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Complete Book of the World Cup [Paperback]

Cris Freddi
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 April 2006

The ultimate reference book on the World Cup, fully updated to cover all tournaments from 1930-2002, with match-by-match articles featuring the biggest names in world football, plus results from every game played.

All the statistics are here in one volume, enough to satisfy the most avid of World Cup fans, including team line-ups, goalscorers, stadiums, referees, crowd figures and exact dates, plus authoritative records and statistics section, as well as detailed reports of every game played in the Finals.

From the brilliant Italian team, winners in 1934, and Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick for England in 1966 to the fabulous Brazilian team of Pele, Tostao and Jairzinho of 1970, and the 1998 French side of Zidane, Deschamps and Desailly – all the fabulous memories and defining moments are captured in this one book.

As well as the facts and feats, the book contains archive photographs of some of the most memorable images of football’s greatest tournament. And now it’s fully updated to include the 2002 World Cup Finals and the fixture list for Germany 2006.

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (18 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000722916X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007229161
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 18.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Everything you ever wanted to know about the World Cup can be found here … the author has carried out so much painstaking research’
News of the World

From the Back Cover


• Details of every tournament played from 1930 onwards
• More than 200 high-quality archive photographs
• Full match reviews, including teamsheets, goalscorers and World Cup milestones
• The most accurate and meticulously researched World Cup book on the market

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate World Cup reference book 16 May 2006
When the first edition of this book was released in 2002, I was hugely impressed with the sheer scope of this book. Fortunately, Cris Freddi has kept up his high standards with a thorough update of this reference book. This book fully lives up to its title as 'Complete book of the World Cup' as it contains every record, every team, referee, match, match report one can think of for the World Cup.

Although many World Cup reference book has much of this material, what sets this book apart from the rest are the fascinating match reports written for every single match played in the World Cup finals. The match reports are witty and offer interesting and individual analysis of the key action.Quite clearly, the book has been exhaustively researched and the material is accessible and clearly presented.

If you were to buy just one book on the World Cup, I would have no hesitation in recommending this book for you to buy. A fantastic read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of All Football 7 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The 2006 version of this title, which covered every single match played in the World Cup since its inception in 1930, was the greatest book on football ever written. Freddi has since expanded the contents of that, adding the action from the 2006 and 2010 editions, plus details of the Olympic tournaments of 1908, 1921, 1920, 1924 and 1928, which were de facto world championships.

The greatest book on football ever written - redux. What's not to love?

An essential purchase whether you're a young fan wanting to learn more of the game's rich history, or an older punter who fancies revisiting some of those golden memories. The breeziest of reads, too, no small feat given the amount of detail woven into the narrative. It's an absolute steal.

Buy it now, and turn yourself into an expert in time for the World Cup in Brazil. (If you're reading this after the World Cup in Brazil, buy it now, and turn yourself into an expert in time for the World Cup in Russia. You'll have four years head start on everyone else.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, insightful fun 18 Nov 2008
As a sportswriter, this is an invaluable book; it is simply the most informative, comprehensive and accurate reference book there is on the history of the World Cup. Many of the basic errors which remain on FIFA's official match reports are corrected and the length to which Freddi goes to source accurate information, especially on the pre-66 World Cups, puts the rest of us to shame. It has full names, with appropriate diacritics, for all players and accurate goal times and attendance figures. But it is so much more than that.

Freddi is a real writer, not just a sports anorak. Every match from 1930 to 2002 is reported on in an engaging, informative way which does more than simply recycle footballing clichés and received wisdom. They are written with a wry wit, the book is peppered with innumerable delicious asides which rival Bill Bryson and Dara O'Briain for observational humour such as, "Recoba, known as 'El Chino' for the Oriental features he simply didn't have..." and the ingenious "...the bushy haired (Paul) Breitner, a Marxist with Harpo tendencies...". They make it worth ignoring the book's value as a reference and simply reading from cover to cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book 1 Mar 2014
This book is a treasure of information. Everything you need to know about the Olympics and the World Cup can be found here.
There are line-ups, goal scorers, attendances, match reports, you name it. The author has even added some comments of his own which is fun and interesting reading.
As the Danish contributor to the European Football Yearbook, published by UEFA, I can highly recommend this book for every follower of international football.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More complete than ever, and at a bargain price 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Buy this book. Buy it right now.

This is the best edition of the best football book ever written. People who have bought previous editions need to get this one immediately, as it's been completely revised and also includes three brand new sections, covering the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and also a fantastic new section at the beginning covering the pre-1930 Olympic football tournaments, the "world championships" that predate the 1930 World Cup. Any one of these sections would be worth the 7 currently being asked, as a stand-alone supplement; to have all three *and* an updated, electronic version of the earlier book, which was so good to start with, is a no-brainer. If you're interested in the history of international football and don't buy this, you are missing out.

When the first edition of this book appeared back in 1998 I completely devoured it; in Cris Freddi, the World Cup found its perfect champion, a compelling storyteller and diligent researcher, a completely detached observer with a great eye for detail and a good line in puns. The book was the monument the World Cup has always deserved, crammed with comprehensive detail, correcting any number of longstanding myths and mistakes, and (maybe most importantly) entirely impartial, both in terms of its completely even-handed treatment of every team, and its ready willingness to call out FIFA and to criticise the tournament itself.
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