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25th Apr 2016

Seven football books every die-hard fan really needs to read

Because you can only read "Inverting the Pyramid" so many times.

Carl Anka

The football season is winding down and you need something to keep you ticking until Euro 2016.

Read our run down of the best football books around right now.

The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro by Joe McGinnis

The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro1

In 1996 the tiny village team of Castel di Sangro got promoted to Serie B in Italy. Captivated by the team’s plucky underdog tale, American journalist Joe McGinnis lived in the village for a year charting the side’s topsy turvy season. A wonder sports story and travel book rolled into one, it’s well worth reading while on holiday.

The Nowhere Men by Michael Calvin

The Nowhere Men1

Most football fans don’t give much thought about football scouts outside their Football Manger game saves, but fascinating book The Nowhere Men gives us a look at the people who spot the talent of the future. Travelling up and down the country on lots of bad coffee and worse food, its worth picking up for its tale on how Raheem Sterling was found.

A Life Too Short by Ronald Reng

ALife Too Short

In 2009 German goalkeeper Robert Enke tragically took his own life, aged 32. A Life Too Short is a sobering look into depression, charting a man driven to despair following with the loss of his infant daughter. An instance of where football can be used for greater learning.

Among the Thugs by Bill Bulford

Among The Thugs

Forget Green Street and The Football Factory, Bill Bulford’s book is the definitive work on football hooligans. The American writer spent the best part of a decade football football fans and hooligans in the 80s and ended up in a number of terrace clashes and riots, including one during Italia 90s. A brutal look into what made hundreds of men get on their best trackies to beat the snot out of each other on a weekly basis.

Soccernomics: Why England Always Lose by Simon Kruper and Stefan Szymanski

Why England Lose

SPOILER: England probably aren’t going to win Euro 2016. There are number of reasons as to why England flatter to deceive at international tournaments and Soccernomics takes an interesting stats and economics approach to them. No really. Reading it you’ll learn loads on why football teams from capital cities rarely win the Champions League, why certain football positions are overvalued and of course, why England always lose. Not bad from the folks behind Freakanomics.

Football Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper

Soccer Against The Enemy

Hosting a football tournament is expensive. REALLY expensive. Between getting your transport links sorted, your hotels cleaned up and your stadium built, most nations are either out of pocket, behind schedule or paying taxes out the wazzoo for up to a decade after a tournament. So why do so many countries run for a World Cup when it’s hosting time?

Simon Kuper presents the answer in Football Against The Enemy – a fascinating look as to how some nations use football as a distraction from other unsavoury goings on.

Brilliant Orange by David Winner

Brilliant Orange

Quick, think of a famous Dutch person. You probably named a footballer right?

The Netherlands have contributed a lot to world football and Brilliant Orange is a fantastic look at the national that gave us Bergkamp, Van Basten and Total Football. Well worth picking up for those wanting to know more about Johan Cruyff as well.

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