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on 7 June 2017
Takes time to get into, once there wow !! full of facts, figures, and football !!!!! A cracking read full of unknown facts too !!
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on 9 October 2017
Cannot really comment as it was bought as a present
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on 21 August 2017
thanks
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on 17 October 2017
It is a really interesting book; not only about football, also about the social context
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on 12 December 2015
Good in depth book.
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on 16 October 2017
Great book. A real football lover's bible
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on 25 May 2017
This is an incredible work. It'll take a few months to get through it but it is basically a history of everything in the world, and how everything relates to football.

There are a few points, for example when you're on the third page of reading about the Peruvian League in the 1920s, when you might pause to wonder about how much you truly love football. But if you're also interested in history and other countries generally, you'll get through it.
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on 17 October 2017
Ridiculous book. Covers everything.
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on 11 September 2006
In this superb, breathtaking and wonderful tour de force of a book, David Goldblatte describes the rise of soccer, from a chaotic, homosexual-tinged fest or folk ritual to its present incarnation as a macho global-entertainment industry. It's the story of players and managers, fans and owners, clubs and national teams; a chronicle of who won and who lost. So what you might say,we know all this. We do, but not told as Mr Goldblatt does. I take my hat off to him. He is no writer and instead assembles his facts, like a well trained archer. It's a book about money and power and the allure of men in shorts. And, above all, how all these men interact. It is a history which attempts to locate where the line between the realm of glorious lust and the realm of power has been crossed, that celebrates the love of the game and of players for each other. Shame on all those who condemn this. Thus the book describes and accounts for the careers of Pele and Maradona, Puskas and George Best; the histories of the Wunderteam and the incomparable Hungarians, the anti-futbol of Estudiantes de la Plata and the futbol arte of Brazil 1970. It explores the cultural meanings and political uses of football in Peron's Argentina, Adenauer's West Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union and Mussolini's Italy. It ranges from the precolonial politics of African football and its anti-gay platform - which Mr Goldblatt deplores - to the manufacturing history of the football boot; from the history of stadium architecture to the architecture of power in global football's leading institutions. It has everything. Buy it and be thankful. I am so glad I got hold of an early copy.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2006
992 Pages on football. .....flippin heck. David Goldblatt has written an exhuastative absorbing examination of football and its impact on the world in the context of social, cultural and economic change. As well as serving as a potted history of the game , including overviews of the careers of some of the greats -Pele, Maradona ,Best, Puskas , Lampard( only joking)- it more accurately and assiduously traces the game from it's original working class roots ( or as a ill disciplined ritual) to the mass marketed global phenomenon it is today.

The author covers most of the demographic shifts in the games annals. How football can be used as a political tool -Mussolini, Stalin and the Argentinean Junta in 1978 most pertinently - and how these political machinations can lead to tragedy like the killing of Columbian defender Escobar after he scored an own goal in the World Cup finals. He charts the rise of Africa as a football power and the mass migration of African players spurred on by the success of George Weah. How the game can be used as a placebo for the masses and exploited by nefarious individuals and how the broadcasting frenzy has triggered the inequitable playing field we have today. Leading to a super breed of club gorging on the cream while the lower leagues are left to sift through the scraps.

The section on the rise of the great teams like The Hungary of the 50,s and the Brazil of the 70,s is fascinating while chapters on such prosaic items as the football boot and the architecture of Stadiums are not as dull as you would think. Goldblatt is not a massively gifted writer. You will not be dazzled by pithy turns of phrase or delightful poetic prose but he has done his research and he can put it across in a straightforward way with no pretension or pomposity.

I was left to regret the advent of football as a mega business or a corporate tool best summed by a real Madrid director who when asked why the club had not bought Ronaldino said with complete seriousness that "He is so ugly he would sink you as a brand". I take it Wayne Rooney will not be gracing the Bernabau anytime soon.
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