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Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World [Kindle Edition]

Graham Hunter
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

BARCELONA are the greatest football team in the world, the greatest for a generation and possibly the greatest of all time. 

This is the untold inside story of how the best and most loved football team in the world came to redefine how the game is played. 

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.

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Review

'This could well be the best football book ever written.'
Kevin Bridges, comedian

'Fantastic book. It's can't-put-down good.'
--Oliver Holt, The Daily Mirror

'Superbly-written analysis & celebration of Pep, Messi, Xavi etc. Brilliant book.' --Henry Winter, The Daily Telegraph

'Graham Hunter's book reminds us all just how beautiful the beautiful game can be. His admiration for Barca is genuine, his knowledge is vast, and he is an expert at bringing readers close into the story, making us cheer for not only Pep and Messi, but for every player who has turned out for the greatest team in the world.'
---Rodge Glass, author of Bring Me The Head of Ryan Giggs

'Unmissable.' --Juliano Belletti, former Barcelona player

'Hunter examines Barca's rise from every angle and manages, ultimately, to strike a delicate balance between wise football writing and perceptive portraiture that makes for a compelling read.'ESPN

'From detailing the out of control influence of Ronaldinho and Deco to confirming Guardiola's genius, it's written with stacks of insight' ***** --Four Four Two

'Graham Hunter takes you on an unforgettable journey ... into the famous footbaling cathedral of Camp Nou and into the Catalan club's boardroom. He delves deeper than any journalist has ever managed into every nook and cranny of the much-vaunted youth system. You will love it.
'Hunter's gargantuan effort is quite possibly the best book ever written on FC Barcelona and quite comfortably slots into the top 10 of my all-time sports books.' Brendan Crossan, The Irish News

'We'll be talking about this Barcelona team decades from now, and thankfully we'll still have Graham Hunter's magisterial book explaining how it came about. Just as Barca didn't happen by accident, neither does Hunter's acutely observed account. An instant classic.' Grant Wahl --Sports Illustrated

'No one knows Barcelona like Graham Hunter. This is a penetrating, convincing and fascinating account of the construction of one of the best teams we have seen, full of insight and analysis.' Sid Lowe --The Guardian

'I doubt whether there will ever be a more definitive book about the making of the greatest football team our generation. 'Pep Guardiola once said to his team that Andres Iniesta would retire them all. Graham Hunter has retired all of us who aspire to write about this team.' Rob Draper --Mail on Sunday

'Entertaining, informative and beautifully written, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, is the next best thing to watching Barcelona play. 'Years from now, this book will be revered as the definitive biography of the most remarkable era in the history of FC Barcelona.' Ian McGarry

Full of behind-the-scenes insight into the individuals and the ethos behind Barca s rise to dominance. Utterly astounding. John Greechan, The Scottish Daily Mail

'Fittingly, the making of the greatest team in the world is a subject from which has emerged one of the finest books written on football.' Alan Pattullo, The Scotsman

'An access all areas pass to the greatest football story of modern times.'Hugh MacDonald, The Herald

'An enjoyable, flowing read that succeeds in providing great detail and insight ... Hunter impresses a supreme command of the inner workings of the FC Barcelona machine.' --Total Football Magazine

Superbly-written analysis & celebration of Pep, Messi, Xavi etc. Brilliant book. --Henry Winter, The Daily Telegraph

Having worked closely with the club for a decade, Hunter succeeds in capturing the magic of how Barca have redefined the game.
From detailing the out of control influence of Ronaldinho and Deco to confirming Guardiola's genius, it's written with stacks of insight ***** --Four Four Two

About the Author

Graham Hunter moved to Barcelona in 2001. He is a journalist of international reputation and covers Spanish football and FC Barcelona for Sky Sports, the BBC and newspapers and magazines across the world. His access to the team is unrivalled and he is the only English-speaking journalist to have interviewed Pep Guardiola during his time as Barcelona coach.

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More About the Author

Graham Hunter moved to Barcelona in 2001. He is a journalist of international reputation and covers Spanish football and FC Barcelona for Sky Sports, the BBC and newspapers and magazines across the world.
His access to the team is unrivalled and he is the only Englishspeaking journalist to have interviewed Pep Guardiola during his time as Barcelona coach.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like football you must read this book 27 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a superb chronicle of FC Barcelona's meteroic rise to rule the football world over recent times. Concentrating mainly on the Pep Guardiola era (2008 - 2012), the author includes well researched and detailed entries on the key players in the current team as well as a number of personnel who have helped develop this groundbreaking team. The author writes with economy and purpose very passionately about the nucleus of the current team including obviously Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta et al. It is very clear how much the nucleus of homegrown players have influenced this footballing sensation with their own dynamic, quick passing tiki taka style football which exhilarates and astounds in equal measures. In addition to chapters on current players we learn of the famous La Masia and how the youngsters are schooled and moulded into the future Messis and Puyols in years to come. A chapter on the essence of the breathtaking football we take from granted from FC Barclona is also included featuring Johan Cruyff and how his methods of total football forms the basis of what we admire today. The author has clearly referenced a massive amount of material to create this fascinating book and it is a real page turner.

The highlight of the book would be the detailed and gripping accounts portraying Messi and the moulding of the team by the dedication of Pep Guardiola. We are left in no doubt that this team, surely the greatest of all time, did not come about through accident. The chapters on the total football / tiki taka football style and the La Masia football academy help complete the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read 15 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is possibly the most enjoyable book about sport that I have read, certainly the best I have read in a long time. The combination of Graham Hunter, a splendid author, and Barcelona, an even better team, proved to be the perfect match. The book mainly focuses on the greatest period of the clubs history, the three seasons that spanned from 2008-2011. In 2008 Barcelona were a team that were on the wane, full of seasoned internationals and bonafide superstars but lacking motivation and morale. That all changed when Pep Guardiola took charge and brought his own philosophy of possession-based football which was to prove revolutionary. Hunter goes into great detail on how Guardiola was first able to rid the squad of stragglers such as Ronaldinho and Deco and get key players like Messi and Xavi to understand and implement his principles. It is very interesting to then read about the relentless way in which Guardiola went about getting the best out of his players.

Key matches such as the destruction of Man Utd at Wembley and the 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid are also well documented. Hunter also chronicles the rise of Leo Messi, which proves to be very informative, as I was never aware of how close Messi was to moving back to Argentina during his early years at Camp Nou. It is inconceivable to think that fans of European football might have been deprived of watching such a genius in action.

All in all I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in the greatest team to ever play the beautiful game!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read... 13 Dec. 2012
By Busby88
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If like me, you admire and enjoy Barcelona's own brans of football then this book wont disappoint: this is up there with some of the finest football books I have ever read. The insights into La Masia and Messi's upbringing are particularly good. It is obvious this guy knows his stuff and has researched meticulously to write this book.

Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Pep get star-billing (unsurprisingly) with long-chapters dedicated to fleshing out their backstories. This is great but some chapters (for example on Eric Abidal) feel quite rushed by comparison.

What really lets this book down is the author's completely one-sided arguments for Barca. Now I know Mourinho can be a bit controversial, but you will leave this book believing he is the embodiment of evil and Pep is god himself. (Yes this is a book about Barca but I would have liked a more balanced feel to the whole thing). I found myself remarking to the author on several occasions "Please remove your tongue from [insert Barca related person here] a**e. For example, there were no mentions of Busquets' behaviour in THAT Inter match, rather the author focused on evil himself Mourinho.

Just a minor detail in the grans scheme of things and this is a very enjoyable read if you are a fan of/admire Barca.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to be informed of the history of FC Barcelona, of Catalonia, and the bloody Civil War, in order to have a greater understanding of where the club stands today this is not the book for you. The Scottish journalist, Graham Hunter, based in Catalonia for the last ten years, has focussed the story entirely on the recent triumphs of the present generation of Barça players, currently under the coach Josep "Pep" Guardiola since the summer of 2008.

It deals with the top names: Xavi Hernandez, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, the goal-keeper Victor Valdés, David Villa the "kid", and king Leo, their successes in the Clasicos matches in La Liga against the age long foe Real Madrid, and the UEFA Champions League finals in Paris against Arsenal in 2006, and the two against Manchester United in 2009 in Rome and two years later at the new Wembley.

But for Hunter the adventure commenced almost a generation earlier with the arrival as coach of the Dutch idol, Johan Cruyff, who in addition to bringing some immediate successes including the winning of the first Champions League trophy in 1992 by the "Dream Team" of international stars of the Koeman, Laudrup, Stoichkov calibre, plus of local products like Salinas, Zubizarreta and Guardiola, planted the seeds of the club's future through its youth nurseries in La Masia, out of which most of the present team, as well as its last lost exile, Cesc Fàbregas, were nurtured and groomed. This distinct long term system of investment is to be compared to the short-term grab and spend practices of tested prima donna galacticos -from Di Stefano to Cristiano Ronaldo, since the 1950s by Madrid.
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