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Comprehensive history of Calcio
on 18 April 2012
Having grown up through the days of Rivera, Mazzola, Sivori, Charles when Italian football was the most important thing in everyone's life, this book gave me a very good background of the way the modern game has developed in Italy. Controversial in parts with its description of certain characters (Nereo Rocco for one), but accurately puts its finger on the reasons for calcio's decline over the years: betting scandals, corruption, doubts about results, endless court cases, violence in the grounds. And throughout all this the national side managed to win 2 World Cups since 1982!
The more recent times, with Maradona, Van Basten, Gullit, Baggio, Paolo Rossi, Baresi, Maldini and hundreds of world class players appearing in Serie A are well worth pondering over; back in the 1980-1990 all the best players in the world competed in what was then the best league in the world. A far cry from today's half-full arenas.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.