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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view of Madrid's transition into a global brand
El Macca is a well written though sometimes self-congratulatory review of Steve McMananam's four years with the biggest club on the planet.
Sarah Edworthy details the changes faced by the players and fans of Real Madrid when Florentino Perez took over with the intention of moving Madrid into the 21st Century after they had been voted club of the 20th Century by FIFA...
Published on 13 Oct. 2004

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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Disappointing
What a disappointment this book is.
The first 25 pages or so are padded out with Beckham's arrival in Spain and then only sparingly do we hear from McManaman himself. Fellow scally Robbie Fowler's occasional weekend visits are about the only things of interest.
Admittedly, the subject matter doesn't provide much to go on during his 4 years there,...
Published on 12 Dec. 2005


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view of Madrid's transition into a global brand, 13 Oct. 2004
By A Customer
El Macca is a well written though sometimes self-congratulatory review of Steve McMananam's four years with the biggest club on the planet.
Sarah Edworthy details the changes faced by the players and fans of Real Madrid when Florentino Perez took over with the intention of moving Madrid into the 21st Century after they had been voted club of the 20th Century by FIFA. She conveys not only McManaman's frustration at having to sit on the bench, even though his manager wants to play him, but the same frustrastions faced by other established players who weren't classed as galicticos.
That Steve McManaman is so highly thought of by his team mates is testamanet to his ability as a player, but possibly also stops him divulging some of the possibly more interesting details of what goes on in the dressing room, although he holds no punches when detailing the influence held over the team by the myriad of directors and president, and some of the more bizarre directives handed down, especially during the clubs centenary celebrations.
All through his time at Madrid Steve remained upbeat due to the support he had from the fans, the players, and the Spanish press, and the book goes some way to dispel the popular conception in this country that Steve was a failure in Spain. Far from it. With two Champions League winners medals, two Spanish league titles and the ringing endorsement of his team mates as detailed in this book, McManaman's career was nothing short of a success, his only failure being that he was not bought for umpteen million pounds, and therefore suffered for not being as marketable as the current crop of galicticos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best football book you will ever read!, 3 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid (Paperback)
I read this book a year ago and thought it was really refreshing for a football book. I gave several copies of the paperback to friends for Christmas this year, and already the feedback has been 100 per cent positive. Like me, my mates like it because, for a start, it is ego-free, as steve mcmanaman clearly wants to tell the story of the fascinating time he had at a fascinating period in Real Madrid's history. He doesn't make himself the central focus of the book, he tells the story of his time there, which is dramatic but built up with lots of subtle detail. It's one of those books you just can't put down because you get true behind-the-scenes glimpses - not the stereotypical slagging off of teammates and managers to create sensation. He gives you the real picture of what it is like moving to a new country, finding yourself in a different footballing culture, and achieving great success on the pitch. He give a (still relevant) critical view of the galacticos era. And the different voices from his wife and family and teammates add up to a very human, unmelodramatic report of his time in madrid. excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars El Macca, 28 Oct. 2009
By 
Mr. C. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid (Paperback)
It was a very good account of life within the galacticos and highlighting the politics that went on at Real Madrid. It is humorous and describes in great detail the inter personal relationships that MAcca formed. Very very good read
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Real story, 10 Sept. 2004
By A Customer
Macca's story of his time in Spain makes for a great read, lots of good stuff on what it was like to play with Ronaldo, Figo etc and what it was like to leave Liverpool and play abroad. The book also shows how much he won with Madrid but it's not nearly as self-serving as most football autobiogs. A really good read and much more interesting than Michael Owens book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars El Pleasure, 24 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid (Paperback)
5 Stars is not enough!!! Highly recommended for any Liverpool fan, or any football lover in general. El Macca, El Pleasure
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smart and funny, 15 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid (Paperback)
Smart and funny, Macca is as loved in Madrid as he is on Merseyside. A charming pundit who has written an essential memoir!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Macca- Simply Mac-nificent!, 12 Oct. 2004
El Macca, Four Years with Real Madrid, penned by former Liverpool FC starlet, superstar or 'Spice Boy' in the era that football became commercial success intertwined with sport and pop culture, Steve McManaman writes this maginificently ego-lacking and insightful yet entertaining book which reflects on his intellectual perspective to his time there.
It stands apt in the current World Football situation as perhaps almost as historical document as much as an autobiography complete with anecdotes about what it's like to go and play abroad in the biggest Football club - with the best footballers in the world in this generation. Co-writen by UK Daily Telgraph's Sarah Edworthy (albeit The Telegraph's biases and links with McManaman), and complete with interviews from his ex-colleagues and footballing (who's who list) the book probably will redefine the genre and scape of football autobiographies.
McManaman takes us into the most elusively illustrious of dressing rooms, the backrooms, the Real Madrid folklore, traditions and even gives his take on the political stratosphere that remained until he left and carries ramifications for Real Madrid till this day. The affable Macca, so loved by the Real Madrid Ultrasurs and players and club leadership alike, is as engaging describing part match reviews in his four years, part trophy stories, part anecdotes about lifetime friendships forged in wonderfully congenial anecdotes and humorous stories, and part background macrocosmic perspective about the World of Football celebrity, commercialism and its state of affairs- Presidential worship and dressing-room hierarchies, the impact of football clubs when they cash in on their viability in overseas markets like Asia, and the coining of terms like "Galactico" through the role of the media.
Crucially highlighted too is the hyperbole and corresponding corollary of the cult of celebrity at all cost in football this day- something he describes (Real Madrid being the trend setting microcosmic model for the game) as the 'Disneyfication' of the club, ergo producing a memoir which manages to be both list of games, successes and an intriguing critique of how a massive football club is run. It all may come across as a piece of ostensibly watered down facts until you realise what Steve McManaman's intellect (being one of the most intelligent footballers who started the trend of confining his words to posh broadsheet columns in the 1990s) is capable of conjuring (pun intended for fans of his exciting brand of playmaking in the game), and realise how much he tries to avoid the usual ego laying (he doesn't even make much mention of his popularity with the fans and players) and is willing to look at the objective side of what Real are about rather than carp about how he fell down the pecking order in his final season.
If his football is no mercurial enough, perhaps McManaman's ability to be an objective critic and analyst of the game unlike many in this generation of players still render him a cut above the rest. Others who only see the Beckhams and Owens and fail to see the true gem that whilst on top of the fact that he had gone the road less travelled as the first in his generation 5 years earlier, as the most high profile Bosman transferred and highly paid British export at the time, had also a track record that possibly makes him the most successful export ever. Doubters who dismiss him as a dilettante in Britain will be unable to contend with facts in terms of success- 2 European Cups including scoring in a final which he was Man of the Match, two La Liga titles, a Copa Del Rey and innumerable super cups and finals all across the global circuit before Real's commercial turn. It will also dispel the myth that Macca spent most of his time on the bench as in his first three seasons he appeared 122 times. The honesty with which Macca expresses himself shows part of the reason why he was such a popular figure at the Bernabeu with the supporters - something he himself was reticent to discuss in this book, which says alot about the elegant respect for certain boundaries it carries, unlike most cliched exposes. The commercialisation of Spain's and football's most regal institution is examined in great depth, insight and complete with the right amount of Steve McManaman- affability and the element of someone who is to football, very REAL.
By Stephen Thanabalan
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4.0 out of 5 stars If anyone can write a book macca can, 1 Nov. 2013
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Mmmmmmmm interesting top man top player and played for the best clubs in the world plus man city who are to
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5.0 out of 5 stars my friend loved it, 29 Sept. 2014
This review is from: El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid (Paperback)
bought as a gift for a friend, who restores and decorates furniture. She was thrilled with it
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Macca- Simply Mac-nificent!!!, 10 Oct. 2004
El Macca, Four Years with Real Madrid, penned by former Liverpool FC starlet, superstar or 'Spice Boy' in the era that football became commercial success intertwined with sport and pop culture, Steve McManaman writes this maginificently ego-lacking and insightful yet entertaining book which reflects on his intellectual perspective to his time there. It stands apt in the current World Football situation as perhaps almost as historical document as much as an autobiography complete with anecdotes about what it's like to go and play abroad in the biggest Football club - with the best footballers in the world in this generation. Co-writen by UK Daily Telgraph's Sarah Edworthy (albeit The Telegraph's biases and links with McManaman), and complete with interviews from his ex-colleagues and footballing (who's who list) the book probably will redefine the genre and scape of football autobiographies. McManaman takes us into the most elusively illustrious of dressing rooms, the backrooms, the Real Madrid folklore, traditions and even gives his take on the political stratosphere that remained until he left and carries ramifications for Real Madrid till this day. The affable Macca, so loved by the Real Madrid Ultrasurs and players and club leadership alike, is as engaging describing part match reviews in his four years, part trophy stories, part anecdotes about lifetime friendships forged in wonderfully congenial anecdotes and humorous stories, and part background macrocosmic perspective about the World of Football celebrity, commercialism and its state of affairs- Presidential worship and dressing-room hierarchies, the impact of football clubs when they cash in on their viability in overseas markets like Asia, and the coining of terms like "Galactico" through the role of the media. Crucially highlighted too is the hyperbole and corresponding corollary of the cult of celebrity at all cost in football this day- something he describes (Real Madrid being the trend setting microcosmic model for the game) as the 'Disneyfication' of the club, ergo producing a memoir which manages to be both list of games, successes and an intriguing critique of how a massive football club is run. It all may come across as a piece of ostensibly watered down facts until you realise what Steve McManaman's intellect (being one of the most intelligent footballers who started the trend of confining his words to posh broadsheet columns in the 1990s) is capable of conjuring (pun intended for fans of his exciting brand of playmaking in the game). Others who only see the Beckhams and Owens and fail to see the true gem that whilst on top of the fact that he had gone the road less travelled as the first in his generation 5 years earlier, as the most high profile Bosman transferred and highly paid British export at the time, had also a track record that possibly makes him the most successful export ever. Doubters who dismiss him as a dilettante in Britain will be unable to contend with facts in terms of success- 2 European Cups including scoring in a final which he was Man of the Match, two La Liga titles, a Copa Del Rey and innumerable super cups and finals all across the global circuit before Real's commercial turn. It will also dispel the myth that Macca spent most of his time on the bench as in his first three seasons he appeared 122 times. The honesty with which Macca expresses himself shows part of the reason why he was such a popular figure at the Bernabeu with the supporters - something he himself was reticent to discuss in this book, which says alot about the elegant respect for certain boundaries it carries, unlike most cliched exposes. The commercialisation of Spain's and football's most regal institution is examined in great depth, insight and complete with the right amount of Steve McManaman- affability and the element of someone who is to football, very REAL.
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El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid
El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid by Sarah Edworthy (Paperback - 3 May 2005)
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