Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU

Routledge
1
Free sample

What can the history of a nation's football reveal about that nation's wider political and socio-cultural identity? How can the study of local football culture help us to understand the powerful international forces at play within the modern game?

Based on long-term and detailed ethnographic research, this book uses Malta as a critical case study to explore the dynamics of contemporary football. Situated on the fringes of the EU, and with an appalling record in international competition, the Maltese are nevertheless fanatical about the game. This book examines Maltese football in the context of the island's unique politics, culture and national identity, shedding light upon both Maltese society and on broader processes, both local and global, within the international game. The book explores a range of key issues in contemporary football, such as:

the dynamics of international player migration

football corruption and ethics

the politics of sponsorship and TV deals

the global appeal of footballing "brands" such as Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

This book is essential reading for students and researchers working in Sports Studies, Sociology of Sport, Football, Globalisation, Politics and Ethnic Studies.

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About the author

Gary Armstrong is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Brunel University, London.

Jon P. Mitchell is a Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, Brighton.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Mar 31, 2008
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781134269181
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / General
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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Daring, flashy, innovative, volatile—no matter what they call him, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of soccer’s brightest stars. A top-scoring striker and captain of the Swedish national team, he has dominated the world’s most storied teams, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. But his life wasn’t always so charmed.
 
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
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