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.
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.
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
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.
Author's note - The Baller is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18
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.
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...
Ray Lewis is undeniably one of the biggest names in football—not only for his seventeen years in the NFL, but also for the dramatic events that nearly brought his career to a halt in 2000. In his memoir, Lewis shares honest accounts of his difficult childhood and delves into the anguish and controversy that he found away from the game. But these heartbreaks gave him the courage to trust in God and continue his dream to play for the NFL and win the Super Bowl.
From a rookie player to a football veteran, Lewis has experienced everything imaginable during his football career, and has become one of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL. I Feel Like Going On is the story of his incredible journey, and a sincere look at the most popular sport in America from one of football’s most revered players.
Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams. Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Fantasy football, fantasy baseball, fantasy basketball, even fantasy sumo wrestling: the world of fantasy sports is huge, and still growing. Today, more than 35 million people in the United States and Canada spend hours upon hours each week on their fantasy sports teams. And as the Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst for ESPN, Matthew Berry is on the front lines of what has grown from a niche subculture into a national pastime.
In his New York Times-bestselling Fantasy Life, Berry celebrates every aspect of the fantasy sports world. Brilliant trash talk. Unbelievable trophies. Insane draft day locations. Shake-your-head-in-disbelief punishments. Ingenious attempts at cheating. And surprisingly uplifting stories that remind us why we play these games in the first place.
Written with the same award-winning style that has made Berry one of the most popular columnists on ESPN.com, Fantasy Life is a book for both hard-core fantasy players and people who have never played before. Between tales of love and hate, birth and death, tattoos and furry animal costumes, the White House Situation Room and a 126-pound golden pelican, Matthew chronicles his journey from a fourteen-year-old fantasy player to the face of fantasy sports for the largest sports media company in the world.
Fantasy will save your life. Fantasy will set you free. And fantasy life is most definitely better than real life. You’ll see.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The extra material adds fresh insights and detail on his final years as United's manager.
Both the psychology of management and the detail of football strategy at the top level can be complex matters but no-one has explained them in a more interesting and accessible way for the general reader than Sir Alex does here.
MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY is revealing, endlessly entertaining and above all inspirational.
"I know that I'll be evaluated in Seattle with wins and losses, as that is the nature of my profession for the last thirty-five years. But our record will not be what motivates me. Years ago I was asked, 'Pete, which is better: winning or competing?' My response was instantaneous: 'Competing. . . because it lasts longer.'"
Pete Carroll is one of the most successful coaches in football today. As the head coach at USC, he brought the Trojans back to national prominence, amassing a 97-19 record over nine seasons. Now he shares the championship-winning philosophy that led USC to seven straight Pac-10 titles. This same mind-set and culture will shape his program as he returns to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks.
Carroll developed his unique coaching style by trial and error over his career. He learned that you get better results by teaching instead of screaming, and by helping players grow as people, not just on the field. He learned that an upbeat, energetic atmosphere in the locker room can coexist with an unstoppable competitive drive. He learned why you should stop worrying about your opponents, why you should always act as if the whole world is watching, and many other contrarian insights.
Carroll shows us how the Win Forever philosophy really works, both in NCAA Division I competition and in the NFL. He reveals how his recruiting strategies, training routines, and game-day rituals preserve a team's culture year after year, during championship seasons and disappointing seasons alike.
Win Forever is about more than winning football games; it's about maximizing your potential in every aspect of your life. Carroll has taught business leaders facing tough challenges. He has helped troubled kids on the streets of Los Angeles through his foundation A Better LA. His words are true in any situation: "If you want to win forever, always compete."
From the Hardcover 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.
In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that’s before the players even take the field.
Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby’s award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom—its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young men’s coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Coach Dungy still passionately believes that there is a different path to significance—a path characterized by attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. In the New York Times best seller Uncommon, Dungy reveals secrets to achieving significance that he has learned from his remarkable parents, his athletic and coaching career, his mentors, and his walk with God.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
When he was picked in the seventh-round of 1999 NFL draft, Donald Driver couldn’t find Green Bay on a map. He was given little chance of making the Packers roster, much less of amassing over 10,000 yards in his career and becoming a Super Bowl champion. But in an unlikely journey, Driver has overcome obstacle after obstacle to become one of the most successful players in the NFL.
Now, for the first time, Driver recalls his time growing up in Houston, spending nights living in a U-Haul trailer with his mother and stealing cars and selling drugs with his brother to get by. He recalls what it was like to walk into the locker room as a little-regarded prospect out of Alcorn State, an athlete who one year earlier thought his future was in high jump rather than football, and why he would have never made the team without the support of General Manager Ron Wolf.
With the help of his winning speed, skill, not to mention, smile, Driver became one of Brett Favre's most-trusted targets and a fan favorite at Lambeau. (Though it took some time for him to perfect his Lambeau leap.) Driven takes you inside the locker room with Favre, shares his experiences with Reggie White, and recalls his more recent role as a veteran leader for like Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings during their Super Bowl run in 2010. Over 14 years Driver has been through it all—game winning touchdowns, crushing playoff defeats, frightening injuries, and the glory of the Super Bowl.
Traveling off the field, Driver discuss his relationship with his wife and three children: how uncertain they were when he undertook the relentless training necessary to become a champion on the 2012 season of Dancing With the Stars, and how supportive they are of his charity work and service to God.
Driver retired on his terms after 14 years in the NFL: as a Packer for life. Driven is the definitive story of Donald Driver’s extraordinary journey.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 1995, a film called I.D., about an ambitious young copper who was sent undercover to track down the ‘generals’ of a football hooligan gang, achieved cult status for its sheer brutality and unsettling insight into the dark and often bloody side of the so-called beautiful game.
The film was so shocking it was hard to believe the mindless events that took place could ever happen in the real world. Well, believe it now...
Almost twenty years on, the man behind the film has explosively revealed that the script was largely a true story. That man, James Bannon, was the ambitious undercover cop. The football club was Millwall F.C. and the gang that he infiltrated was The Bushwackers, among the most brutal and fearless in English football.
In Running with the Firm, Bannon shares his intense and dangerous journey into the underworld of football hooliganism where sickening levels of violence prevail over anything else. He introduces you to the hardest thugs from football’s most notorious gangs, tells all about the secret and almost comical police operations that were meant to bring them down, and, how once you’re on the inside, getting out from the mob proves to be the biggest mission of all.
A disturbing but compelling read, this is the book that proves fact really is stranger than fiction.
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.
‘From kicking a ball as a kid under the street lamps of Poplar and standing on Highbury's North Bank with my dad, to my first game at West Ham, I was born head over heels in love with football. It saved me, and 50 years on that hasn't changed one bit - I'd be lost without it...’
Harry is the manager who has seen it all - from a dismal 70s Portakabin at Oxford City and training pitches with trees in the middle to the unbeatable highs of the Premiership, lifting the FA Cup and taking on Real Madrid in the Champions League. With his much loved, no-nonsense delivery, Harry brings us a story filled with passion and humour that takes you right inside every drama of his career.
Harry finally tells the full story of all the controversial ups and downs - the pain and heartache of his court case, the England job, his love for Bobby Moore, his adventures at Portsmouth with Milan Mandaric, the Southampton debacle, Tottenham and Daniel Levy, and not forgetting his years at West Ham or the challenges at his current club QPR.
It’s the epic journey of one of the great managers and, along the way, the story of the British game itself over the last five decades. In an era now dominated by foreign coaches Harry is the last of an old-fashioned breed of English football man - one who has managed to move with the times and always come out fighting.
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.
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...
But is there a darker side to the Mourinho? A mischievous, scheming, even tyrannical quality to the man beneath the veneer of charm?
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.
From dodgy dealings to assassinations of players both outside and within his own team, and other shocking revelations, Prepare To Lose reveals Mourinho as a man far removed from the hero so many people consider him to be.
The beautiful game deserves a beautiful book, and Eduardo Galeano—one of Latin America’s most acclaimed authors—has written it. From Aztec champions sacrificed to appease the gods, to the goals that were literally scored into wooden posts in Victorian England, to Spain’s victory in the 2010 World Cup, Soccer in Sun and Shadow is a history of the sport unlike any other.
Galeano portrays the irruption of South American soccer that made the game sublime: the elegant, mischievous, joyful style based on deft dribbling, close passes, and quick changes in rhythm, perfected by poor black children who had no toy but a rag ball. He describes the superstitions that vex players, the martyrdom of referees, the exquisite misery of fans, the sad denouement of stars past their prime.
Striding across the pages are players born with the ball—and entire nations—at their feet: Arthur Friedenreich, the son of a German immigrant and a black washerwoman, who first brought Brazilian style from the slums into the stadiums; Brazil’s Garrincha, whose body, warped by polio, could make the ball dance; and the Dutch great Ruud Gullit, who campaigned against apartheid on and off the pitch. And, of course, Beckenbauer, Pelé, Cruyff, and Maradona, a man blessed with “the hand of God” and a left foot equally as divine.
Soccer in Sun and Shadow traces the rise of the soccer industry and the concurrent voyage “from beauty to duty”: attempts to impose a soccer of lightning speed and brute force, one that disdains fantasy and forfeits play for results. Eduardo Galeano, who describes himself as “a beggar for good soccer,” gives the world’s most popular sport all the poetry, passion, and politics it deserves.
Jeanne Marie Laskas first met the young forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2009, while reporting a story for GQ that would go on to inspire the movie Concussion. Omalu told her about a day in September 2002, when, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, he picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he’d never intended. Omalu was new to America, chasing the dream, a deeply spiritual man escaping the wounds of civil war in Nigeria. The body on the slab in front of him belonged to a fifty-year-old named Mike Webster, aka “Iron Mike,” a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest ever to play the game. After retiring in 1990, Webster had suffered a dizzyingly steep decline. Toward the end of his life, he was living out of his van, tasering himself to relieve his chronic pain, and fixing his rotting teeth with Super Glue. How did this happen?, Omalu asked himself. How did a young man like Mike Webster end up like this? The search for answers would change Omalu’s life forever and put him in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful corporations in America: the National Football League. What Omalu discovered in Webster’s brain—proof that Iron Mike’s mental deterioration was no accident but a disease caused by blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL wanted to ignore.
Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring story of one unlikely man’s decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus, and to tell the world the truth.
Advance praise for Concussion
“A gripping medical mystery and a dazzling portrait of the young scientist no one wanted to listen to . . . a fabulous, essential read.”—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“The story of Dr. Bennet Omalu’s battle against the NFL is classic David and Goliath stuff, and Jeanne Marie Laskas—one of my favorite writers on earth—makes it as exciting as any great courtroom or gridiron drama. A riveting, powerful human tale—and a master class on how to tell a story.”—Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
“Bennet Omalu forced football to reckon with head trauma. The NFL doesn’t want you to hear his story, but Jeanne Marie Laskas makes it unforgettable. This book is gripping, eye-opening, and full of heart.”—Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones
From the Trade Paperback edition.
‘Mad For It’ proves that some football matches are far more than just a game.
These short extracts, from the original book published in association with FourFourTwo magazine, provide a fresh and revealing insight into the people that make these matches matter – the fans – using their own words and stories to illuminate the conflicts, tensions, histories and celebrations behind these unforgettable games.
This first essay examines the biggest rivalry in English, if not World, football. Led by Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Daglish, games between Manchester United and Liverpool stir up some of the strongest emotions of any sporting event. On match days, two of the biggest cities in the UK come to a standstill. ‘Seeing Red’ gets to the root cause of the rivalry and examines why it matters so much.
Innovation is coming to soccer, and at the center of it all are the numbers—a way of thinking about the game that ignores the obvious in favor of how things actually are. In The Numbers Game, Chris Anderson, a former professional goalkeeper turned soccer statistics guru, teams up with behavioral analyst David Sally to uncover the numbers that really matter when it comes to predicting a winner. Investigating basic but profound questions—How valuable are corners? Which goal matters most? Is possession really nine-tenths of the law? How should a player’s value be judged?—they deliver an incisive, revolutionary new way of watching and understanding soccer.
What is the true story behind the most gifted yet often misunderstood character in the British game? Were there signs of things to come in his upbringing in the backstreets of Liverpool? What were the early influences that shaped his character? And how has the meteoric rise to fame and fortune affected this seemingly shy yet prodigiously gifted youngster?
For the first time, Rooney opens up about the defining years of his life as the son of a working-class family, brought up in a council house with his Everton-mad family. There followed his first tentative steps in football, the triumphs and knockbacks along the way, the accolades that began to follow his every move as a young teenager, and destiny fulfilled on his Premiership debut for Everton at the tender age of 16.
He describes how his life changed irrevocably when Alex Ferguson and Manchester United came calling in the summer of 2004, his dazzling efforts for England in the European Championships, a private life never far from the tabloid headlines, and the real story behind his relationship with partner Coleen McLoughlin.
He reveals the anguish of the foot injury that threatened his participation in World Cup 2006, and how his determination led to a remarkable recovery in time to play a part in the group stage of the tournament. And he describes how his delight at playing again for his country turned to depair after his controversial sending-off in the quarter-final against Portugal and England’s subsequent elimination in the penalty shoot-out.
And in this updated paperback edition, he revisits the drama of United’s Premiership-winning 2006/07 season and their tumultuous battles with Chelsea and giants AC Milan.
This is the story in Rooney's own words. From the streets of Croxteth to the stadiums of Germany and beyond – a journey of a lifetime squeezed into a mere twenty-one years.