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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2014
There can be few books which better examine the sad, scary, hopeless, hopeful, joyous world we currently live in than this. Whether you are interested in football or not, it really doesn't matter.. The passion and enthusiasm with which it is written can't be faked- and I defy anyone to read it and not want to see a little more of the world than they already have. I can think of no greater compliment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2014
Really interesting, well written book. Whilst football is the underlying theme, I learned so much about the geography and the recent history of the many countries that are covered, as seen through the lens of ordinary people who share a passion for football. I can really recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2014
By now, we know who has qualified for the world cup in Brazil. In fact you may already know who has won it by the time you read my review. Don't let that put you off this book - we know the butler did it, but the devil is in the detail.

Detail is what this book provides. Not tedious, grinding detail, but highlights, insights into the smaller teams trying to qualify for the planet's best sporting competition! It's obvious that not only has the author traveled to these places, but he's got himself under their skin - and the emotion really shines through in the book.

It took me 3 days to read - and that mainly because I didn't have the time. I read it on the bus, I read it while my wife watched telly, I read it in a hotel room in Preston.. hard to put down. Great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2015
I ordered this for my son, who is a total football nut! It arrived bang on time and he got stuck into it immediately. He loves it. Packaging was excellent. Very happy with it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2014
"99% of footballers are amateurs. Just 1% are professional. We represent this 99% of the world" Manger Tahiti,

Splendid. What these countries dream of within FIFA, playing in the final 32 in Brasil is like seeing a reflection of what it is like for you the football fan, dreaming of playing in a Cup final.

i have to say i am stunned that James Montague got so close for so long to the teams that he gives us insight into.

It is a fabulous piece, a mix of being a Biography writer, Sports Correspondent, political commentator and finally a War Correspondent.

The "Indiana Jones of soccer writing" is certainly a good quote for him.

A great read some fantastic stories and insights about how despite all the bother folk find themselves in wherever in the world they find themselves the "magic dust" of football and in particular the World Cup makes life just that little bit sweeter.

Also gives some insight as to just why Mr Blatter is quite so popular outside the normal football powers...a very interesting strategy.

Highlights include:

The brilliant writing around the detail of American Samoa first victory, and the involvement of one Jaiyah Saelua... google it.

The wee tale about two Glasgow Rangers players and their coach Dick Advocaat.

The political detail around the Egypt team and one American coaches reactions within it.

The discovery of the word Maracanazo.....not sure what new world will be invented for Brasil 1 Germany 7 now?

The part that Wiki leaks has played in world football, and that spys still like to report the score.

So read this book it is wonderful.

Quote of the book

"There is a fascination of the game which we cant explain....football gives you balance when you have no balance in your life....It was not clear if he was talking about Kosovo or himself"

Sepp Blatter
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2015
Excellent
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2015
Great book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2015
Far too much detail.not very interesting
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