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Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Football takes a back seat for the first 80 pages, Spain's politics and modern history played a huge role in the identities of both Madrid and Barcelona. This cannot be understated and Lowe does a fantastic job of setting the scene. It was impossible to keep sport and politics apart, both had a major bearing on the dna of these great rivals. Whilst some of the work will be familiar to other books on the same subject, the book has a stronger understanding of the far-reaching influence the clubs possess. Chapter by chapter the history of their rivalry is built (even manufactured at times) and is even-handed in both praise and criticism. Thankully it's only the last few chapters that deal with the current teams, personally I'm rather tired of the question - who is better, Messi or Ronaldo? The book manages to avoid wasting paper gushing over the both of them. No matter how good individuals are, the book illustrates that the club will always be bigger, and rightly so. Personally I found the book contained some wonderful stories and tales especially from Michael Laudrup, Louis Van Gaal and Pedrag Mijatovic. Probably the only criticism I found was that the Bobby Robson era at Barca was largly ignored bar a brief mention.
At over 400 pages you will devour this pretty quickly and by the end will still want more. There are some fine books about the recent Spanish footballing glory but this one is the best. Sid Lowe shows he has more in his locker beyond football.
But it's not just about football : it puts these two huge clubs in the context of Spanish history, society , culture and politics and in doing so exposes the myths about the Barca Madrid rivalry as well as uncovering the reality of their interdependent stories.
Read it, enjoy the often hilarious inside stories, and understand a hugely important component of Spain.
If your partner is a sports enthusiast, I would defo recommend it!!! Great book, good content and very informative.
The rivalry is not only about historical facts, but also about myths: Barcelona sees itself as the righteous rebels against Franco's regime, while Real Madrid sees itself as a club of gentlemen and good football. But there are many more nuances to this history, as Sid Lowe so amply shows. For instance, during the civil war a Real Madrid president was in fact part of the anti-Franco Republican government, while Barcelona, after having competed during the civil war (contrary to Real Madrid, as the city was under siege), became the dominant team in Spain immediately after the war. Real Madrid was from the 1950s largely run by a pro-government president, Santiago Barnabeu, who led the way in making them the best team in the world in the 1960s, ahead of a Barcelona side that constantly saw a conspiracy behind Real Madrid's success. This is mostly showed by the myth that Alfredo Di Stefano was “stolen” from them, while it rather appears that they were less smart than Real Madrid in a complex negotiation involving clubs in Argentina and Colombia.
The rivalry changed and evolved with Spanish history, and this is fantastically described in the book. The transition up to and after Franco's death is very interesting, when Johan Cruyff went to Barcelona as a player, and a new period of rivalry started.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thoroughly researched and well written commentary on Spain over the period of Franco, post Franco and the respective highs and lows of two great clubs. Read morePublished 7 months ago by tim smith
Excellent book covering all aspects of the rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona. Doesn't tend towards one point of view or peddle stereotypes but goes to the real stories from... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Graham Hunt
Dr Sid delivers the definitive footballing book on a rivalry that defines football. A true history of Spain, football and two of the biggest clubs in the game. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mr. C. Jones
An excellent insight into the life and psychology of a dictatorPublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Read this book whilst on holiday in Barcelona, couldn't put it down.
For barca and Madrid it's more than football, it's politics and ideologys. Read more
An excellent piece of history writing, Lowe excavates many of the myths that surround the rivalry between these two clubs. Read morePublished 13 months ago by William Mulligan
Excellent, the first three chapters should be required reading for spanish teens, I do wish the later chapters looked at the effect the rivalry has had on other la liga clubs... Read morePublished 14 months ago by JP Barrett
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