Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja's Historic Treble

BackPage Press
16
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This is the story of the greatest achievement in the history of international football.

After decades of failure, Spain won the European Championship in 2008 andthen the World Cup in 2010. At Euro 2012 they became the first team to win three consecutive tournament titles.

Graham Hunter was inside the dressing room as the players celebrated after the finals of the World Cup and Euro 2012. His access-all-areas pass at all three tournaments has resulted in remarkable eyewitness accounts and new interviews with star players and the men behind the scenes. Across every day of La Roja’s treble, the author takes you on to the training ground; on the team bus; into the canteen; inside the hotels and on to the pitch.

You’ll hear the team talks that inspired Spain to victory plus the inside stories from Fernando Torres, Xavi, Iker Casillas, David Villa, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué and the others behind an unprecedented era.
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About the author

Graham Hunter is a journalist of international reputation and covers Spanish football for Sky Sports, the BBC and newspapers and magazines across the world. He writes and interviews for UEFA.COM and has been a TV producer for FIFA.

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Additional information

Publisher
BackPage Press
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Published on
Nov 15, 2013
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781909430136
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / Football
Sports & Recreation / Soccer
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Fernando Torres is one of the hottest properties in world football. From local Madrid idol to Kop hero and European Championship winner, he talks here for the first time about the unique challenges faced in his two seasons in England, with candid snapshots of his early years in Spain and life in the North West on and off the field.

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.

The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication, put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors, its main aim to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.


Contents of Issue Twelve

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The Rivals

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* Sid Lowe, Power Play - Carles Rexach and Jorge Valdano discuss the changing nature of the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry

* Miguel Delaney, Gamechanger - Johan Cruyff on his role in creating the style of Barcelona and modern football

* Graham Hunter, An Honourable Man - How Vicente del Bosque overcame rejection by Real Madrid to lead Spain to glory
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A Game of Chess

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* Philippe Auclair, Beyond the System - Could the lessons of chess show football the way to an exciting new future?   

* Scott Oliver, Play Jazz, not Chess - Reflections on football, order and the imagination, and the need for improvisation
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Theory

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* Steve Menary, Maximum Opportunity - Was Charles Hughes a long-ball zealot, or pragmatist reacting to necessity?

* Sergio Levinsky, The Cult of the Pibe - Argentina’s love affair with scruffy urchins with feet of gold
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Defenders of the Faith

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* Paul Brown, The Birth of the Fan - Why Victorians flocked to watch 22 men kicking a pig’s bladder about

* James Montague, Jerusalem Syndrome - The mysterious disappearance of Guma Aguiar, the saviour of Beitar Jerusalem

* Brian Homewood, Identity Crisis - Unpicking the convoluted threads of Mexico’s franchise system

* Bartosz Nowicki, Dream Fulfilled - Relief and glee as Cardiff City finally found their way into the Premier League 
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Against the Odds

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* Robin Bairner, Sleeping Giant - In 1982, Jean-Pierre Adams was given anaesthetic before knee surgery. He hasn’t woken up. 

* Richard Jolly, And Not to Yield - Only one sportsman can match Ryan Giggs for longevity: the New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

* Javier Sauras and Felix Lill, The Street Dogs of Manila - The Philippines are rising through the rankings, but are they Filipino enough

* Matthew Campelli, Second City Syndrome - Why has Birmingham struggled for football success for 30 years?

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Polemics

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* Alex Keble, Artist or Machine? - An investigation into the paradoxical relationship between sport and creativity

* Tim Vickery, Alternate Title - The lessons sports journalists can draw from the Monkees
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Fiction

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* Iain Macintosh, The Quantum of Bobby - After his exile in Qatar, Bobby Manager returns to English football. Or does he…?
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Greatest Games

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* Rob Smyth, England 1 West Germany 1* - World Cup semi-final, 4 July 1990, Stadio delle Alpi, Turin
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Eight Bells

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* Michael Yokhin, Non-identical twins - A selection of twins who looked the same but played very differently

 The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication, put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors, its main aim to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.

Issue Four Contents

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Barcelona

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* The Inverted Sheepdog, by Graham Hunter—The inside story of how Xavi emerged as the central hub of the world's greatest team

* Corrida of Uncertainty, by David Winner—How the cruelty of tiki-taka resembles bull-fighting

* The Other Rival, Another Way, by Scott Oliver—When the nastiest rivalry in Spain was between Barcelona and Athletic

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Interview

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* Alex Ferguson—The Manchester United manager tells Philippe Auclair about his early start, the importance of continuity and his need to be alone

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London

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* Capital Failings, by Ian Hawkey—Football clubs in democratic capitals tend to underperform and London is no exception

* A Very English Visionary, by Martin Cloake—How the understated radicalism of Arthur Rowe defined Tottenham's style

* South of the River, by Nick Szczepanik—For a spell in the eighties, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Wimbledon challenged the elite

* The Bald Eagle and the Modern Way, by Bob Yule—How Jim Smith brough the 3-5-2 to Queens Park Rangers

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Theory

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* Deschamps-Suaudeau, by Patrick Dessault—Didier Deschamps and Jean-Claude Suaudeau debate the modern vogue for attacking football

* The New Enganche, by Sam Kelly—Javier Pastore talks about his move to Paris Saint-Germain and living up to the playmaking ideal

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Africa

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* Unlikely Hosts, Unlikelier Winners, by Pablo Manriquez and Backpagepix—Images from the 2012 African Cup of Nations

* Victory Song, by Jonathan Wilson—How Zambia's emotional triumph restored the zest to the Cup of Nations

* The Barefoot Pioneers, by Gary Al-Smith—CK Gyamfi explains how a bootless tour to Britain helped shape the game in Ghana

* Ultra Violence, by David Lynch—After the horrors of Port Said, the exact role of ultras in the downfall of Hosny Mubarak remains unclear

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In Appreciation Of

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* Ronaldo in Moscow, by Sheridan Bird—A slalom through the Luzhniki mud confirmed the genius of "O Fenomeno"

* Toussaint on Zidane, by Juliet Jacques—What the World Cup final headbutt meant to the Belgian writer

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Polemics

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* Pelé v Beckham, by Pete Grathoff—Which of the icons had the greater impact on football in the USA?

* The Other Cup, by Brian Phillips—How do you solve a problem like the Europa League?

* Continental Drift, by Rob Langham—Kazakhstan has slipped behind Uzbekistan since it abandoned Asia

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Football Manager

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* The Ballad of Bobby Manager: My Autobiography, by Iain Macintosh—When somebody takes their game of Football Manager just a little too seriously...

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Greatest Games

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* Racing 1 Celtic 0, by Dan Edwards—Intercontinental Cup final play off, Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, 4 November 1967

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Eight Bells

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* Shirt Tales, by Scott Murray—The history behind a selection of iconic kits

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