7 books to get you pumped up for football World Cup season
With the FIFA World Cup 2022 starting today, tensions run high around the country. Avid football fans have already dawned on their favourite team's jerseys and hoisted their country's flags alongside that of Bangladesh's. The entire world will be glued to their tv screens till a winner emerges to claim the Football World Cup.
With that in mind, here are a few books that you can read to give you better insights into the world of the sport.
Plaantik: An Anthology on Bangladesh's Football Culture
The mighty press, 2022
Bangladesh-based football media platform Plaantik has released an anthology highlighting rich stories from across the football culture in Bangladesh. The book boasts a star-studded list of authors, including Bangladesh men's and women's national team captains—Jamal Bhuyan and Sabina Khatun respectively, the British Bangladeshi athlete Hamza Choudhury, who plays for English club Watford, along with other prominent British Bangladeshis like Anwar Uddin MBE, Reshmin Chowdhury, and many more.
The book highlights familiar events of the grand phenomenon of the football world cup in our country, like, "the glory days of domestic football of the 1980s to the age-old Brazil-Argentina rivalry, [and] our distinctive way of celebrating World Cups to the fandom around club football", as Abir Ahmed Chowdhury, co-founder of Plaantik mentioned during the book launching event.
The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime
McClelland & Stewart, 2008
Investigative journalist and Oxford academic Declan Hill treads the darker terrains of the football world to interview mobsters and middlemen who shower gifts, women, and envelopes of cash on players, referees, and staff. The book paints a picture of how match fixing works through a series of stories, anecdotes, and statistics.
How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
Harper Perennial, 2005
In this book, editor of the The New Republic magazine (2006-10; 2012-14) reports on the cross-currents of the modern world, through the lens of football—or as the Americans call it, soccer. Divided in two parts, Foer focuses his analysis on the interchange between football, as a globalised medium, and the new global economy in an attempt to bring to light new unique insights of the world, both from political and economic standpoints.
Riverhead Books, 1992
Winner of William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, Fever Pitch is author's Nick Honrby's memoir. The book is said to be "part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity". It captures the "fever pitch of fandom—its agony and ecstasy, its community, and its defining role in thousands of young men's coming-of-age stories'', in recounting the writer's memories of growing up with his obsession around the sport, particularly the English Premier League club, Arsenal.
Inverting the Pyramid
In a refreshing turn from the rest of these books, Inverting the Pyramid discusses the strategies and tactics that football coaches have historically put into play. Along the way, the author takes a look at the lives of the great players and thinkers who shaped the game, and discovers its ins and outs, tracing the history of these tactics.
Tears at La Bombonera: Stories from a Six-Year Sojourn in South America
Pitch Publishing, 2021
From Buenos Aires to Colombia's Caribbean coast and back, author Christopher Hylland experiences the history and fanaticism at some of South America's football clubs while living, working, and travelling across South America for six years, where football is "a way of life". "Football" he says, "is a global language", and shares stories and experiences of people he met on his journey across the culturally rich and diverse lands. From the iconic stadiums to lower division teams in the shadows of some of the world's poorest slums and favelas, Tears at La Bombonera is steeped in human interest, including the author's own personal experience of adapting to a new continent and way of life.
Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography
Hodder & Stoughton, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson is considered to be the greatest manager in the history of British soccer by many after serving 27 years at the helm of the popular football club, Manchester United. He reflects upon and notes down the highlights of his career and bares it all in this autobiography.
He discusses managing seismic changes in the club and in football, the growth of Manchester United as a global sports power, and shares the farewells to Roy Keane and David Beckham. The celebrated personality describes the process of building a new Champions League side around Ronaldo and Rooney, and ruminates upon the great rivalries with Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and City, besides sharing his thoughts on the psychology of management, as well as his passions and interests outside the game.