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Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World Paperback – 20 Sep 2012
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"Hunter examines Barca's rise from every angle and manages, ultimately, to strike a delicate balance between wise football writing and perceptive portraiture that makes for a compelling read." ESPN"<br \><br \>"Entertaining, informative and beautifully written, "Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World," is the next best thing to watching Barcelona play. Years from now, this book will be revered as the definitive biography of the most remarkable era in the history of FC Barcelona." Ian McGarry, writer and broadcaster"<br \><br \>"Superbly-written analysis & celebration of Pep, Messi, Xavi etc. Brilliant book." "Daily Telegraph""<br \><br \>"Graham Hunter takes you on an unforgettable journey . . . into the famous footbaling cathedral of Camp Nou and into the Catalan club's boardroom. He delves deeper than any journalist has ever managed into every nook and cranny of the much-vaunted youth system. You will love it. Hunter's gargantuan effort is quite possibly the best book ever written on FC Barcelona and quite comfortably slots into the top 10 of my all-time sports books." "Irish News""<br \><br \>'We'll be talking about this Barcelona team decades from now, and thankfully we'll still have Graham Hunter's magisterial book explaining how it came about. Just as Barca didn't happen by accident, neither does Hunter's acutely observed account. An instant classic.' "Sports Illustrated""<br \><br \>"No one knows Barcelona like Graham Hunter. This is a penetrating, convincing and fascinating account of the construction of one of the best teams we have seen, full of insight and analysis." "Guardian"" --Guardian
"I doubt whether there will ever be a more definitive book about the making of the greatest football team our generation. Pep Guardiola once said to his team that Andres Iniesta would retire them all. Graham Hunter has retired all of us who aspire to write about this team." "Mail on Sunday"" --Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday
"From detailing the out of control influence of Ronaldinho and Deco to confirming Guardiola's genius, it's written with stacks of insight. *****" "Four Four Two" "Full of behind-the-scenes insight into the individuals and the ethos behind Barca s rise to dominance. Utterly astounding." "Scottish Daily Mail" "Fittingly, the making of the greatest team in the world is a subject from which has emerged one of the finest books written on football." "Scotsman"
About the Author
Graham Hunter moved to Barcelona in 2001. He is a journalist of international reputation and covers Spanish football and FC Barcelona for Sky Sports, the BBC and newspapers and magazines across the world. His access to the team is unrivalled and he is the only English-speaking journalist to have interviewed Pep Guardiola during his time as Barcelona coach.
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The highlight of the book would be the detailed and gripping accounts portraying Messi and the moulding of the team by the dedication of Pep Guardiola. We are left in no doubt that this team, surely the greatest of all time, did not come about through accident. The chapters on the total football / tiki taka football style and the La Masia football academy help complete the book. The reader gets an insight from the grassroots style of play used, the teaching of the kids in this style through the various stages of the La Masia to the fulfilment of this dream on a world stage in Champions League finals.
Whilst a superb football book, one of the best you will read, there are a couple of very minor quibbles. Clearly any football lover (and especially those who buy this book) will have great admiration of the team some may find parts where the author over eulogises and seems a tad excessive. Also whilst frequent reference is made to Cruyff's 1992 Champions League winning 'Dream Team' there is not a single mention of the marking of the end of this team- namely the 1994 Champions League final when AC Milan crushed Cruyff's 'Dream Team' 4-0. The end of the Dream Team era. It also seems that the author has his preferences in the politics of FCB and the current president does not yet sit on the same pedestal that the author perchs Joan Laporta, president between 2003 - 2010!
Overall the positives massively overwhelm these small negatives in the same way FC Barcelona frequently overwhelm their opponents on the pitch. With style, panache and intelligence. If you like football, this is essential reading.
Key matches such as the destruction of Man Utd at Wembley and the 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid are also well documented. Hunter also chronicles the rise of Leo Messi, which proves to be very informative, as I was never aware of how close Messi was to moving back to Argentina during his early years at Camp Nou. It is inconceivable to think that fans of European football might have been deprived of watching such a genius in action.
All in all I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in the greatest team to ever play the beautiful game!
My partner had to put up with me eulogising over the book so much that I caught her reading it. She has no interest in football whatsover, she is from Wigan.
The book is also brilliantly illustrated, the only other time i've felt compelled to write a review was to warn people about how bad a book is, this is the polar opposite. A superb book about a magnificent football club. Just buy it, you won't regret it.
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