5 books on Argentina’s football history
Tonight's upcoming match between Argentina and Mexico brings to mind iconic moments of football as played by the Argentine team. For fans of the team, these five books can be a portal to favourite moments in football history.
ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES: HOW ARGENTINIAN SOCCER DEFINED A NATION AND CHANGED THE GAME FOREVER
Bold Type Books, 2016
Argentina has produced a world-class football player in every generation, from the likes of Di Stefano and Maradona to Lionel Messi. This can be attributed to the fact that the country and its people embody the spirit of the game. In Angels with Dirty Faces, Jonathan Wilson explores the history of Argentinian football: the society's incorporation of the British game, the energetic playing style under Juan Perón's leadership, the ferocious tactic of anti-football, and the development of all time greats.
MASCULINITIES: FOOTBALL, POLO AND THE TANGO IN ARGENTINA
Eduardo P. Archetti
Eduardo P. Archetti's book explores the intricate relationship between masculinity and nationalism in Argentina. Within the topic, the author discusses the history of Argentine football: from the imperial game to the hybridity in football and the creation of the Criollo style. With quotes from legendary Argentine players who shaped the origin of the sport in the country, such as Jorge Brown, the second chapter of the first part titled "Male Hybrids in the World of Football", has been known to keep fans of Argentine football hooked till the very end.
SOCCER TALK: LIFE UNDER THE SPELL OF THE ROUND BALL
Masters Pr., 1999
Paul Gardner, one of the world's foremost football writers, collects 30 years of his writing on the sport. He goes back in this book to the World Cup of 1978 held in Argentina during a time of curfews and repressive generals. Gardner covers such historic games, alongside collegiate and Olympic football, coaching tactics and rules of referees, and profiles of iconic sportsmen including Maradona.
MARADONA: THE BOY. THE REBEL. THE GOD
One of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona's international career with Argentina included 34 goals spanning across 91 caps, including four FIFA World Cups. Maradona's presence on the pitch, which was electrified by his dominating passing and dribbling skills, led his team to win the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
With interviews and first-hand anecdotes, Guillem Balagué's in depth biography offers a psychological and sociological approach to the sportsman. In a journey across South America, Europe and Asia, Guillem Balagué asks what factors lead to such adoration from the public and resulted in such a controversial personality.
PASSION OF THE PEOPLE? Football in South America
Verso Books, 1995
Tony Mason starts the book with football's rise amongst the rapidly urbanising Montevideo, São Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. He discusses how the game had popularity from the very beginning, and explores how British commercials and military interests as well as immigrants from Italy, Spain and Portugal shaped the continent's fanaticism for the sport.
From Uruguay's win in the Olympic football tournament in 1924 to Argentina's journey to the World Cup final of 1990, international footballing success has brought fame and honour for these countries abroad.On the other hand, Mason portrays how dictators used football to indoctrinate the masses to remain politically numb. In his conclusion, he asks whether South America's love for football is an inflated fantasy or is it really the "passion of the people."