Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Soccer Books

top soccer books

If you’re a football enthusiast looking for some captivating reads, you’re in luck. In this article, we present the ultimate guide to the best soccer books. From fascinating novels to insightful non-fiction, there is something here for every fan. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to dive into the world of football literature.

The Damned Utd by David Peace

The Damned Utd

Written by David Peace, this novel tells the story of Brian Clough, an eccentric football manager who embarks on a journey to take over Leeds United, a successful yet controversial club. Set in the 1970s, the book explores themes of fear, failure, and the hunger for success. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the football world.

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Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants by Søren Frank

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

In this history-rich book, Søren Frank delves into the entire history of Manchester United, from its humble beginnings in 1878 to its present-day success. Through the lens of Manchester United, Frank explores the challenges and adaptations faced by the team over the years. It’s a captivating read for fans of the Red Devils and those interested in the evolution of football tactics.

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Bloody Confused by Chuck Culpepper

Bloody Confused

Chuck Culpepper, a well-known sports journalist, takes readers on a journey through the world of English football in “Bloody Confused.” From the passionate fans to the intense rivalries, Culpepper provides a fascinating look into the heart of the sport. It’s a book that captures the spirit and excitement of the British soccer scene.

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The Fix by Declan Hill

The Fix

In “The Fix,” investigative journalist Declan Hill uncovers the dark world of match-fixing in professional soccer. With riveting storytelling, Hill exposes the corruption and manipulation that threaten the integrity of the game. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of the sport.

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Inverting The Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson

Inverting The Pyramid

Author Jonathan Wilson takes readers on a journey through the history of soccer tactics in “Inverting The Pyramid.” From the chaotic early days to the modern game, Wilson explores the evolution of tactics and the influence of great players and thinkers. This book is a must-read for anyone who loves debating the strategic side of the beautiful game.

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The Miracle Of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss

The Miracle Of Castel di Sangro

Joe McGinniss tells the remarkable story of Castel di Sangro, an Italian soccer team that rose from the lower divisions to compete in Serie B. Through the ups and downs of their journey, McGinniss provides insights into the passionate world of Italian soccer. This book is a captivating exploration of the trials and tribulations of a professional sports team.

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How Soccer Explains The World by Franklin Foer

How Soccer Explains The World

Franklin Foer examines the global power of soccer in “How Soccer Explains The World.” He delves into the social, economic, political, and racial aspects of the sport, revealing how soccer reflects and shapes the communities that host it. This book offers a compelling look at the profound impact of soccer on society.

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Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Fever Pitch

Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch” is a memoir that captures the essence of being a football fan. Through a series of match reports, Hornby explores his personal journey as a supporter of Arsenal FC. This book beautifully portrays the emotional attachment and sense of identity that fans develop with their teams.

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The Ball Is Round: A Global History Of Soccer by David Goldblatt

The Ball Is Round

David Goldblatt takes readers on an extraordinary journey through the global history of soccer. From its humble origins to its status as the world’s most popular sport, Goldblatt explores the political and social impact of the game. This book provides a comprehensive and engaging look at the beautiful game.

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Brilliant Orange by David Winner

Brilliant Orange

“Brilliant Orange” by David Winner explores the rise of Total Football, a revolutionary style of play developed by the Dutch. Winner delves into the philosophy behind Total Football and its impact on the game. This book is a fascinating exploration of how a nation’s culture can shape its approach to soccer.

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Seeing Red by Graham Poll

Seeing Red

Graham Poll, a former Premier League and international referee, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the world of officiating in “Seeing Red.” With candid anecdotes and personal insights, Poll reveals the realities and challenges faced by referees in the world of football. This book offers a unique perspective on the game we all love.

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Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper

Football Against The Enemy

Simon Kuper travels to 22 countries to examine how football shapes national, political, and cultural identities. In “Football Against The Enemy,” he explores the unique styles of play and the passionate fan cultures that exist across the globe. This book offers a captivating perspective on the global impact of the beautiful game.

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The Italian Job by Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti

The Italian Job

In “The Italian Job,” Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti analyze the differences between English and Italian football cultures. With contributions from top figures in the sport, this book delves into the tactics, rivalries, and unique characteristics of both nations. It’s a thought-provoking exploration of soccer’s role in shaping national identities.

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Among The Thugs by Bill Buford

Among The Thugs

Bill Buford provides a chilling and eye-opening account of hooliganism in English football in “Among The Thugs.” Through his interactions with violent fans, Buford reveals the dark side of soccer culture. This book offers a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the sport in combating hooliganism.

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Morbo by Phil Ball


In “Morbo,” Phil Ball explores the intense rivalries and passionate fan cultures that define Spanish football. From the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry to the regional conflicts in places like the Basque country and Seville, Ball captures the essence of “morbo” – a term that encapsulates the unique tensions and animosities in Spanish soccer.

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A Season With Verona by Tim Parks

A Season With Verona

Tim Parks takes readers on a captivating journey through an entire season with Hellas Verona, an Italian soccer team. “A Season With Verona” provides insights into the passionate world of Italian football and the national consciousness that surrounds it. It’s a book that captures the essence of being a soccer fan in Italy.

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Soccer In A Football World by David Wangerin

Soccer In A Football World

David Wangerin delves into the history and culture of soccer in the United States in “Soccer In A Football World.” From the unique terminology to the challenges faced by the sport in America, Wangerin provides a comprehensive look at the development of soccer in the country. This book offers valuable insights into the growth of the sport in the USA.

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My Favourite Year edited by Nick Hornby

My Favourite Year

“My Favourite Year,” edited by Nick Hornby, is an anthology of original football writing. Including contributions from various authors, this book offers a collection of entertaining and thought-provoking pieces centered around the beautiful game. It’s a must-have for any fan looking for diverse perspectives on soccer.

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The Beckham Experiment by Grant Wahl

The Beckham Experiment

Grant Wahl provides an inside look at the impact of David Beckham’s move to Major League Soccer in “The Beckham Experiment.” Through interviews with key figures in the soccer world, Wahl explores the challenges and controversies surrounding Beckham’s arrival in the United States. It’s a compelling examination of the intersection between soccer and celebrity culture.

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The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness, and the Meaning of Soccer by John Doyle

The World is a Ball

John Doyle’s “The World is a Ball” takes readers on a global journey through the passion and joy that soccer brings. From his own travels to international matches, Doyle captures the essence of the sport and explores its universal appeal. This book is a celebration of soccer’s ability to unite people across borders and cultures.

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  1. Are these the only soccer books worth reading?

    No, this is just a selection of highly recommended soccer books. There are many other great books out there, and your recommendations are always welcome.

  2. Can I purchase these books online?

    Yes, you can purchase these books through the provided links. Simply click on the “Buy the book” link to make your purchase.

  3. Can I listen to interviews with the authors?

    Some of the books offer interviews with the authors. You can find more information about these interviews by clicking on the provided links.


Whether you’re a dedicated fan or simply curious about the world of soccer, these books offer fascinating insights, captivating stories, and thought-provoking analysis. So, grab a book, find a cozy spot, and embark on a literary journey through the beautiful game.