on 4 August 2013
This book is what you get when football devotees and a brave publisher join forces to produce something for fans of the game. It is absolutely stunning! Each World Cup is given four to eight pages for all the background, who the main players were, the stadiums, the results and either controversies or triumphs.
But the real joy is in the extras. For each tournament we're given the most faithfully reproduced souvenir items I have ever seen, carefully held in place either as a pocket (expenively done) within the page or as a greaseproof sleeve or of-the-time envelope. For some tournaments there are repro Panini stickers of players and teams, some are match tickets done so well they look real, many have full prints of the referee's typed match reports, others show fascinating first-day covers, and for Mexico 70 there's an actual-size four page newspaper fold out. And the best news of all is that all these items are printed to look as authentic as possible, whether it's the sketches on brown paper from Uruguay 1930 or the battered envelope holding the tickets for a final. And you get both sides of the item, so if you were to look at Spain 82's half a dozen stadium cards, you flip them over and there's the match figures. And that's the case for every single World Cup - the extra items look real, both sides of the paper or card are printed on (which made a Panini obsessed lad like I was, very happy indeed!) and made my mind boggle at the obsessive attention to detail shown by the designers and publisher. I think, dare I say it, there are people out there who respect the game and the fans! If only the same could be said of the World Cup dvd's, but that's another matter.
I'm not sure how long this book will be availabe, so I would implore any football fan to bite the bullet and add it to your shelves. It pleased me like a kid on Xmas morning, and I 100% promise you won't be disappointed. I only stumbled across this on Amazon out of desperation having bought a couple of utterly dire books recently, and abysmally poor dvd's of the 1982 and 1974 World Cup final matches. Suddenly I'm one very happy fan!