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Swap the cleats for bookmarks as we dive into stories where soccer’s pulse thrives in prose and diagrams.

From tactical masterclasses to cultural phenomena, our selection is the ultimate playbook for anyone seeking the soul of the beautiful game.

Eager to tackle the page-turners that every soccer aficionado should read?

Best Soccer Books:

  1. Fever Pitch – A Fan’s Life
  2. Inverting The Pyramid – The History of Soccer Tactics
  3. The Ball is Round – A Global History of Soccer
  4. Soccernomics – Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win
  5. Among the Thugs – The Experience, and the Seduction, of Crowd Violence
  6. Brilliant Orange – The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer
  7. How Soccer Explains the World – An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
  8. The Miracle of Castel di Sangro – A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
  9. The Damned Utd – A Novel
  10. The Secret Footballer – Access All Areas
  11. Futebol – The Brazilian Way of Life
  12. A Season With Verona – Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character, and… Goals!

#1 Fever Pitch – A Fan’s Life

  • ✍️ Author: Nick Hornby
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1992
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies, Fiction and Literature

“Fever Pitch” is a memoir that chronicles Nick Hornby’s experiences and emotions tied to his beloved Arsenal Football Club. Through excruciating losses and exhilarating wins, Hornby illustrates how a fan’s life can be deeply entwined with the fate of their team.

It’s a tale of obsession, loyalty, and identity, providing a candid and often humorous look at the life of a dedicated sports fan. This book resonates not only with soccer aficionados but also with anyone who understands the bond between a fan and their passion.

#2 Inverting The Pyramid – The History of Soccer Tactics

  • ✍️ Author: Jonathan Wilson
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2008
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Strategy and Coaching

“Inverting the Pyramid” is a groundbreaking exploration of soccer strategy and how it has evolved over the game’s history. Jonathan Wilson provides an in-depth look at tactics from the very beginnings of soccer to the modern game, examining how great managers have influenced the development of the sport.

It’s a book that takes a scholarly yet accessible approach to the changes in formations and playing styles throughout the decades, making it a captivating read for serious fans and students of the game’s strategy and evolution.

#3 The Ball is Round – A Global History of Soccer

  • ✍️ Author: David Goldblatt
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2006
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History

“The Ball is Round” provides an expansive overview of soccer’s global impact and the game’s development from its informal village origins to the cultural phenomenon it is today.

David Goldblatt delivers a comprehensive history that navigates through soccer’s role in various societies, politics, and economies around the world. This magisterial work is a testament to soccer’s power to inspire and unify, making it essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how the sport became the world’s most popular game.

#4 Soccernomics

  • ✍️ Author: Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2009
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Strategy and Coaching

“Soccernomics” takes an analytical look at soccer through the lens of economics, shedding light on the reasons behind different countries’ successes and failures in the sport. Authors Kuper and Szymanski dispel classic soccer myths using data and statistics, offering insights on topics ranging from national team performance to the business side of the sport.

The book is a must-read for those who enjoy understanding the game through numbers and seek to gain a different perspective on the factors that contribute to soccer’s worldwide dominance.

#5 Among the Thugs

  • ✍️ Author: Bill Buford
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1990
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Biographies and Autobiographies

“Among the Thugs” is Bill Buford’s gripping account of the dark side of soccerβ€”the world of hooliganism. The book is a product of Buford’s firsthand experiences with football supporters and their inclination toward violence.

His exploration into the lives and psychology of these fans provides a shocking, eye-opening narrative that delves into the causes and nature of crowd violence. It’s a compelling read that exposes the complex subculture behind the beautiful game’s most notorious element.

#6 Brilliant Orange – The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer

  • ✍️ Author: David Winner
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2000
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Strategy and Coaching

“Brilliant Orange” delves into the heart of Dutch soccer, offering a vibrant portrayal of its unique influence on the global stage. David Winner examines the Netherlands’ artistic approach to the sport, connecting the nation’s cultural predispositions to its innovative soccer tactics.

Highlighting the philosophies of Total Football and the legendary players and thinkers who made it famous, this book is a delightful combination of cultural studies and soccer analysis, perfect for those intrigued by the artistic side of the game.

#7 How Soccer Explains the World – An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

  • ✍️ Author: Franklin Foer
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2004
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History

“How Soccer Explains the World” ventures beyond the pitch, using soccer as a framework to understand the complexities of globalization. Franklin Foer embarks on a worldwide journey, analyzing how the sport reflects and affects a myriad of social and political phenomena.

By examining soccer’s role in various societies, from Brazilian slums to European powerhouses, the book captures the game’s capacity to mirror the tensions and bonds of a progressively interconnected world.

#8 The Miracle of Castel di Sangro – A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy

  • ✍️ Author: Joe McGinniss
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1999
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Biographies and Autobiographies

“The Miracle of Castel di Sangro” is a story of an underdog Italian soccer team’s improbable rise, as seen through the eyes of author Joe McGinniss. Immersing himself in the small town of Castel di Sangro, McGinniss chronicles the local team’s courageous battle against the odds to compete in Italy’s professional ranks.

This captivating narrative weaves together sport, culture, and the human spirit, offering a touching and inspiring account that highlights the dramatic and poetic nature of soccer.

#9 The Damned Utd – A Novel

  • ✍️ Author: David Peace
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2006
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Fiction and Literature

“The Damned Utd” is a riveting fictionalized account of Brian Clough’s tumultuous 44-day tenure as the manager of Leeds United in 1974. Author David Peace crafts an intense and gritty narrative that delves into Clough’s mind, revealing his struggles with the club’s legacy, his personal demons, and the sheer madness of English football.

While not factually accurate, the novel captures the atmosphere of the era and the culture of the sport, making it an enthralling read for both soccer fans and lovers of great drama.

#10 The Secret Footballer – Access All Areas

  • ✍️ Author: Anonymously published
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2015
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“The Secret Footballer – Access All Areas” invites readers to delve into the anonymous Premier League player’s world, providing a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of a professional footballer.

The book offers candid reflections on the challenges, excesses, and idiosyncrasies of a sport where the line between private life and public performance is constantly blurred. This intriguing exposΓ© is a must-read for those looking to comprehend the true highs and lows experienced at the heart of the world’s most popular league.

#11 Futebol – The Brazilian Way of Life

  • ✍️ Author: Alex Bellos
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2002
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History

“Futebol” takes an affectionate and in-depth look at Brazil’s passion for soccer, exploring its unparalleled significance in the country’s national identity. Through a series of vibrant stories and accounts, Alex Bellos uncovers how soccer is interwoven with Brazil’s culture, politics, and social fabric.

This book illuminates the beautiful game’s magic as it’s lived and breathed in the land of samba and carnival, offering insights into the souls of the timeless legends who grace this enchanting footballing nation.

#12 A Season With Verona – Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Characters and… Goals!

  • ✍️ Author: Tim Parks
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2002
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies, History

“A Season With Verona” follows author Tim Parks’ year-long journey with the followers of Verona’s football team, delving into the Italian football culture and the unique qualities that define it. His chronicles reveal the passion, the idiosyncrasies, and the national character as revealed through soccer.

Parks intertwines football’s drama with the beauty, history, and decay of the Italian landscape, offering a nuanced and affectionate portrait of a country whose soul is synonymous with the game they so deeply love.

Soccer

FAQ

What are the best soccer books of all time?

β€œInverting the Pyramid,” β€œFever Pitch,” β€œHow Soccer Explains the World,” β€œSoccernomics,” and β€œI Am Zlatan” are the best soccer books of all time. They provide a mix of tactical evolution, personal memoir, cultural analysis, and the economics of the sport.

What is the best soccer book for adults?

β€œFever Pitch” by Nick Hornby is the best soccer book for adults, offering a deeply personal and humorous reflection on fandom and the author’s lifelong passion for Arsenal Football Club.

What are the best books for soccer fundamentals and strategy?

β€œInverting the Pyramid” and β€œSoccer IQ” are the best books for soccer fundamentals and strategy, delivering in-depth looks at tactical development and practical tips to raise a player’s game intelligence.

Discover the heroes of Iraqi soccer, who inspire stories of resilience and triumph in the sport.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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