Parma, 22 March 2020 – Here are five more must-read books that you can enjoy at a time when we all need to stay at home.
1 Azzurro Tenebra (Giovanni Arpino, Bur)
Written in 1977 by the journalist Arpino, this is a novel inspired by the 1974 World Cup in Germany It was a disappointing tournament for Italy, who were eliminated after losing to Poland. The novel tells the story of Arp, a journalist in close contact with the Azzurri in Germany, and his relationships with colleagues and players of that era. The names are invented, but it’s easy to guess the real figures they refer to, like ‘Vecio’ (Bearzot) and ‘Grangiuan’ (Brera).
2 The Damned United (David Peace, Il Saggiatore)
A book that really is a must-read for those who love biographical novels providing accounts of those who have made an immense contribution to this sport. Since adapted into a film, this book explores Brian Clough’s spell at Leeds United as the English football manager, who went on to win two successive European Cups with Nottingham Forest, tried to transform a side previously known for their aggressive style of play.
3 My Turn: The Autobiography (Johann Cruyff, Bompiani)
We all know how much of a genius Cruyff was with the ball at his feet, but hearing things from his own perspective is something different. The famous Dutchman reveals all: his childhood, the Netherlands, Spain, his life as a coach. And the origins of a football revolution that still influences the way football is interpreted today.
4 Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics (Jonathan Wilson, Libreria dello sport)
Those interested in tactics must read this book. It pulls apart the finer details of the game, looking at, among other things, the positioning of the players on the pitch, passes which are played, how to circumvent opponents in the process. Hogan, Guttmann, Chapman, the origins of tactical theories, modern pioneers and Total Football: everything is covered.
5 Football in Sun and Shadow (Eduardo Galeano, Sperling & Kupfer)
Incredible stories and wonderful memories are described by a South American writer and journalist who, like many others, spent his youth wanting to become a footballer. “Once a week, the fan flees his house for the stadium. Banners wave and the air resounds with noisemakers, fireworks and drums; it rains streamers and confetti. The city disappears, its routine forgotten. In this sacred place, the only religion without atheists puts its divinities on display. Although the fan can contemplate the miracle more comfortably on TV, he prefers to make the pilgrimage to this spot where he can see his angels in the flesh doing battle with the demons of the day.” Passion for the game and splendid writing combined.