Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life
by Alex Bellos
Just how deep is Brazil’s love for the game? Bellos’s 420-page travelogue tells you. He takes you on a singular journey through time — from when the first football landed on its vast shores to the building on the modern-day Colosseum, the Maracana.
A Death in Brazil
by Pete Robb
Australian Robb’s masterpiece has negligibly little to do with football. But it sure does cover every other facet of Brazilian life — food, sex, drugs and violence. It begins with a knife being held to our author’s throat by a street thug. Robb maintains that vice-like grip with his descriptions through the rest of the novel.
Football Against The Enemy
by Simon Kuper
As Simon Barnes of The Times says on the cover, “If you like football read it. If you don’t like football read it.” Kuper flies around the globe to speak to fans, players, administrators and politicians to find out just how the game has shaped bonds between some countries and soured relations between others.
All Played Out
by Pete Davies
Davies’s anatomy of a World Cup is widely considered among fans and players alike to be the final word on Italia ’90 — one of the greatest quadrennials to have ever unfolded. Read the chapters on Roger Milla and Cameroon’s shock win over the defending-champions, Diego Maradona’s Argentina, and you will not be disappointed.
I Think Therefore I Play
by Andrea Pirlo with Allesandro Alciato
How often does a sports autobiography come around these days where the player concerned does not resort to controversies to sell a few extra copies? Italy’s Pirlo scores big with his very worthy narration of a silken career, spending much time on just what it took for him and his side to succeed in Germany ’06.