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Amazon Price: £2.99 (as of April 25, 2018 12:00 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £2.99 (as of April 25, 2018 12:00 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The classic winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Throughout the world, football is a potent force in the lives of billions of people. Focusing national, political and cultural identities, football is the medium through which the world's hopes and fears, passions and hatreds are expressed.

Simon Kuper travelled to 22 countries from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to the USA, to examine the way football has shaped them. At the same time he tried to find out what lies behind each nation's distinctive style of play, from the carefree self-expression of the Brazilians to the anxious calculation of the Italians. During his journeys he met an extraordinary range of players, politicians and – of course – the fans themselves, all of whom revealed in their different ways the unique place football has in the life of the planet.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1629 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; UK ed. edition (21 July 2011)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews


 on 13 April 2018
By Matt Walters
As valid and relevant today as when it was first published. If you read one football book, read this.

A football book against the time

 on 12 July 2012
By RobertBlaszczak
It is every author’s dream to write a book on contemporary affairs that will still have a sensation of freshness in twenty years’ time. This task becomes even more challenging when the story is composed with evasive bits that can change their meaning and importance with one kick of the ball.

A groundbreaking sports book

 on 11 February 2014
By The Sports Book Review
When is football more than just a game? When it’s against a rival so bitter, that emotions take things to another level altogether. That’s the premise behind this wonderful book, which isn’t solely a football book, but a social and political study with football as its recurring theme. This made it truly ground breaking in that such “intelligent” football writing was rather rarer when this first came out in 1994 than it is today. Some elements now seem slightly dated, but for a reader willing to give it some historical context this is still a compelling book.

Well Rounded

One person found this helpful.
 on 5 October 2004
By Amazon Customer
This book’s laudability stems from primarily:

Five Stars

 on 21 November 2014
By A G.
Very informative

How football reflects, filters and shapes a culture’s self-image

One person found this helpful.
 on 17 March 2008
By A A Catenaccio
Football Against the Enemy deserves classic status, even if for no other reason than it was one of the first books to use football as a topic for ‘serious’ cultural study.

As Bill Shankly Once Said….

2 people found this helpful.
 on 29 December 2000
Many people feel that football is more than a game: this book offers nigh-on concrete proof that it is. From the political wranglings that blight the game in Africa to the sectarian significance placed upon the Old Firm derby, Kuper details just how passionately the fans he interviews feel about the world’s most popular sport; what it represents to them and so many others across the globe. Some of the opinions expressed by these interviewees are pretty repulsive, while other stories (mainly concerning clubs in the former Eastern Bloc) are a little disturbing to say the least. The author himself is a respected football journalist, as are a few others featured in the book. Most of the narrative is neutral, with Kuper allowing events/people to speak for themselves, but this is not the case in the first chapter where he makes clear on which side of the Holland-Germany rivalry his loyalties lie! Definitely worth a read.

A very different read now than in the ’90s

One person found this helpful.
 on 6 June 2013
By James Cox
I found this book a real mixed bag – some insightful commentary on the relationship between politics and football cut with interviews which were too often overlong and with people who often had no meaningful credentials other than being where Kuper happened to be at the time. This might be unfair – the media flurry around football in the past decades has probably blinded me to how interesting this may have been at the time – but I found myself flicking pages at times bored of the same drab talk.

Absolutely Fabulous!!!

One person found this helpful.
 on 28 February 1999
This is a superb book – it goes well beyond the parameters of the football book, but at the same time is the best book about football I’ve ever read! The section on Dynamo Kiev is scary!

The greatest sports book ever written

 on 14 November 2000
Football and the human race are entwined at a sociocultural level. This book explains why this is and gives many clues as to why the Americans will simply never ‘get’ the beautiful game.
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