Today is the first day in the World Cup without a game, and it already feels strange…To fill the “gap” I would like to recommend three great books for football aficionados (and not only…):
Futebol, the Brazilian way of life (by Alex Bellos)
A fantastic book by Alex Bellos on how a sport of 100+ years old has shaped so much the culture and the life of Brazilians and visa versa how Brazilians has changed football for the better. The writer tells riveting stories about World Cups, great matches, players-legends like Pele and Garrincha, but also anecdotes about voodoo and football, football played by cars (Autoball), and more strange and lovely stories that you will love to read again and again. Definitely, a great book to read that will also make you understand and appreciate more the Brazilian players that have played for your club ;)
Soccer in sun and shadow (by Eduardo Galeano)
A really beautiful book by Eduardo Galeano, an Uruguayan poet and writer, who can handle words like Ronaldinho handles the ball. Galeano, coming from a country that has won two times the world cup, is a real football aficionado, romantic, loving the sport and not the packaging that FIFA’s presidents like Joao Havelange and Joseph Blatter are trying to wrap football with…
Galeano tells the history of football and life during the 20th century based on World Cup tournaments, being critical and political whenever it is needed, reminding to the reader what football really is and why people love it!
Brilliant Orange: the neurotic genius of Dutch football (by David Winner)
A brilliant book by David Winner, on what Dutch football is, how Dutch perceive it and why Dutch are playing it like this. Living in the Netherlands for three and half years, I can tell that David Winner has really immersed into the Dutch culture and has been impressed by Dutch to write this book, and explain why the Total Football was born in the Netherlands. How Dutch perceive space to farm their land, but also in architecture (Bauhaus), painting (Mondrian) and eventually in football…How has collectivism in daily Dutch life led to Total Football and how has Dutch arrogance led to underachievement in football…? These and many more questions are answered in David Winner’s Brilliant Orange…Must Read!