Bill's Reviews > Soccer Men: Profiles of the Rogues, Geniuses, and Neurotics Who Dominate the World's Most Popular Sport

Soccer Men by Simon Kuper
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's review
Apr 30, 12

Read in April, 2012

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 sunglasses on his head and a sweater slung over his should who gets into his sports car and drives his beautiful girlfriend to a beer garden, where they drink wheat beer in sight of a mountain. Then the Bavarian nature person thinks, like the clerk in a Heinrich Heine story, 'How beautiful nature in general is!' "

On Andres Iniesta:
"Guardiola studied Iniesta for a bit, turned to Xavi, and said, 'You've seen that? You'll push me towards the exit, but that guy will send us both into retirement.' "

This is not a longform treatise on the soccer player but rather a set of vignettes that pull together into a single vision of the modern player. Easily readable. You'll seek to read it in small chunks and then you'll fall into a common pattern..."Just one more chapter tonight...It's short".

Recommended for anyone interested in the mentality of a modern professional athlete.

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