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4.8 out of 5 stars
Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja's Historic Treble
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2013
The Spanish national men's football team achieved something unique in 2012 when they won the European Championship for a second consecutive time, with winning of the 2010 World Cup coming between these two successes. This book tells the story of how all of this came about.

There could have been a real danger of the book becoming simply match report after match report, but the author uses the personal access that he has had to the team, the technical staff, administrators, etc., to really good effect. Throughout, the words of the people involved complement the on-going history, bringing it to life.

There is much here that those behind the England men's football team could learn from. However, beyond the detail, ultimately this is a fitting tribute to the success of Spain's national team in recent years, a tale well worth telling. The current national men's football team from Spain is sure to be remembered for a long time; already many rank them alongside the likes of Brazil's 1970 team, perhaps the best ever. I recommend that all football fans learn more about this team and the reasons for their success by reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2014
Excellent in depth insight to the success of what will probably be international footballs greatest team. A must read for any football fan, also recommend 'Barca' also by Graham Hunter, as good or maybe even better!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2014
Words cannot describe the pleasure. A must for everybody who loves soccer and even those who don't. Greatly told, both proffessionally and as a story. I would love to have a spanish language version for those like me who understand rhe language, Should be helpful for studying spanish for the advanced learner as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2014
It might seem a tad churlish to criticise someone for being biased on the subject matter they are writing about, particularly in sport. Obviously a work like this is a labour of love, and you wouldn’t expect someone who didn’t love Spain to write it. But as is the norm for Graham Hunter, the book is mixed with great (and sometimes barely believable) detail (as an aside how anyone can recreate a series of team talks apparently word for word on so many occasions without being there is beyond me) and absolutely ludicrous subtext.

If you’ve read his Barcelona book, then you should know what to expect. Basically, Spain = the best thing in the history of the world. Everyone and everything else = rubbish. A handful of examples:

- Spain vs Portugal WC QF 2010 - Reina is lauded as the greatest display of sportsmanship ever for going over to the opposing goalkeeper and commiserating him on a job well done. Because that doesn’t happen all the time, no Sir.

- Puyol’s header in the Semi Final (WC 2010) against Germany is listed as one of the greatest headers of all time. Yes - OF ALL TIME. It might be one of the most important, but headers like that are scored in the Premiership every single week.

- Casillas’ save against Robben in the WC 2010 final. Again, described as one of the greatest saves OF ALL TIME. Which it might have been if it wasn’t the worst finish in the history of all time by Robben. More total and concrete rubbish from Hunter.

- The penalty shootout against Portugal in Euro 2012. One particular passage is farcical where every penalty save from Casillas is lauded for his background work and analysis, but any save from Patricio is deemed “lucky”.

Amidst such nonsense, Hunter also likes to include anecdotes wherever possible about how he’s praised by Del Bosque for having incredible football knowledge, a supposedly matey exchange with Victor Valdes (which honestly sounds pathetic). It’s almost as though Hunter is trying to write himself into history as being part of Spain’s success when in reality he’s nothing but a bystander who happens to be a bit closer on the pitch than me or you. The fact that Hunter refuses to engage with anyone on Twitter who may ask questions about what he’s written, save for endless retweets of any praise he gets speaks volumes.

Read with caution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2014
Picked this after reading barca, great read. Chapters on arragones were excellent, definitely recommend for any football fan. Looking forward to the next book...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
An amazing insight into Spain's Golden Generation and how they've achieved their current successes. A must for any footy lover!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
Brilliantly written, a real insight into the mentality and professionalism involved in getting a national team to be world beaters
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2014
Brilliant insight in to the recent history of Spanish football, everything you need to know about the national side that made 'history'. Great interviews with players and ex professionals, not just a book about the game on the pitch but just as much as to what went on behind the scenes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2013
This was a request from my husband who is an avid football fan! Apparently it's a must read! Something I would know nothing about!!
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on 19 December 2014
Although I knew a lot about La Roja's succesful years 2008 / 2010 / 2012 the book offered a lot of inside stories. Graham Hunter`s book is a classic and written in an inspiring way from a reader's point of view. Five stars without a doubt. I warmly recommend the book to all friends of football and especially those of spanish national team La Roja.
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