Football is the unifying factor for many people across the world. Fans in those 90 minutes of play experience a wide range of emotions, from sadness to euphoria. There’s no doubt why football is deemed as one of the most spectated sports in the world.
So, if you also live and breathe football, here is a list of books you must read:
A three-time winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo’s status as a footballing superstar is unquestionable. In this biography, Madrid-based journalist Luca Caioli tells the inside story of the global superstar, featuring insights from those who know him best and even the man himself. Updated to include all the action from the 2016/17 season, Ronaldo lays bare the career of a modern footballing icon.
Having risen to the top of the game more than a decade ago, Lionel Messi has matured into the perfect team player. As the star of an exceptional Barcelona team, he has won more silverware than most football clubs. Messi is Luca Caioli’s classic portrait of a footballing icon, now fully updated to include all the action from 2016/17. Featuring exclusive testimony from those who know him best, it offers an unrivalled behind-the-scenes look at the career of a sporting giant.
Having long been hailed as a future star of world soccer, Neymar has thrived under the pressure of expectation. Already well on his way to becoming Brazil’s all-time top scorer, his legacy is already taking shape. Updated to include all the action from the 2016/17 season, Neymar paints a compelling picture of the life and career of a global superstar.
When Manchester United re-signed their former youth player Paul Pogba for a world record fee in the summer of 2016, they made a powerful statement. In the four years since he had left the Reds, Pogba had blossomed into a midfielder of undoubted world class. With exclusive insights from those closest to the player, Luca Caioli’s Pogba is an in-depth portrait of one of modern football’s greatest talents.
Quick, incisive and versatile, Antoine Griezmann is the ultimate modern forward. Arriving in 2014 to join an Atletico Madrid side persistently challenging for the biggest trophies in Spanish and European football, he quickly established himself as the team’s key player and main goal threat. In this first biography of the Atleti and France star, Madrid-based journalist Luca Caioli examines the story behind Griezmann’s rise to the top.
Messi vs. Ronaldo 2017
In 2009 Real Madrid paid £80m, a then record fee, to sign a ready-made superstar in an effort to keep pace with a Barcelona side that had won it all. In doing so, they sparked a rivalry like no other; Messi vs Ronaldo. Drawing on testimonies from those closest to the two stars, Luca Caioli tells the inside story of this fascinating rivalry.
Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo 2017
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have risen from humble beginnings in Argentina, Brazil and Portugal to rank among the most exciting talents football has ever seen. Comparing their contrasting styles, stories, records and awards, Caioli presents a unique insight into what makes a modern player not just successful, but truly great.
Suarez 2016: The Remarkable Story Behind
Luis Suarez is one of the most brilliant and controversial players in world football. Signed by Barcelona in 2014 despite a lengthy ban for biting an opponent, he quickly became a central figure in their sensational treble-winning campaign. However, a history of violent on-pitch incidents has left supporters wondering whether the maverick centre forward can ever completely conquer his demons. This updated biography offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the life and career of one of football’s most enigmatic stars.
Mario Balotelli has a reputation like no other in football. Since exploding on to the scene at Inter Milan in 2007, he has won league titles in both Italy and England, moving between Europe’s elite clubs. With exclusive access to friends, teammates and coaches, acclaimed football biographer Luca Caioli talks to the people best placed to explain the mystery that is Mario Balotelli.
On 1 September 2015, Anthony Martial completed his transfer from Monaco to Manchester United. At just 19 years of age, the fee of £36m (potentially rising to £58m) made the France international the most expensive teenager of all time. Renowned sports biographers Luca Caioli and Cyril Collot talk to coaches, teammates and even Martial himself, to provide an unrivalled behind-the-scenes look at the life of the teenage superstar.
Match of the Day Annual 2018
Complete with fun football trivia, quizzes, games, puzzles, top 10s, cartoons and more, this is the only annual fans of the beautiful game will need. Featuring Gary and all of the MOTD presenters, Paz, Bez and the planet’s top teams and players, Match of the Day Annual 2017 is the best around – it will be on the top of your Christmas list!
The Football Shirts Book
From the obscure to the ubiquitous, A Lover’s Guide to Football Shirts is packed with over 150 original and super rare shirts from the greatest game on earth. Covering everything from the iconic to the unusual, even the most hard-core fans will find out something new about the kit of their favourite team. Including full-colour photography, this guide offers a full exploration of the brands, design and sponsorship history behind the world’s best-loved football shirts..
Match of the Day: 50 Years of Football
Remember Sergio Aguero’s late goal to win the title for Man City? Or, best of all, Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick winning the World Cup for England in 1966? Over half a century, Match of the Day has witnessed some of the greatest moments in football history, week in, week out. In this milestone 50th year, Match of the Day celebrates the very best of the drama and the heartache. With evocative memorabilia and photography throughout, relive the story of the beautiful game, season-by-season.
The Periodic Table of Football
You can never take what you love too seriously and The Periodic Table of Football celebrates this fact. Instead of hydrogen to helium, here you’ll find Pelé to Sepp Blatter – 108 elements from the football pantheon arranged by their properties and behaviour on and off the pitch. This expert guide and accompanying poster spans over 150 years to offer an original perspective of the beautiful game.
The Football Manager’s Guide to Football Management
The Football Manager Guide to Football Management is for anyone who has ever believed that they could do a better job than their club’s manager. It’s for anyone who has ever tried to prove that point by taking the hot seat in the management simulation Football Manager. So if, at any point in your life, you have imagined yourself in a tracksuit, waving your arms in the air on the touchline, with your perfect XI scribbled on the back of a beer mat and thinking ahead to the press conference, then this book is for you. After all, you’re already a football manager… you just haven’t been appointed yet.
Barefoot to Boots: The Many Lives of Indian Football
A thrilling account of the incredible journey of Indian football. In Barefoot to Boots, renowned journalist Novy Kapadia reveals Indian football’s glorious legacy through riveting descriptions of on-field action, stories of memorable matches, lively anecdotes, and exclusive conversations with legendary players and officials.
The Football Book
The ultimate visual guide to planet football. Revised and updated to include details of all the stats, goal tallies and cup wins so you can now relive the excitement of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. With The Football Book, you’ll discover the finest moments of the players, coaches and teams who have created football history and learn everything from match highlights to the inside stories on the players, managers and fans.
Football – Bloody Hell!
Sir Alex Ferguson is the most controversial and compelling figure in football. For many he ranks as the greatest manager of all time. He is certainly the most successful. Ferguson has been instrumental in making the Premier League the most successful competition in football, and he has endured while the mountains of cash have turned to valleys of debt. Throughout, award-winning journalist Patrick Barclay has been pitch-side and spoken to all those who know Ferguson best – fellow managers, former players, colleagues and commentators. The result is Football – Bloody Hell!: the definitive work on the game’s greatest living legend.
Matt Busby: The Definitive Biography
Sir Matt Busby, who took Manchester United to unprecedented glory before seeing the club through profound tragedy, created the global entity that spreads from Old Trafford today. In this definitive biography, Patrick Barclay looks back at Busby’s phenomenal life and career, including the rise of the Busby Babes in the 1950s, the Munich disaster that claimed 23 lives and the Wembley victory ten years on that made United the first English team to win the European Cup.
The Illustrated History of Football
In The Illustrated History of Football, his first book, David Squires relives some of football’s most glorious moments and meets its greatest figures. In a sport full of handsome paycheques and corporate sponsors, he also casts a critical eye over corrupt backroom workings and helps pierce football’s overblown balloon. Funny, good-looking and preternaturally astute, this book is everything Sepp Blatter wishes he could be.
How to Watch Football
How can one striker be better than three? Why do the best defenders never need to make a tackle? What’s the secret of Tiki-taka? Welcome to Ruud Gullit’s masterclass on how to ‘read’ a match. From his unrivalled perspective as player, manager and pundit, the Dutch football legend shows us everything to look for in a 90-minute match. From formations and tactical decisions to player qualities and pivotal moments, Ruud Gullit unveils the hidden patterns on the pitch – as if he’s sitting right there on the sofa next to you.
The Secret Footballer: What Goes on Tour
Since his first book was published in 2012, The Secret Footballer has been able to take the reader behind the scenes of footballers’ lives like no other player has been able, or will ever be able, to do. From Marbella and Ibiza to Dubai and Las Vegas, The Secret Footballer lays bare the worst, most embarrassing and most hilarious excesses of these fit and mostly fickle young men whose million-pound salaries, to use his own words, ‘open up a host of recreational opportunities’.
Why Soccer Matters
The world’s most popular sport goes by many names – soccer, football, the beautiful game – but fans have always agreed on one thing: The greatest player of all time was Pele. During his twenty-year career, he was heralded as an international treasure and his accomplishments on the field proved to be pure magic. Now, for the first time, the legendary star and humanitarian explores the sport’s recent history and provides new insights into the game.
The Fall of the House of FIFA
In this definitive account of FIFA’s rise and fall, David Conn, the game’s most respected investigative journalist, chronicles its earnest foundation in 1904 and its work developing football around the world, through to the staggering sweep and breadth of scandal now uncovered and the controversial votes that sent the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
The Book of Football Quotations
This compilation includes quotes from everyone – Shakespeare to Suarez, Camus to Cantona, Busby to Beckham – who has made an apt, pithy or comical comment about football. And not just footballers and managers either – fans, pundits, groundsmen, directors and wives all get to have their say too. Every subject is covered, from tactical debates to changing lifestyles, to produce a sometimes hilarious and always thought-provoking commentary on the game.
This definitive biography profiles the Argentinean soccer star of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi. It also discusses his early childhood success, his training with the Barcelona junior team, and features fun facts like his favorite foods and his pet peeves. Updated throughout with new stats from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Messi, Neymar & Suarez
Lionel Messi, an attacking genius and longtime player on FC Barcelona, is widely recognized as one of the greatest soccer players in history. When the emerging Brazilian talent Neymar joined him in 2013, they became known as the Invincible Duo. Then, when the colorful Luis Suarez joined their roster the following year, the most unbeatable attacking unit in history had been created. Together, this trio has scored a record-breaking number of goals, and has proven time and again that their strategic unit outshines each player on his own.
The story of the “ultimate footballer,” Cristiano Ronaldo. Covers the star’s youth in Madeira, his nicknames, his record with Manchester United, and includes a list of the numerous awards he has received. Updated throughout with stats from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Stars of World Soccer
Everyone knows Messi and Ronaldo–the current twin peaks of the most popular sport in the world–but who are their main competitors and their fiercest rivals for the crown of modern soccer? With colorful photography and fun facts, this lively and accessible book provides some answers: Stars of World Soccer tells you who these players are, where they come from, and what they have accomplished.
Stars of the World Cup: World Soccer
Learn all about twenty-eight of the best players competing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, from unstoppable scorers like Messi and Ronaldo to crafty playmakers like Iniesta and Modric, and ironclad defenders like Philipp Lahm and Thiago Silva. Get the inside scoop on their strengths and weaknesses heading into the showdown in Brazil. See incredible action shots of their on-field wizardry.