Get Reading: 6 of the Most Iconic Books in World Cup History

With the World Cup approaching its conclusion, fans from all across the world have the chance to learn about the interpretation of the beautiful game in different countries.


Each country has their own storied history, with a lot of that history often going unknown. That's why writers choose to write books - to share their knowledge with others.


If you are looking to pick up some great knowledge and insight into the World Cup, look no further than these six books...

1. The World Cup: The Complete History

Terry Crouch wrote this comprehensive history of the World Cup in 2002, but unfortunately passed away in 2009. Before his death, he released an updated version of the book, which included the 2006 World Cup. After his death, James Corbett took on the task of keeping the book updated, releasing two further revisions after each tournament.


This book analyses every aspect of each tournament in history, including the players, each individual result, the match officials and the statistics from the tournaments. Any question about the World Cup can be answered with a quick search of this book.


The sheer amount of information in this book is astounding, and can turn any football amateur into a historian.

2. 66 - The World Cup in Real Time

Whether you are an English football fan or simply interested in England's famous triumph in 1966, Ian Passingham's phenomenal analysis of the 1966 tournament is a must-read for every fan. 


The book offers newspaper-style reports on every match, including the reaction of every country and the gossip surrounding the tournament. It tells the tales of the triumphant players, listing their feelings and stories from throughout the finals. 


Learning all the history of England's greatest every sporting moment is crucial for every dedicated fan. Whilst many know the story of the tournament, the entire summer of 1966 comes alive once again in 66, and deserves its place in history.

3. Goal!: I Scored a Goal in a World Cup Final

As a young child, every football fan has dreamed of scoring a goal in the World Cup final. Whilst the majority of us will never know this feeling, Michael Donald's book gives readers the chance to explore this moment.


Donald interviews every scorer from every World Cup final since Alcides Ghiggia's goal in the 1950 final, including Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze's winning goal in 2014. It describes the feelings of the scorers during the tournament, but also the aftermath of the goal.


The book goes as far as detailing the situation of the scorer in the modern day. Whether they are still involved in football or retired from the game, Goal! allows the reader to learn the incredible stories and emotions that come with scoring a goal in the World Cup final.

4. Soccernomics

Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; And Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport.


Wow, that's a mouthful.


Football is much more than just a 90 minute match. Whilst the other books on the list choose to focus on the football which was played during the tournaments, Soccernomics instead focuses on the behind-the-scenes aspects of football.


Whether that be the economic side of the game or how a country's politics and culture can be effected by results at a tournament, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski delve deeper into the "ugly" side of football, and is essential reading for anybody who is looking to gain a deeper understanding of football.

5. Why Soccer Matters

Why Soccer Matters is the only book on this list to be written by a footballer, but not just any footballer. This book is written by arguably the greatest footballer in the history of the game - Pele.


Pele takes readers on an in-depth journey around the world, showcasing how football can change lives. Writing in 2014 as an official ambassador to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Pele shares his stories and experiences from working closely with UNICEF in his attempts to change the world using football.


Fans of mainstream football in the modern era will know little of a world where money cannot simply fix issues. Clubs competing for the Champions League can often simply patch over their issues with money. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the impact which football has on the world. Why Soccer Matters is an easy choice.

6. World Cup 1970-2014: Panini Football Collections

Since Panini introduced World Cup stickers in 1970, school playgrounds from across the globe have been captivated. Swapping with friends to complete a collection was an amazing feeling.


However, given the amount of stickers available, completing an entire collection took a monumental effort. Fortunately, Panini released this book in 2014, which contains around 800 pages of original artwork and showcases every single sticker to have ever been available.


Outside of the stickers, it also offers reviews of the matches at each tournament, as well as original adverts used for the tournaments. The sheer volume of images allows the reader to picture the tournaments in perfect detail, meaning the Panini sticker book is essential for any football fan.

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