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Football Dynamo: Modern Russia and the People's Game [Paperback]

Marc Bennetts
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Mar 2009

In 1991, the collapse of the USSR seemed to signal the death of the Russian football industry, as the money, the players and the fans left. But now the oligarchs who profited from the post-Soviet turmoil are supporting the nation's football clubs and their dreams of glory, resulting in unprecedented success.

Along this journey into the heart of Russian football, Marc Bennetts meets the managers, oligarchs, players, pundits and fans that define the Russian Premier league, now the fastest-growing and most intriguing football league in the world. From Andrei Arshavin and the national team's adventures at Euro 2008 to the symbolism of a club from war-torn Chechnya lifting the Russian FA Cup, Football Dynamo uncovers shocking revelations about corruption, hooliganism and racism, but also the true beauty of the game and the country.

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Football Dynamo: Modern Russia and the People's Game + Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe: Travels in Eastern European Football + Calcio: A History of Italian Football
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753515717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753515716
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"One of the best books about football in a foreign land you will ever come across" (Andrew Baker Daily Telegraph)

"Bennetts has produced an engrossing, authoritative account of the game in his adopted country as it makes a growing mark in Europe" (Independent)

"An authoritative and adventurous examination of Russian football" (The Herald)

"This book does more than just help you learn to love Russia. It even helps you learn to love Russian football" (Simon Kuper)

Book Description


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars has the lot... 15 Sep 2008
By godzilla78 VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not only does the book cover the basics of Russia's new found status as a world force, it explains the political and social contexts of Russian football. The author uses his 10+ years of knowledge in the country to give a run down of all the leading clubs, memorable events and corruption. There are basic histories concerning all the major clubs in Moscow etc and the accusations thrown about of match fixing, corruption, racism and hooliganism. Along with "Behind the iron curtain..." this book is essential reading for those wanting to know more about Russian football.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spacibo..... 4 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having long since had an interest in Russia, its people and its culture, I instantly bought this book when I saw it was available.

Soviet football had always fascinated me as a nipper. Teams with huge sounding names, such as Spartak Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, Zenit Leningrad, had made Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all sound minimal in comparison. Bennetts's book covers the history of these teams plus the post-soviet evolution experienced by Russian football in general.

Bennetts covers the whole aspect of Russian football, from the crumbling stadia, the rampant corruption and its political impact to the resurgence of the national squad in recent years. He also enlightens the reader to Russian culture and its increased expression through the growth of football and the people's categorical faith that it all can and will (and has) gone pear shaped.

But what I found really enjoyable was the conversations with Russian footballers, past and present. Quality players who were, are and had been disillusioned with the sport and how normal they all come across as being. I found this particularly strange given the conditions in which they had to play, politically, physically and environmentally.

Very good read, even for those who have no particular interest in footy. Bennetts treats you to the wonder that is the Russian psyche.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a great book for football fans interested in the game as a worldwide phenomenon. Bennetts presents a complex picture of modern Russian football, dealing exclusively with the post-USSR period. He gives insights into some of the big Moscow clubs, provincial sides from the extremes of this vast country, and also examines the fortunes of the national side. Many interesting themes emerge, such as the extent of corruption, the influence of Moscow and the political classes, the legacy of the Soviet era, and, more generally, Russian cultural attitudes. It's well written, with easy humour and a genuine attachment to his subject. Particularly interesting was the discussion of foreign players and managers, especially Guus Hiddink, and the difficulties Russian football has had on the broader European and world stage in recent times. Thoughtful and illuminating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading. 23 Feb 2010
Excellent! A fascinating study into not only the world of football but of Russian culture as a whole. I don't believe you would need to be a die hard football fan to enjoy this book, anyone with a passing interest of European football or culture would find this hard to put down...
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