18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
THE BEST WORLD CUP BOOK!, 8 April 2006
This is easily the best book on the World Cup I've seen. Not only does it tell the story of the competition in an entertaining and easy to read way, but it seamlessly works in the personal stories of dozens of World Cup greats, like Carlos Alberto, Just Fontaine, Bobby Charlton, Michel Platini and many more. But sometimes it's the stories of the lesser remembered players that intrigue. Gyula Grosics, goalkeeper of the all-conquering golden generation of Hungarian footballers in the early 1950s tells how defeat to West Germany in the 1954 final (the Miracle of Berne) resulted in a two-year house arrest by the secret police and charges of spying after returning to Hungary. Luque of Argentina recalls the day his brother died in a car crash while driving to see him just hours after one of Argentina's group games at the 1978 finals. All of this is presented in a highly glossy and stylishly designed package, crammed with vintage pictures. The book contains candid dressing room snaps, loads of memorabilia, and so many stories that had me shouting, 'well I never knew that'. I mean, did you know that all-but-one of the Dutch team of 1974 wore the proper national playing kit with its three Adidas stripes on the sleeve, BUT star Johann Cruyff played in a specially made shirt with just two stripes because he was sponsored by a rival sportswear manufacturer. It's those little nuggets in the middle of the fascinating chronological telling of the World Cup's history that makes this book a must. I can't wait for the accompanying BBC TV series!