1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating book,
This review is from: Feet of the Chameleon (Hardcover)
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This is a superb book that deals with the history of football in Africa. Hawkey, through his journalistic career, knows his subject well and communicates with authority. The chapters of the book deal with different countries and regions of the continent, tracing the early history of colonial influence through to more recent times and the successes of African football teams at the World Cup and Olympic Games, as well as in the African Nations Cup. He also give interesting insights into the early careers of several of the most famous African-born footballers, such as Eusebio, Roger Milla, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba.
Overall, several common themes emerge - the finanical problems and allegations of corruption that have plagued many successful African teams, particularly in world cups, the role of foreign coaches, and the struggle to keep talent in Africa against the lure of European success and money. Interviews with coaches, players and ex-players illuminate the text with first-hand views. Throughout there is wry humour, penetrating insight, and occasional moments of real poignancy, such as the plea from the Ivory Coast team, after qualifying for the World Cup, to the people of their country to stop fighting and look for peace and unity.
Keen football fans will find plenty of memories triggered in this book - for me, particular ones were Nayim's goal from the half-way line against Arsenal, and the fabulous Cameroon team that played so well at Italia '90. Warmly recommended.