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

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  756 Ratings  ·  62 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
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
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
Kirsten
Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soccer, 2016-books
Some interesting insights into the men who have or recently have attracted a vast amount of attention from soccer lovers. It's interesting too to see how a few of Kuper's predictions - so often rather arrogantly stated - have already failed, even in the short time since this book was published.

Or perhaps I only enjoy that because I'm irritated by his casually inserted sexism - something he himself may not even be aware of, as it's so prevalent in these soccer men, but it's annoying nonetheless.
Esteban
Oct 31, 2016 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
During the month of April in the book Soccer Men, I read about Steven Gerrard. Steven Gerrard is probably on of England's best players of all time. He was born in Whiston England which is very close to England. He's loved Liverpool since he was a young boy. Gerrard entered Liverpool's youth academy at age 13. After making his way up from the academy he made his official debut for Englands national team at the age of 18. He also is apart of one of the world's best champions leagues finals ever. H ...more
Damon
Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soccer
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
dianne
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Thomas
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Liz De Coster
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
In some ways, this book was totally on target for me: a lot of coverage of English player (nationals and league), followed by the Dutch (nationals more than league), some French (nationals) and Spanish (Barcelona) players. I'm not personally enthused by Italian soccer so I didn't find their absences to feel like omissions. Asian players are basically absent from the discussion, and the South American and African players have limited representation. Kuper writes for Western European papers, so cl ...more
Andrew Thappa
This book was pretty mediocre. The interviews he conducted with the players and coaches seem only skin deep. For me, the most interesting part was using the interviewee list as a way to search YouTube for soccer highlights.
Abhinav
A series of brilliant profiles on players, managers & "some other football men". For fans who'd love to brush up their knowledge of the game, its history, anecdotes & trivia, this is a treasure trove by all means.

Strongly recommended.
Graham
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ju Yang
The book was written by a well-known soccer insider Simon Kuper. It is a compilation of articles in the past few years on various famous soccer players, club managers and other stakeholders of the Beautiful Game.

The book is organized in a way very suitable for a busy full-time professional, who can only read during squeezed 10-20 minutes here and there. Each article profiles a player or a manager. In your Kindle it will be easy to search via Table of Content. You won’t need to worry about disrup
...more
Jorge Acevedo
I have read the book Soccer Men by Simon Kuper. It is a book about the greatest soccer players all around the world. It talks, about their life stories from them playing in an amateur league to becoming the stars they are today. It doesn’t just focus on one player, but it tells you about every professional soccer player of there time. In my opinion, this book was the greatest book I have read so far.
Simon Kuper’s, New York Times bestseller, made a new way of looking at soccer as what he calls
...more
Sam Hatem
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book Soccer Men by Simon Kuper is a great read for any soccer fan. In the book, Kuper tells the stories of many of soccer's past and present great players, managers, and figures in the soccer world. The stories told may be about the relatively unknown background of the icon, how that person has become successful, or their personality out of the spotlight. A particular story that I enjoyed was that of the current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Wenger experienced a great amount of success in h ...more
Bill
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
J.L.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michelle
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2014
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
Sergio P
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Akin
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
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
Pete
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, sport
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dan Nowinski
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soccer Men is about footballers and their about how they dominate or dominated the game of soccer which is the world’s most popular sport. It shows a collection of all of the great soccer players that are still on the pitch or off it. Whether, you like the game of soccer, have played it for your entire life or are just becoming a new fan of the beautiful game, then Soccer Men is a solid read for you.
Moustafa
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book is because it is made for people who like soccer and who enjoy all the greatest players stories and all of their greatest moments. The second reason I think people should read this book is because it has all of the most famous players from today and the past. The third reason I think people should read this book is because this book also explains where these players were raised and what there family was like and how these had an impact for them while they were growing up.
Henry C.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
...
Mar 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Spiros
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: collectors of anecdotes
Shelves: remainders
A swell collection of brief thumbnail sketches of soccer players, kind of fun to read. Kuper seems to incidentally argue that players of different nationalities share common traits: French (mostly West African) players are free spirits, Dutch players are eccentrics, Italian players are monomaniacs, British players are corporate dullards. My suspicion is that a lot of this narrative comes down to Kuper's selecting his subjects to fit in with these generalizations.
7-8
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Leigh-Anne
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!
Jared S
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first reading the book Soccer Men. I thought that it was very interesting to read because the author starting writing about soccer at the age of sixteen. The book SOCCER MEN was very interesting because the author had introduced a lot of tons of famous soccer players from 1997 to 2010. I think that author has done a tremendous job on publishing this book SOCCER MEN.
Jennifer
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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