‘A global history with the poetic flair of a Pele free kick.’ The Face
‘Galeano can run rings round our own glamorous football intelligentsia.’ When Saturday Comes
From the Back Cover
'An emotional history of world cup football'
'Uplifting, reckless, ironic, impassioned – his book sparkles with supple imagery and a fine dry wit.'
Pete Davies, 'Independent'
To the true football fan even winning and losing comes second to those moments of pure footballing perfection: an acrobatic bicycle kick; an audacious piece of ball juggling; a dummy; a back heel; a flying header. Here is a parade of the world's greatest footballers from Beckenbauer to Yashin, Charlton to Zico, Cruyff to Pele with their inspired, almost baletic skill.
Here too is the tragic Escobar, guilty of an own goal for Columbia and gunned down in the streets of Medellin as a consequence; the English captain Neville who led a First World War charge on a trench by kicking a football across no-man's land; and the 1942 Dynamo Kiev team who couldn't resist beating their oppressors, the Nazis, and were then shot in their shirts after the 'game'.
'This is the world's greatest game in all its colour'
'Galeano can run rings round our glamorous football intelligentsia.'
'When Saturday Comes'
'Galeano has a style of a great left half. He constantly switches the direction of play. His observations are acute. He delivers with an air of insouciance which cannot mask his mastery'
'Sport's answer to 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'. A journey through a universe populated by the fantastic and the eccentric, reality turned magical.'