How soccer explains… (reading list)

There is no better (or at least more fun) way to learn about our world than through soccer. Or maybe you just want to sound like an expert when discussing this summer’s World Cup. For either case, here is my top 10 list of soccer books.  

sunandshadowEduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow tops the list. Galeano’s book is a work of art that also manages to cover the details. Want proof?

“‘Jabulani’ was the name of the soapy, half-crazed tournament ball that eluded hands and flouted feet. The World Cup was obliged to embrace this novelty from Adidas, even though the players did not like it one bit.” 

Just two sentences from Galeano tell us as much as entire articles about the 2010 World Cup ball controversy. Beyond explaining the game, Galeano masterfully connects soccer and society;

“Half a century later, we urban beings are all more or less crazy, even though due to space limitations nearly all of us live outside the asylum. Evicted by cars, cornered by violence, condemned to isolation, we live packed in ever closer to one another and feel ever more alone, with ever fewer meeting places and ever less time to meet.”

I forget how he connected urban life to soccer…  but read his book and find out. Then move on to the others.

Previously posted top-10 reading lists:

We’re all teachers

Way more fun than academic journal articles

Sustainability in the built environment

Energy and climate

Communicating to change the world