Friday, July 11, 2014

World Cup Reading

Just like the crescendo in Ravel’s Bolero imposes itself onto the listener’s ear, the rising popularity of soccer (football for the rest of the world) in the USA is an undeniable fact. American fans have finally joined a global phenomenon. It is one thing to support the American team for as long as it is in the running, but also equally important to have several alternative favorite teams. As soon as Brazil was crushed by Germany in one of the quarter finals, newly initiated American fans had to decide who to root for not only between Argentina and Netherlands, but also who to root for in the final since Brazil is not going to be there. Do we support Messi’s team or Klose’s? That is the question weighing on our minds. Such is the world of soccer.

It may come as a surprise to many to learn that the USA not only took part in the first World Cup held in 1930 in Uruguay, but the team also managed to reach the semi-final against Argentina, which it lost 6-1.  Team USA won Bronze and that remains her best to date. In 2002, USA managed to reach the quarter final when they lost to Germany 2-1.  In 2014, the USA also reached the knock-out stage.

Just like any other major international game, soccer has a rich history that includes rivalries between teams, players' personal achievements, global superstars such as Pele and Maradona, and statistical wonders. Brazil has won the most world cups (5) followed by Italy (4) and Germany (3). 2014 is the first World Cup where two teams from the continent of Africa have advanced to the knock-out stage.

San Francisco Public Library boasts of a good collection of circulating books on the subject as well as numerous reference resources.  Explore some of the titles below, or perform a broader search in the catalog under the terms World Cup (Soccer) and Soccer for additional materials.  Other useful headings for players include:  Soccer - Training, Soccer - Rules, and Soccer - Coaching.

General Reference

The official rules of soccer.

The World Cup : the complete history / Terry Crouch.

The complete encyclopedia of soccer / Keir Radnedge.

A history of the World Cup, 1930-2010 / Clemente Angelo Lisi.


High Interest Materials
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil official book.

The ball is round : a global history of soccer / David Goldblatt

Inverting the pyramid : a history of football tactics / Jonathan Wilson

Outcasts united : a refugee soccer team, an American town / Warren St. John. 

Finding the game : three years, twenty-five countries, and the search for pickup soccer / Gwendolyn Oxenham. 

Soccer in sun and shadow / by Eduardo Galeano ; translated by Mark Fried.

Soccernomics : why England loses, why Germany and Brazil win, and why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey-- and even Iraq-- are destined to become the kings of the world's most popular sport / Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. 

The big fix : the hunt for the match fixers bringing down soccer / Brett Forrest.

Soccer men : profiles of the rogues, geniuses, and neurotics who dominate the world's most popular sport / Simon Kuper

Soccer against the enemy : how the world's most popular sport starts and stops wars, fuels revolutions, and keeps dictators in power / Simon Kuper. 

The rough guide to cult football / edited by Andy Mitten ; with contributions by Joe Ganley ... [et al.] 
Collected Essays
The global game : writers on soccer / edited by John Turnbull, Thom Satterlee & Alon Raab. 

The thinking fan's guide to the World Cup / edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. 

By Region
Africa united : soccer, passion, politics, and the first World Cup in Africa / Steve Bloomfield

African soccerscapes : how a continent changed the world's game / Peter Alegi

Tor! : the story of German football / Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger.

Morbo : the story of Spanish football / Phil Ball. 

Winning at all costs : a scandalous history of Italian soccer / John Foot

Pay as you play : the true price of success in the Premier League era / Paul Tomkins, Graeme Riley & Gary Fulcher ; introducing the transfer price index. 

Ajax, the Dutch, the war : the strange tale of soccer during Europe's darkest hour / Simon Kuper. 

Video Highlights
FIFA fever [videorecording] : celebrating 100 years of FIFA soccer 

World Cup Soccer highlights, 1966-1974 [videorecording] / director, Philippe Scanff. 

World Cup Soccer highlights, 1978-1986 [videorecording] / director, Philippe Scanff.

World Cup Soccer highlights, 1990-1998 [videorecording] / director, Philippe Scanff
World Cup Soccer highlights, 2002 [videorecording] / director, Philippe Scanff. 


joel. said...

great list. may I also recommend "Soccer in sun and shadow" by Eduardo Galeano. an overall beautiful book, with many sections on various world cups. SFPL has several copies.

San Francisco Public Library, Art, Music and Recreation Center said...

Great to hear from you, Joel. I've added the title to our list and thank you for the strong suggestion. The book's reviews are fantastic.