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Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World
 
 

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

Graham Hunter
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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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

Product 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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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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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Book about Mes Que Un Club 22 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
Quite simply the best football book i've ever read. Brilliantly researched and superbly told story of how Barcelona picked themselves up to become the Greatest team in the world, there are some fascinating anecdotes and the writer has had access to the likes of Guardiola and Xavi(my 8 year old son almost wept tears of joy when he got to see him play in the flesh!). Learning how close Alex Mcleish came to signing Messi and Iniesta on loan came as quite a surprise, this a man who thinks Emile Heskey can play on the left side of midfield. He can't,he's even more useless there than up front. Without giving too much away you'll also learn how close the club came to losing the best footballer the world has ever seen before he'd even played in the first team amongst many other fascinating insights.

My partner had to put up with me eulogising over the book so much that I caught her reading it. She has no interest in football whatsover, she is from Wigan.

The book is also brilliantly illustrated, the only other time i've felt compelled to write a review was to warn people about how bad a book is, this is the polar opposite. A superb book about a magnificent football club. Just buy it, you won't regret it.
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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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book As Good As Messi 22 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
Superbly researched and brilliantly told, one of the best football books I've read. Slick chapters that examine all the components that make Barca great, Hunter writes with economy and intelligence, drawing upon his personal experiences with the squad and the crucial backroom staff while also letting the players and coaches tell the story in their own words. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight
A book for the football connoisseur, written by a connoisseur. Congratulations Graham Hunter on a masterpiece of journalism.
Well done!
Published 13 hours ago by Gareth Carroll
3.0 out of 5 stars lies
this book is good but it has lies like mesii is the best player ever when it's cristiano ronaldo and also it said that barcalona are the best team ever when its real madrid
Published 1 month ago by harshvir
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden book, golden era!
Absolutely fantastic. The insight is incredible, and having a book as deeply thought out and written to take us through the golden years of Barca under Pep Guardiola just... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Abdullah
5.0 out of 5 stars Graham Hunter is a genius!!
If, like me, you love all things Spanish football you will love this book. I am halfway through and I am loving it. Graham's insight is just incredible. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Luke
5.0 out of 5 stars A love story for the greatest club side of recent times
Barcelona under Pep Guardiola became a team that enthralled and entertained through a glittering four year period of success that had football purists and hipsters swooning over... Read more
Published 4 months ago by The Sports Book Review
3.0 out of 5 stars the story of Barca
Interesting history of Pep Guardiola's great Barcelona team and their remarkable last few seasons with him in charge as ŵell as delightful small biographies of the main stars from... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. A. Jehangir
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing, poor book, wasted opportunity.
From my husband: "I was looking forward to reading this but the approach, structure and standard of writing is really very poor. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Aragorn
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for any football fan
Barca offers a superb insight in to what made the best club side of the last 20 years, some great stories about some of the best players in the world, graham hunter has given us a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by richyk
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTICO!
Great insight into the methods and reasons for Barca playing football the way the do. Not just for football fans but sport fans in general I would imagine.
Published 8 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the men!
This was a gift for my husband who is an avid football fan, he hasn't had his head out of it since Christmas Day! Enough said!
Published 8 months ago by colourgirl
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How is his first touch? Can he retain possession? How quickly can he read situations and how is his decision-making under pressure? Can a winger play off either foot? Does he press when his team does not have the ball? Does a centre-back have the technical ability to start attacks? &quote;
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If a kid gets into the fútbol base system at Barcelona around the age of 10 and makes his debut for the first team aged 20, he should have amassed something upwards of 2,300 training sessions. Vast chunks of those 3,070 hours will be spent on routines which train possession retention. &quote;
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“Andrés stands alone – beyond the fact that he’s a terrific player, it’s him that I always use as an example to the youth team players. He doesn’t wear earrings; he doesn’t tattoo his skin – he just looks like your average guy. He always, always trains at full effort and concentration. Play him for 20 minutes and he doesn’t moan, play him out of position and he just gets on with it. That this club has a player like Andrés is beyond price.” &quote;
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