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A Cultured Left Foot: The Eleven Elements of Footballing Greatness [Paperback]

Musa Okwonga
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Oct 2008
All agree that Pele and Maradona had it. Most agree that Zidane has it, and that Gazza almost had it: but what is it that makes true greatness? Laid out here are the eleven key elements that make a football hero, in a thinking-man's study of the beautiful game. With testimonies from managers, pundits and the players themselves, "A Cultured Left Foot" discusses the key virtues that combine to make the perfect player. Hilarious, gripping and insightful, it is a must-read for every football fan.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (2 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715637630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715637630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A delight to read ... an exuberant and intelligent footy book' -- Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer, The Times. 'Probably the most intelligent football book of the year' --Independent on Sunday. 'Full of insights' --Independent (No. 1, 'Ten Best Sports Books')

'Endless fascinating details and anecdotes' -- Simon Kuper, author of 'Football Against the Enemy'. 'A work of insight from a young writer trying to solve an old problem, the definition of that much over-used word in football vocabulary; great' --Martin Tyler, Sky Sports

'Quirky and exuberant' -- FourFourTwo, ****. 'Hilarious anecdotes ... a scintillating read, brimming with rich detail ... one book that should find its way onto every football fan's bookshelf. Join the greatness debate' --The Crack (Book of the Month)

About the Author

Musa Okwonga is an Oxford graduate who has practised both law and football, with the emphasis on the latter.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A footballing feast 21 Oct 2007
This guy has mined a fine seam of knowledge (both his own and many significant others) to produce an enlightening account rich in content, flavour and style. I thoroughly enjoyed his pondering on his 11 ingredients of a successful footballer and the passion that shines out from the pages.

Each chapter contains an informed and humourous analysis of a particular aspect of a footballer and Okwonga's ability to draw on so many aspects of life and intertwine them with footballing history to reason his thinking left me hoping he writes another. He took me back to so many great footballing moments and taught me so many more. One on managers would be magnificent. Thoroughly recommend. Enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cerebral football book 17 Jan 2008
Not your average sports book, Okwonga even quotes scientific papers in this beautifully-written personal thesis on what constitutes a great foootballer. His knowledge of the minutiae of the game is startling and makes even the avid football fan realise there are fans of the game like Okwonga who watch and analyse the beaautiful game on a far more microscopic scale. Oh for a DVD of the passes, goals and moments written about in the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and insightful 31 Aug 2011
By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Every football fan can think of the things that marked out the greatest players they've seen, but this book goes further, trying to identify common features that all great players must have. It's a well-constructed list, with a range of obvious and less-obvious characteristics. The author compiled the list himself and then sent it out for comment to a huge number of football fans and others involved with the game; some of their responses are included as he defines what he means by each characteristic. There is much analysis of great moments, great goals, great matches, but also seemingly simple acts of genius too. This book will surely make any football fan recall particular moments, either when they saw a great player in action or perhaps when they saw a lesser play momentarily achieve that greatness that only a very small number can sustain. This book is engagingly written and is a real celebration of the game at its very best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 11 Great Elements 15 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book by Musa who has certainly done his research in providing the 11 elements of greatness. As a previous reviewer states, it would be great to have a companion book to teams. Great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Components 26 July 2011
What I would like to see is a team version, taking on board the mixture of these attributes with that structure from Manager to Player. However this book would reflect a lot of things sports fans are thinking, but goes further. Interesting to have Toughness, Guts and Madness in the middle. Possibly the Metal element being an overlap of all three. Could it be argued that to perform on the field, there had to be a preparation of the mind, which for some comes natural, Zidane or Maradona, and for others requires the force of the will? Some English Defenders being an example.
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