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3.0 out of 5 stars Quantity but not Quality, 29 April 2011
R ELLIOTT (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Encyclopedia of World Cup Soccer (Paperback)
The title of Orlando Duarte's tome and the Product Description suggest this is a comprehensive work covering the World Cup. In fact it is just a lengthy listing of match results - all the qualifying match results for each tournament are listed and all the games of the final tournaments are summarised along with the line-ups for each team. Interesting, but not quite what the title suggests. Whilst each tournament has its own introductory text, these are little more than summaries of the teams that qualified and who beat who in the final tournament. There is only a very sparse sprinkling of additional information - more of this could have given the book greater depth. The accompanying photographs are small and of generally low quality, with only a handful of colour images.

Whilst the sheer volume of information in this book (over 400 pages) may appeal to the enthusiast, in some respects this is a triumph of quantity over quality. Originally written in Portuguese (and/or Spanish according to the publishers notes), it has been translated into English but unfortunately the quality of the translation and editing leave something to be desired. Some examples; qualifying matches are "innings", goalscorers are "goalers", penalties are "foul shots" and players who were sent off were invariably "kicked out" or, more confusingly, "players who scored against their own team".

Whilst it is not unexpected to find an odd error or omission in a work of this size, but their prominence - particularly in relation to the more recent tournaments covered by the book - will cause the reader to question the veracity of the book as a whole. It is concerning that West Germany is called East Germany several times, Bulgaria is "Bulgary" more than once and the USA is referred to as "EUA". There are spelling errors and omissions from the match line-ups too.

This is a book of it's time, written before the emergence of the internet as a resource for World Cup enthusiasts and as a reference book it is certainly flawed, but not entirely without merit.
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Encyclopedia of World Cup Soccer
Encyclopedia of World Cup Soccer by Orlando Duarte (Paperback - 1 May 1994)
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