is the powerful story of love and loss and the cruel, irreparable damage of injury; of determination, spirit and resilience and of unfulfilled potential and broken dreams.
In Carra: My Autobiography, the Liverpool defender takes us deep into the heart of Anfield, into the club's past glories and its uncertain future. In his typically down-to-earth style, Carra reveals what made him discard his blue Evertonian roots to become a fully fledged Red, how he mended his wild ways to become a true professional and a multiple trophy-winner, and the truth about a succession of managers - Evans, Houllier, Benítez - in the hottest seat in football. A Scouser through and through, Carra also has some forthright views on the England team, and tells why he rejected calls to return to the international fold.
Full of sensational stories and controversial opinions, of glory and heartbreak on and off the pitch, Carra: My Autobiography is a football book unlike any other. The authentic voice of Anfield, Carra is one of the Bootroom Boys in true Liverpool tradition, and is as committed on the page as in every game he has played.
2014 Writer of the Year, Football Supporters' Federation
'This book is so full of exclusive interviews you'll soon feel like part of the squad. A worthy tribute to one of English football's best ever teams, it makes you long for one more game at Highbury' Shortlist
Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph
In 2003-04, a team that played with lightning speed and lustrous skill fulfilled Wenger's lifelong dream - to go a whole season unbeaten. They pushed and inspired each other, bringing the best out of strong characters like Jens Lehmann, a self-styled 'Mad German', Sol Campbell, an intense competitor, Robert Pirès, an instant friend if you give him a football, Patrick Vieira, a soft-spoken, battle-hardened captain, Gilberto, a thoughtful Brazilian, Thierry Henry, a supremely gifted and obsessed scorer and creator, and Dennis Bergkamp, the perfectionist conductor.
Based on exclusive player interviews, and with a foreword and afterword by Arsene Wenger, this definitive book allows the Invincibles to tell their own story. Football writer Amy Lawrence weaves together the team's recollections, and the testimonies of other key players and protagonists around the club, to relive the pivotal games and moments. From the battle of Old Trafford to jubilation at White Hart Lane, from training ground sparks to dressing room revelations, readers will go behind closed doors, onto the pitch, and into the players' minds to understand the teamwork and the psychology to go unbeaten.
Published in time for the 10-year anniversary, this is a must-have read for any Arsenal fan. It will be enjoyed by readers of memoirs by Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams, and will also appeal to football fans everywhere who enjoy classic sports books such as The Damned United.
Amy Lawrence has watched football avidly since her first trip to Highbury at the age of six, and has written about it, mostly for the Guardian and the Observer, for twenty years. She lives in London.
Go for the Goal is not only the inspiring story of how a tiny suburban sprite became a global terror with a ball (and the world) at her feet—it's also a step-by-step or dribble-by-dribble guide for any kid with the all-American dream of making the team and becoming a champion.
Filled with personal anecdotes and fully illustrated with both action and instructional photographs, Go for the Goal shows readers exactly how to master the silky skills and techniques that made Hamm and her teammates the finest women's soccer team in the world.
We start with the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, the game that ended the debate about whether Barcelona were the greatest team in the world and began a new one: are they the best ever?
We are inside the winning dressing room and inside the mind of the team's coach, Pep Guardiola.
From there, the focus is on each of the iconic personalities of this team, telling its story through them, from their genesis in the late 1980s to their coronation in London: Guardiola; his mentor, Johan Cruyff; Xavi; Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest footballer of all time.
For more than a decade, golf was dominated by one galvanizing figure: Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. But as his star has fallen, a new, ambitious generation has stepped up to claim the crown. Once the domain of veterans, golf saw a youth revolution in 2014. In Slaying the Tiger, Shane Ryan introduces us to the volatile, colorful crop of heirs apparent who are storming the barricades of this traditionally old-fashioned sport.
As the golf writer for Bill Simmons’s Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport’s new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead, he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 Tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.
Here are indelibly drawn profiles of the game’s young guns: Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish ace who stepped forward as the game’s next superstar; Patrick Reed, a brash, boastful competitor with a warrior’s mentality; Dustin Johnson, the brilliant natural talent whose private habits sabotage his potential; and Jason Day, a resilient Aussie whose hardscrabble beginnings make him the Tour’s ultimate longshot. Here also is the bumptious Bubba Watson, a devout Christian known for his unsportsmanlike outbursts on the golf course; Keegan Bradley, a flinty New Englander who plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder; twenty-one-year-old Jordan Spieth, a preternaturally mature Texan carrying the hopes of the golf establishment; and Rickie Fowler, the humble California kid striving to make his golf speak louder than his bright orange clothes.
Bound by their talent, each one hungrier than the last, these players will vie over the coming decade for the right to be called the next king of the game. Golf may be slow to change, but in 2014, the wheels were turning at a feverish pace. Slaying the Tiger offers a dynamic snapshot of a rapidly evolving sport.
Praise for Slaying the Tiger
“This book is going to be controversial. There is no question about it. . . . It is the most unvarnished view of the tour—the biggest tour in the world—that I’ve ever read. And it’s not close.”—Gary Williams, Golf Channel
“A must-read for PGA Tour fans from the casual to the most dedicated . . . This book is certain to be as important to this era as [John] Feinstein’s [A Good Walk Spoiled] was two decades ago. . . . A well-researched, in-depth look at the men who inhabit the highest levels of the game.”—Examiner.com
“A masterfully written account of an important time in golf history.”—Adam Fonseca, Golf Unfiltered
“Absolutely marvelous . . . Ryan’s writing flows and his reporting turns pages for you.”—Kyle Porter, CBS Sports
“A riveting read.”—Library Journal
“Ryan’s fresh look is just what we golfer/readers want.”—Curt Sampson, New York Times bestselling author of Hogan
“Ryan does a fantastic job painting a thoughtful and accurate portrait of the new crop of heirs apparent.”—Stephanie Wei, Wei Under Par
From the Hardcover edition.
When Kevin Garnett shocked the world by announcing that he would not be attending college—as young basketball prodigies were expected to do—but instead enter the 1995 NBA draft directly from high school, he blazed a trail for a generation of teenage basketball players to head straight for the pros. That trend would continue until the NBA instituted an age limit in 2005, requiring all players to attend college or another developmental program for at least one year.
Over that decade-plus period, the list of players who made that difficult leap includes some of the most celebrated players of the modern era—Garnett, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady, and numerous other stars. It also includes notable “busts” who either physically or mentally proved unable to handle the transition. But for better or for worse, the face of the NBA was forever changed by the prep-to-pro generation.
In compelling, masterfully crafted prose, Boys Among Men goes behind the scenes and draws on hundreds of firsthand interviews to paint insightful and engaging portraits of the most pivotal figures and events during this time. Award-winning basketball writer Jonathan Abrams has obtained remarkable access to the key players, coaches, and other movers and shakers from that time, and the result is a book packed with rare insights and never-before-published details about this chapter in NBA history. Boys Among Men is a thrilling, informative, must-read for any basketball fan.
The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town
Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’ s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.
Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges.
This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the most controversial and compelling figure in football. For many he ranks as the greatest manager of all time. He is certainly the most successful.
It's been more than ten years since Ferguson's Manchester United triumphed over Bayern Munich in the dying seconds of the Champions League final. Since then he has presided over the rise and fall and rise again of José Mourinho; the arrival and departure of the world's best player, Ronaldo; the removal of one English talisman - Beckham - and the irresistible instalment of another - Rooney. Ferguson has been instrumental in making the Premier League the most successful competition in football, and he has endured while the mountains of cash have turned to valleys of debt.
Throughout, award-winning journalist Patrick Barclay has been pitch-side and spoken to all those who know Ferguson best - fellow managers, former players, colleagues and commentators. The result is Football - Bloody Hell!: the definitive work on the game's greatest living legend.
Named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Guardian, Slate, Financial Times, Independent (UK), and Bloomberg News
Soccernomics pioneers a new way of looking at soccer through meticulous, empirical analysis and incisive, witty commentary. The San Francisco Chronicle describes it as “the most intelligent book ever written about soccer.” This World Cup edition features new material, including a provocative examination of how soccer clubs might actually start making profits, why that's undesirable, and how soccer's never had it so good.
"I once said Dave Zirin was the best young sportswriter in the US. I was wrong. He's simply the best."—Robert Lipsyte
The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the twentieth World Cup (June 12–July 13, 2014), the world's most-viewed sporting tournament, and the thirty-first Summer Olympics (August 5–21, 2016).
Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades, with Brazilians taking to the streets to try to reclaim the sports they love but see being corrupted by powerful corporate interests, profiteering, and greed. In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.
One of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" (Utne), Dave Zirin is a columnist for the Nation, SLAM, and SI.com. He is host of Sirius XM's popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN's Outside the Lines, Democracy Now!, and on MSNBC. His previous books include The John Carlos Story and What's My Name Fool? He lives near Washington, DC.
Baseball has always inspired rhapsodic elegies on the glory of man and golden memories of wonderful times. But what you see on the field is only half the game.
In this fascinating, colorful chronicle—based on hundreds of interviews and years of research and digging—John Helyar brings to vivid life the extraordinary people and dramatic events that shaped America's favorite pastime, from the dead-ball days at the turn of the century through the great strike of 1994. Witness zealous Judge Landis banish eight players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, after the infamous "Black Sox" scandal; the flamboyant A's owner Charlie Finley wheel and deal his star players, Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers, like a deck of cards; the hysterical bidding war of coveted free agent Catfish Hunter; the chain-smoking romantic, A. Bartlett Giamatti, locking horns with Pete Rose during his gambling days of summer; and much more.
Praise for The Lords of the Realm
"A must-read for baseball fans . . . reads like a suspense novel."—Kirkus Reviews
"Refreshingly hard-headed . . . the only book you'll need to read on the subject."—Newsday
"Lots of stories . . . well told, amusing . . . edifying."—The Washington Post
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.
A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”
“A penetrating examination of how the elite college football programs have become ‘giant entertainment businesses that happened to do a little education on the side.’”—Mark Kram, The New York Times
Two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Gilbert M. Gaul offers a riveting and sometimes shocking look inside the money culture of college football and how it has come to dominate a surprising number of colleges and universities.
Over the past decade college football has not only doubled in size, but its elite programs have become a $2.5-billion-a-year entertainment business, with lavishly paid coaches, lucrative television deals, and corporate sponsors eager to slap their logos on everything from scoreboards to footballs and uniforms. Profit margins among the top football schools range from 60% to 75%—results that dwarf those of such high-profile companies as Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft—yet thanks to the support of their football-mad representatives in Congress, teams aren’t required to pay taxes. In most cases, those windfalls are not passed on to the universities themselves, but flow directly back into their athletic departments.
College presidents have been unwilling or powerless to stop a system that has spawned a wildly profligate infrastructure of coaches, trainers, marketing gurus, and a growing cadre of bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to ensure that players remain academically eligible to play. From the University of Oregon’s lavish $42 million academic center for athletes to Alabama coach Nick Saban’s $7 million paycheck—ten times what the school pays its president, and 70 times what a full-time professor there earns—Gaul examines in depth the extraordinary financial model that supports college football and the effect it has had not only on other athletic programs but on academic ones as well.
What are the consequences when college football coaches are the highest paid public employees in over half the states in an economically troubled country, or when football players at some schools receive ten times the amount of scholarship awards that academically gifted students do? Billion-Dollar Ball considers these and many other issues in a compelling account of how an astonishingly wealthy sports franchise has begun to reframe campus values and distort the fundamental academic mission of our universities.
From the Hardcover edition.
Every Saturday in the fall, it happens: On college campuses, in bars, at gatherings of fervent alumni, millions come together to watch a sport that inspires a uniquely American brand of passion and outrage. This is college football. Since the first contest in 1869, the game has grown from a stratified offshoot of rugby to a ubiquitous part of our national identity. Right now, as college conferences fracture and grow, as amateur athlete status is called into question, as a playoff system threatens to replace big-money bowl games, we’re in the midst of the most dramatic transitional period in the history of the sport.
Season of Saturdays examines the evolution of college football, including the stories of iconic coaches like Woody Hayes, Joe Paterno, and Knute Rockne; and programs like the USC Trojans, the Michigan Wolverines, and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Michael Weinreb considers the inherent violence of the game, its early seeds of big-business greed, and its impact on institutions of higher learning. He explains why college football endures, often despite itself. Filtered through journalism and research, as well as the author’s own recollections as a fan, Weinreb celebrates some of the greatest games of all time while revealing their larger significance.
“Wry, quirky, fascinating...This surely is one of the most enjoyable books of the college football season...Weinreb wrestles in captivating prose with the violence, hypocrisy, and corruption that are endemic to the sport at its most cutthroat level” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland).
The dream of playing big-time basketball never came true for Bruce Nelson, so he passed it on to his son Roberto. His every waking moment as a father was devoted to securing Roberto a Division I scholarship. Oftentimes he worried that his son’s lack of competitive fire might put that dream in jeopardy—when in fact it was Bruce’s own actions that would do so. When Bruce is forced to monitor Roberto’s progress from behind penitentiary walls, his influence recedes—and so too does Roberto’s commitment to the aspirations they once shared. In a story that combines deep insight into family relationships with the deft storytelling that distinguished his award-winning Play Their Hearts Out, George Dohrmann follows Roberto as he addresses his life’s most difficult decisions in the absence of his best friend and most constant companion. In doing so, Dohrmann sheds new light on the larger story of basketball dreams and the pressures they place on young athletes.
Includes an excerpt from George Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts Out, winner of the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting and the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports.
Praise for Play Their Hearts Out
“Often heartbreaking, always riveting.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous.”—The Plain Dealer
“Indispensable.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A tour de force of reporting, filled with deft storytelling and vivid character studies.”—The Washington Post
“One of the finest sports books of all time.”—Harper’s Magazine
“Amazing stuff . . . the Friday Night Lights of youth basketball.”—Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam
“A landmark achievement in basketball journalism.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • KIRKUS REVIEWS