Soccer Men: Profiles o...
Simon Kuper
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Soccer Men: Profiles of the Rogues, Geniuses, and Neurotics Who Dominate the World's Most Popular Sport

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  424 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Simon KuperOCOs "New York Times" bestseller "Soccernomics" pioneered a new way of looking at soccer through meticulous empirical analysis and incisive?and witty? commentary. Kuper now leaves the numbers and data behind to explore the heart and soul of the worldOCOs most popular sport in the new, extraordinarily revealing "Soccer Men." "Soccer Men" goes behind the scenes wi...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Nation Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Gus Sanchez
A quick, painless read from one of the premier soccer journalists, maybe the best one working today. Personally, I would have enjoyed more profiles on the managers and general managers - more Jose Mourinho, Mike Forde, and Ignacio Palacios Huerta, please - and less profiles on the players, who come across as crushing bores or neurotic twats. Honestly, we already know Lionel Messi will probably be the greatest player to have ever lived once he hangs up his boots, and we also know he's a terrible...more
dianne budd
The most engaging thing about this book is its title.
i did learn, however, that the highly improbable Lionel Messi had what sounds like at least a partial growth hormone deficiency and was 4'6" at 13. Neither the local team he played for in Argentina (nicknamed 'the Lepers') nor his very poor family had the means to pay for the treatment. Finally, Barca - who recognized his ability after he scored 5 goals during their test match - flew him and his parents (first flight) to Barcelona where, with...more
Some really interesting profiles of some great, and not-so-great, players here. I wish some of them were longer, and there were people missed that I wished were covered (Lehmann springs to mind - but then, he always does *deep sigh*). I learned a lot of new things about football in general, and about European culture, and indeed the book is at its best the deeper it probes. I wish the Ballack chapter had been longer - but then, there is not enough Michael Ballack in the world generally. So I sha...more
Simon Kuper, the author of "Soccer Against the Enemy," "Ajax, The Dutch, The War," and "Soccernomics," has written a new book called "Soccer Men." Though I liked his other books very much, this one left me feeling a bit disappointed. The writing is well done, and he wrote on many of my favorite athletes, and coaches, but I felt that he left out many players who I thought were worth mentioning. I also felt the profiles were too short and simplistic, he should have done more research and fleshed o...more
Chris Thomas
This was a good book to read to pick up some facts about a selection of players and managers. It definitely filled in quite a few knowledge gaps for me. I had to have a break from reading it for a few days as it got repetitive reading profile after profile. However, that is the point of the book! I really enjoy Kuper's writing and find him the easiest and most entertaining football writer to read. He's also the most grounded football writer I have come across who keeps to very realistic opinions...more
It took me a little while to warm to the format of this book, a series of short 'vignettes' collected from Simon Kuper's interviews & profiles for Hard Gras magazine & broadsheet newspapers - the FT, Observer & Times - plus a few pieces especially written, between 1997 & 2010. Chiefly focussing on footballers themselves, the pick of which is probably the lovingly pained account of the writer unwittingly upsetting his cantankerous hero Johan Cruijff, but also insightful & reve...more
Julie L
Soccer Men is a compilation of articles written by the author about some of the players and coaches who have influenced the sport over the last fifty years. I am unsure of why certain players were omitted, most glaringly, Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo. Some portrayals are very detailed; some will leave you wanting for more. If you are unfamiliar with the player, the article may not be as interesting or the reader may not be familiar or understand the context to which the author refers; while the ar...more
Ever wonder what it feels like to be a soccer (football) player? Simon Kuper, a prolific soccer journalist, gathers up his profiles of players over the years to provide a look into the lives of players, managers, and luminaries both on and off the field. Although Kuper knows soccer, he truly brings out the character of the men who play the game. Here's a couple of examples.

On Lothar Matthaus:
"..But Matthaus is the sort of nature person that Bavarians imagine nature people to be: a Bavarian with...more
هذا الكتاب له ذكرى جميلة عندي,أول كتاب اقرأه عن الأدب الكروي

كوبر يعرض بشكل مختصر وسهل الإطلاع ملفات عن نجوم من زوايا مختلفة من عالم الكرة ما بين نجوم سابقين او حاليين

اللقاءات أجراها كوبر شخصيا في اوقات مختلفة وجمعها في هذا الكتاب بأسلوبه المميز والبعيد عن المعتاد

اثنين من الملفات كانت فعلا ضرب من الإبداع الصحفي واستطاع فيها تعرية النجم من كل المجاملات والتملق وإظهاره بصورته الحقيقة : الأول مع حارس ليفربول السابق بروس غروبلار والأخر نجم الكرةالألمانية السابق لوثر ماثايوس
Sergio P
When I finished this book I was very pleased with what I had read, I felt that with this book I am gaining basis knowledge into the lives of famous football players. Making each chapter a small biography of each of the players the author dosnt talk about all of the players life but the exact opposite. Simon Kupler decides to use a specific passage in the players life and he talks about that moment and how he had the chance to be there. This allows the reader to understand how football players li...more
Stacey Neve
I'd like to give this 2.5 stars, since just 2 seems overly harsh and I want to put in right in the middle of the spectrum. I jumped on this book because I had just finished (and loved) Soccernomics, but I didn't enjoy this one as much. At times I felt like I was expected to already know about who the players and coaches are and why they are important. That was fine for people who are still playing or coaching today, but I'm a younger fan and felt a little lost at times when Kuper launched into a...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The profiles are relatively short (a few pages each), but they're interesting and relatively insightful. A good read for any soccer fan.
Three and three-quarters. Like all collections, it serves up the best and worst of a writer in concentrated form. Kuper is very perceptive, has an anthropological knack for spotting behavioural patterns, and enlivens his pieces with a dry, wry wit. On the other hand, he is occasionally quite ad-hominem -ly cruel. My guess is that's the freedom that comes from writing about football; as he points out at the beginning, it is usually a waste of time trying to get genuine insight from a footballer....more
Kuper is a Dutch soccer journalist who has compiled a huge set of profiles of the most influential players and managers of the past 30 years or so. Some of the profiles are pretty out of date, so some have short updates appended to them. It was pretty interesting to find out which players are autodidacts and how others list sleeping as their only hobby – they can’t be bothered to read or even watch movies, but are focused only on soccer. I also got a good sense of how the game has developed and...more
This book was a very good book. I enjoyed it because it gives me an idea of what goes on besides playing soccer in a soccer players life. It inspired me because it talks about the best players growing up and playing on dirt and rock fields or kicking a ball against a wall. I think this is a good book to read because it inspires you and teaches you that celebrities don't only care about themselves and actually have lives similar to ours.
Henry C.
If you want to know how Jose Mourinho's paranoia can be traced to pre-revolution Portugal or to know what a "pibe" is and its role in Argentinian soccer lore, this is the book for you.

"Soccer Men" is basically a compendium of Financial Times writer Simon Kuper's best work. It's a series of vignettes about the personalities that populate the beautiful game and it is outstanding as far as it goes.
Pretty good, some funny, some just interesting, short stories based on encounters and interviews over the years. Worth a read if any interest in Football both present and past.
A collection of his interviews from last 20 years. Very well done with mostly insightful pieces and just a bit of fluff. I even appreciated the occasional insight into Kuper's personal history and reflection on his career. He adds postscripts to revisit his assessment or give updates which was fresh idea and really worked to give us a more panoramic view.
I did skip over a few of the coaches/players I didn't know. I thought the book was so interesting though reading about the players/coaches I do know. And some was reminiscent of the last World Cup...which I remember so well being as I had Reese during it. It brought back a lot of good memories watching soccer!
The book is comprised less of essays than short thought pieces, and for someone with no knowledge of soccer, they won't provide enough background to be enjoyable. But for those who love soccer, it's a fun read, with lots of candid, witty assessments of major players and managers.
Andrew Booth
I love this book. I like how the stories are told of the players and the fact that they incorporate their childhoods as much as their soccer careers. The only thing is that there were many run on pages i guess and it makes it boring to read at times.
Steven Pilling
It is a collection of interviews and it reflects the difference between the subjects of the interviews.

Kuper is better in other books and i urge anyone who hasnt read it to read Football Against The Enemy.

This was a good book between books really.
gave it an additional star

surprsingly good so far....quick snippets and stories about a lot of modern footballers...includes messi, xavi,iniesta , ronaldo , rooney, henry, zizou, cantona etc.

worth reading and i got it for just a pound :)
Aug 05, 2012 Rosa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Soccer fans
No revelations, but interesting and entertaining. The perfect book to read in waiting rooms and just before bed. Made more than ordinary by the quality of the writing; clear, evocative portraits of personalities in admirably few words.
Gordon Wilson
Very interesting read. It is essentially a collection of articles resulting from interviews of all the players involved, looking more at the person in the shirt rather than the player. A definite must read for all fans of the game.
I think the best sport in the world is soccer. I like to play soccer. Also, I wish to be the best soccer player.I think soccer is a good sport for the human, because if human plays soccer, then human will get stronger.
Really interesting book.
Nico Jung
I loved this book!I thought it was really good! Its genre is biography. This book is just telling about the most famous mens soccer players.
Danilo Pelletiere
Nice straight forward read about how the game has changed through the profiles of the men in the game. Perfect for traveling or a hospital vigil.
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