Having trouble getting enough soccer? Reading about soccer during some spare time is always a great opportunity to learn more about the game. The best soccer books are almost always going to be about things that actually happened in the sport, but some allow for creativity. These are the best soccer books worth giving a read.
1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
There is no doubt that Manchester United is one of the most storied soccer franchises of all time. They have been able to have quite a bit of success throughout the years, and one of the best books out there about them is Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.
In this particular book, the entire history is covered. This means starting in the 1870s, and going all the way up to the 2012-2013 season. It is interesting to see how a major club like this operates, trying to blend in the past with a focus on the future.
2. Bloody Confused
This book is all about a look at the crazy fans that make up the Premier League. Coming from an American writer, he sees some of the biggest rivalries in the game. A lot of focus is on Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and others.
It is an interesting read from an outsider, and a way for Americans to get a little more acquainted with the game in general. For people who are looking for a different type of reading from a unique perspective, this is an option worth checking out.
3. The Fix: Soccer & Organized Crime
The Fix is considered a pretty intriguing tale of sports-controlled corruption. An investigative journalist goes out to see the world of match-fixing throughout soccer, and it is more prevalent than anyone could imagine.
It might not be what people want to necessarily hear about the sport that they love, but it is an intriguing read for those wondering how this side of the world operates.
4. Inverting the Pyramid
The tactical part of soccer is something that many people are intrigued by. Whether it is trying to figure out what a current team is doing, or what works best for a club at any level, they can certainly attempt to think outside the box.
With Inverting the Pyramid, there is an in-depth study of tactics throughout the years. The book covers some of the greatest players and masterminds of soccer in the game’s history and how things have changed.
Some people love the modern soccer game, while others are hoping for a step back in the past. No matter what a person prefers, this is intriguing for people to learn about and really grasp.
5. The Damned Utd
When Brian Clough took over as the manager for Leeds United, no one knew quite what to expect. In the 44 days after accepting the job, this book tells that story.
It might not be for everyone, as not that many people are well-versed in 1970s Leeds United soccer, but it is a compelling book that covers a forgotten time in history. Many are shocked to find out all the twists and turns that go into this book from beginning to end.
6. How Soccer Explains The World
The title of the book explains a lot about what readers should expect from this take on soccer. It is an original idea that takes a look at how soccer is more than just a game. It is a great way for expression from an entire country and specific communities in those countries.
The book looks at how soccer can dictate different cultures and have such a wide impact on people of all ages. Even for those people who are not huge soccer fans, it is worth taking a look at.
7. Fever Pitch
This book is just as much about a young man finding his identity as it is about soccer. Fever Pitch takes a look at things through the eye of an Arsenal fan, as readers get a unique look at issues such as loneliness, family support, being a fan, and so much more.
In a way, it is a personal reflection written by the author Nick Hornby, but he also sprinkles in a reasonable amount of comedy around the way.
8. Brilliant Orange
Soccer played in the Netherlands is a little bit different from the rest of the world. This is a look at the genius of soccer, and how they have been able to succeed in the higher stages for quite some time.
Whether it was the World Cup final in 1974 or in 2010, the Dutch are very prideful of what they have been able to accomplish on the pitch. Read about national traditions to go with the sport and the mentality that a typical player has that makes all the difference in the world.
9. Seeing Red
Fans and players love to hate on referees. Graham Poll is a former referee that covered matches in the Premier League from 1993 to 2007. He was a FIFA-listed referee for most of that time as well.
This book is very well done and gives readers a chance to see things from his perspective a bit. He gives away some trade secrets and talks about conversations he has had with some of the most important players and faces of soccer.
10. The Italian Job
There are a lot of stereotypes from different countries around Europe. England and Italian have plenty of these stereotypes, and the authors of The Italian Job take a look at how it relates to soccer.
Whether it is at the club level or supporting the national team, fans can really get into the sport in so many ways. Big names in the sport joined in on this book, and instantly made it a must-read for soccer fans worldwide.
11. Among The Thugs
Some supporters of soccer teams can truly get out of hand. Commonly referred to as thugs, these football supporters can be violent, throw out every verbal attack in the book, and be downright racist.
What Bill Buford finds out is that some of these fans are in it for the wrong reasons, worrying more about destroying property and hurting individuals than supporting their team.
It is an intriguing read to gain information for those who are a bit unfamiliar with how everything works at this level. Some people will be shocked, while others will only want to find out more and more.
12. The Beckham Experiment
David Beckham is one of the most intriguing players in modern soccer. Even now that he is retired, people still can’t get enough of the former standout for England and several clubs. Written by Grant Wahl, this is one of the best books about the star.
At the time of the book, Beckham was with LA Galaxy, trying to be a standout player in Major League Soccer. Wahl takes a look at some of the other star players on the team and those who are closest to Beckham.
It is one of the most intriguing looks at a player who is just as much a celebrity as he is a soccer player. It might seem a little outdated at times since people know the results, but it was very intriguing to see him with the LA Galaxy and impact the MLS from the very beginning.
13. Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography
One of the most revered names in modern soccer history is none other than Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United manager has been away for the game for a few years now, and this is a look at his career.
It not only covers his senior playing career, but it details all the important matches that he was a part of from 1986 to 2013 for Manchester United.
Advanced analytics in soccer is a little bit behind other sports. The good news is that people are coming up with more and more ways to analyze the sport, and it is an interesting read to see how different tactics work.
A must-read for all coaches and those wanting a more analytical look overall can get exactly what they want out of this book.
15. Why the US Men Will Never Win the World Cup
The book’s title is a bit eye-opening, but it is well written enough that it is worthy of a look. The United States has aspirations in the future as a true contender on the world stage. Unfortunately, they still have a long way to go to think about winning the World Cup.
This book takes a look at what exactly is holding them back, and how it seems like an impossible road ahead to ever catch up with everyone else.
A title that is sure to be used against the author if it actually does happen is a reality check for many people in the United States who might think that they are close to turning the corner.
Here is the full list of the best soccer books for 2021
- Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
- Bloody Confused
- The Fix
- Inverting the Pyramid
- The Damned Utd
- How Soccer Explains The World
- Fever Pitch
- Brilliant Orange
- Seeing Red
- The Italian Job
- Among The Thugs
- The Beckham Experiment
- Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography
- Why the US Men Will Never Win the World Cup