The Librarian: "World Cup 2010: The Indispensable Guide to Soccer and Geopolitics"
I haven't read this book yet, but I figured I would give them a shout-out anyway before my review copy arrives solely because one of the authors is a former Fulham F.C. ballboy who was once bottled in the by a fan. I'm sure a blog post doesn't make up for childhood traumas but I just feel for the guy, y'know?
From the Amazon product description:
The World Cup is the planet's biggest event. Yet no one on this side of the pond has ever set out to explain comprehensively why it matters and what's likely to happen this time around.
In this sharp, fun, and sassy guide, Stark & Stark lay it all out for both the casual and impassioned fan - the spectacle, the tradition, and the teams. Learn why Spain never wins, Brazil often does, and what the US and Mexico really need to do to win the Cup. Discover, too, what the first World Cup in Africa will mean - from Mandela to mythical spirits. Each team profile features a squad breakdown, players to watch, predictions, and an analysis of team tactics, tradition, coaching techniques, and even the national anthems that will be played before each match. Through it all, the book highlights the cultural politics that still make every England game resemble the Charge of the Light Brigade, as one writer put it, and every Italian team a cross between Machiavelli and Michelangelo.
You'll laugh out loud, you'll argue, but when it's all over, you'll know more about the World Cup and soccer than an ESPN analyst. This is not only the best introduction to the 2010 World Cup; it's a book about soccer you'll want to read and reread for years to come.
World Cup 2010: The Indispensable Guide to Soccer and Geopolitics is available now; order it from Blue River Press so the authors get a bigger cut than they would from Amazon.