Club Soccer 101: The Essential Guide to the Stars, Stats, and Stories of 101 of the Greatest Teams in the World

Luke Dempsey. Norton, $16.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-3933-4930-6
By giving quick overviews of the top 101 club teams in the world including the U.S., Dempsey, a U.K.-born journalist and former editor, helps U.S. sports fans new to soccer to make sense of the world of soccer. Along the way, readers may find reasons to support one team or another—whether they want to root for a powerhouse (Manchester United or Barcelona, for example); to celebrate their Scot-Irish heritage (Celtic Rangers);to cultivate a fancy for “Crazy Goats” (Guadalajara); or to avoid a team might have fascist connections (Italy’s Lazio; Real Madrid). All the classic stories are here, like Arsenal’s miracle victory at Liverpool to win the ’88–’89 league championship; but there are also lesser-known tidbits, such as tales about Vélez Sarsfield goalie José Luis Chilavert or the exploits of Porto’s Rabah Madjer in 1987 European Cup final. Dempsey’s prose is a nice mix of flavorful sports-reporting and poetic impressions (“they will always wear yellow and green: a team of nonaggressive but pleasant enough birds, abandoned as they are in a faraway land”), making this an enjoyable and informative collection of vignettes. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-393-34931-3
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