Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Dest
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
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Just in time for the world’s most anticipated and watched sporting eventthe World Cuptwo award-winning journalists reveal the secrets, mysteries, and oddities of the beautiful game
Simon Kuper is one of the world’s leading writers on soccer. His book Soccer Against the Enemy won the William Hill Prize for sports book of the year in Britain. He writes a weekly sports column in the Financial Times. He lives in Paris.
Stefan Szymanski is professor of economics and MBA Dean at Cass Business School in London. Tim Harford has called him one of the world’s leading sports economists.” Szymanski lives in London.
Though the 2010 FIFA World Cup is still weeks away, writer Cord Jefferson feels Americans could do with an early tune-up on the world's most popular sport. Here are three books to put your soccer ball in motion. More at NPR.org
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LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2009
"If you're a football fan, I'll save you some time: read this book ... compulsive reading ... thoroughly convincing."
"Szymanksi has recently published the best introduction to sports economics ... while Kuper is probably the smartest of the new generation of super-smart sportswriters ... fascinating stories."
"[Kuper and Szymanski] basically trash every cliché about football you ever held to be true. It's bravura stuff … the study of managers buying players and building a club is one you’ll feel like photocopying and sending to your team's chairman"
Paddy Harverson, former communications director of Manchester United, Financial Times
"Demolishes ... many soccer shibboleths ... well argued, too. Szymanski, an economist, knows his stuff, and Kuper, a born contrarian and FT sports writer, is incapable of cliché ... great stories and previously unknown nuggets."
"One for the thinkers"
"More thoughtful than most of its rivals and, by football standards, postively intellectual ... Kuper, a brilliantly contrary columnist, and Szymanski, an economics professor ... find plenty of fertile territory in their commendable determination to overturn the lazy preconceptions rife in football."
"Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski are a highly effective and scrupulously rational team, combining the former's detailed and nuanced understanding of European football with the latter's sophisticated econometric analysis. With a remarkable lightness of touch, they desmonstrate the limits of conventional thinking in football, as well as the real patterns of behaviour that shape sporting outcomes."