"World In Motion" could well attract comparison with Pete Davies’ magnificent “All Played Out” aka “One Night In Turin” – it certainly did from me before I read it – and as Davies’ work is one of my favourite books of all time it therefore had a lot to live up to. However they are very different books to one another and should be seen as companions rather than competitors. I suggest reading both.
WIM did not read as I expected it to, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone anticipating a chronological, round-by-round recital of the way Italia 90 was won and lost will be disappointed and I think Simon Hart anticipates that the majority of those reading will already know the general course that the tournament took.
The book is more of a whirlwind exploration of the circumstances surrounding a number of key teams at the tournament; from the obvious big guns to the lesser lights, all of whom have interesting tales to tell, either from during the tournament or way back into the qualification process and beyond. It vividly brings home to the reader how a World Cup is in reality a giant patchwork of people and stories, at one end the elite squads with the sole aim and expectation of winning the competition and at the other the minnows, just delighted to even be there.
It is obvious that Simon Hart put some serious mileage and research into writing "World In Motion", it must have been a dream job and I’m grateful for the work he put into it to give us this book, describing a now legendary tournament. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in football and the fascinating wider culture that accompanies it.
This takes you right back to Italia 90, which whilst not a great World Cup for the quality of football, it didn’t half produce some notable stories. Milla, Schillaci, Gazza & Goycochea to name but a few. Where the author really excels Is the lengths gone to catch up with the key protagonists, wherever they are today. I cannot recommend highly enough!
This is a fantastic book, very well written and brilliantly researched with loads of interesting interviews with the players in Italia 90. Essential reading for anyone who has fond memories of that World Cup and summer (though not necessarily rose tinted; the book correctly points out many of the problems with that tournament)but even for younger fans there is still more than enough to keep you interested. Highly recommended!
I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and superbly researched book. Italia ‘90 was my first ‘grown up’ World Cup, mostly watched in the College Bar, and Simon’s writing style and skill in weaving the key players’ anecdotes together is wonderfully evocative of the time. Reading this during the current 2018 World Cup was also a pleasure as he ruminates on how much football has changed in the last 28 years. Great stuff - thank you MF
This book is such a great pleasure. If you're old enough to remember Italia '90, it brings it all back in enthralling detail - and if that pivotal tournament was before your time, this is a wonderful account of why it mattered so much, how it changed football so much both in England and in the world, and how thrilling and dramatic it was along the way. From Romania to Buenos Aires, from Palermo to the Persian Gulf, from Turin to Cameroon, Hart's done a superb job of tracking down a richly rewarding cast of characters. Milla, Schillaci, Bilardo, Littbarski, Butcher, of course Paul Gascoigne - there are so many voices here bringing the event to life, and giving us also the wider context, the shape of the world and the game in 1990. It's an eye-opener to be reminded of how very different things were. It feels like yesterday, but it feels like another universe as well. This book does a glorious job of taking us back there, and I enjoyed every page of it.
A few years ago for professional reasons, I sat and watched a full match re-run of England v Republic of Ireland from Italia '90 and it blunted a little of the nostalgia that I had for the tournament. Whilst the football wasn't so great on reflection, Simon Hart's World in Motion is a beautifully-crafted collection of stories very well researched and told with his own passion and that of those who created the tournament from all over the world. Simon is a superb writer and it shows in this book which I recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in football.
For anyone my age this will take you right back to relive Italia 90. While not the greatest ever World Cup , this book is brilliant. Fantastically researched, brilliantly written and wonderful to read . You can virtually near Pavarotti with every page you turn.