Book Review: Behind the Curtain

Almost a decade before Jonathan Wilson wrote the brilliant Angels with Dirty Faces, he chronicled his travels in the former Eastern Bloc in Behind the Curtain. It’s a journey involving corruption, state interference and alleged doping. I’ve read it. It’s fascinating. Eastern Europe is finally getting on the radar of Western European travellers. While I’ve […]

Angels with Dirty Faces

Book Review: Angels with Dirty Faces

The story of football in Argentina has finally been told. “Angels with Dirty Faces” by Jonathan Wilson is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mercurial genius, often intertwined with the violence, of the Argentinian game.   I remember my one trip to Buenos Aires in late 2000. From the freeway, the city’s […]

Book Review: Studying Football

Football has always played a pivotal role in sociology and politics. Whether as a barometer of the public mood or as a populist tool for politicians to exploit, football is a fascinating field of study, and a new book sheds light on the sport’s cultural impact.   Football provides a powerful platform for politicians and […]

Matchdays Ronald Reng

Book Review: Matchdays – The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga

As the Bundesliga continues to gain new interest and fans around the world, so the literature around it grows. In Matchdays: The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga, award-winning writer Ronald Reng tells the story of the Bundesliga from its launch in 1963 up to the German’s 2014 World Cup win.   But this is no […]

Book Review: The Bundesliga Blueprint by Lee Price

Ever wondered how Germany went from the ignominy of exiting Euro 2000 at the group stage to conquering the World in 2014? Lessons were learned, solutions were put in place, and the whole story is covered in The Bundesliga Blueprint: How Germany Became the Home of Football by Lee Price.   I can remember where […]

Book Review: Eibar the Brave

Have you heard of Eibar, the latest David and Goliath story to emerge from Spain? The tiny club’s first season in La Liga has been chronicled and it makes for fascinating reading.   Every so often Spain throws up stories of small clubs punching above their weight and hitting the big time. Think of Villareal […]

Book Review: Hatters, Railwaymen and Knitters

Daniel Gray celebrates his thirtieth birthday by touring England’s footballing hinterland and has-been post-industrial giants. The result is a wonderfully witty tome that will strike a chord for any fans of smaller clubs, and maybe even some of the big ones…   Just what is ‘England’, where can it be found and who defines it? […]

Book Review: Danish Dynamite

Growing up in the 1980s I thought Denmark had always been a force in world football. Not so. One golden generation came and went, but it left its mark and got its silverware before Denmark quietly returned to being a tricky away game in tournament qualification. That generation was Danish Dynamite.   I remember my […]

Book Review: Calcio – A History of Italian Football

The development of football in what quickly became one of the game’s powerhouses is a fascinating read. Violence, corruption, politics, tragedy and racism all feature in the turbulent history of what Italians call ‘Calcio’.   John Foot’s Calcio features a familiar image on its cover. It is the timeless image of Marco Tardelli sprinting away […]

Christ the Redeemer, Rio

Football and Faith in Brazil

  The cliché goes that in football’s spiritual home – Brazil – football is a religion, but the relationship between the game and faith has surfaced more than ever in recent years. Outside Write took a look at the apparently symbiotic relationship of football and faith in Brazil.   Have you noticed how some Brazilian players are […]

Stuck On You Panini

Book Review: Stuck on You: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Panini Stickers

The culture of collecting football stickers is no longer just the reserve of the playground, it is a rising culture among older people too, as World Cup 2014 proved. Think football stickers, think Panini. Now, the history of the company has been captured in a new book, and it’s a captivating read. The first World […]

Brilliant Orange David Winner

Book Review: Brilliant Orange by David Winner

When I started reading Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football I was wary that it had first been published in 2000 and that arguably Dutch football’s darkest day – the 2010 World Cup Final – would not be covered.   Fortunately, the latest version has been updated by author David Winner in the […]

Fear and Loathing in La Liga

Book Review: Fear and Loathing in La Liga

It’s the biggest grudge match in the word: Madrid v Barça, El Clásico. The stage, the characters, the politics is out of this world.   I spent two years in Spain, the first spent as a student at Madrid’s Universidad Autonoma as part of a European Studies exchange during 1996-97. My choice of dissertation was […]

Great Football Books

We’re on the hunt for great football books. In alphabetical order, here are some of OW’s favourite books on football history and culture: A Season With Verona – Tim Parks Sticking with Italy, for one season only, English resident of Verona, Tim Parks follows Hellas Verona home and away in Serie A. On his way […]