The Football Men


“As Barcelona’s Lionel Messi cruised by tens of million pounds’ worth of defensive talent and rolled the ball past Real Madrid’s sprawled goalkeeper last month, I found myself shouting, cavorting and – most important, this – demanding that the world should agree with me that the goal was pretty well as good as the one scored by another small Argentine, Diego Maradona, against England 25 years earlier. My companion that night did his duty and acceded. And that, I thought, was enough for a good evening’s football entertainment. But not a bit of it. Courtesy of Italian television, which is risible in all editorial matters except, predictably, football, I was able to listen to more or less all of Real Madrid manager José Mourinho’s press conference. (British television tends to cut quickly to the sludge of postmatch clichés masquerading as analysis.)” FT

The Football Men
“The great footballers and coaches are rarely glimpsed up close. They shield themselves from the tabloids, hide their personalities behind professionalism, and in the words of the cliche, ‘do their talking on the pitch’. This book gets up close to them. The Football Men is not a series of celebrity profiles, and it doesn’t attempt to unearth secrets in the players’ private lives. Rather, it portrays these men as three-dimensional human beings. It describes their upbringings, the football cultures they grew up in, the way they play, and the baggage that they bring to their relationships at work.” amazon

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