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Stamping Grounds

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  15 reviews
STAMPING GROUNDS follows the Liechtenstein national football team through their defeat-strewn qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Drawn in a group with Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and mighty Spain, it was hard to see the principality's part-time players scoring even one goal, never mind adding to its meagre international points total. So what motivates a na ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 3rd 2005 by Abacus (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Harry Rutherford
Connelly’s account of following the Liechtenstein national soccer team during their qualification matches for the 2002 World Cup. After my previous book from Liechtenstein for the Read The World challenge turned out not to be from Liechtenstein at all, this one is at least about the country, even if it’s written by an Englishman.

You can see why he thought it would be a good subject for a humorous football book; there is something fascinating about these tiny countries, fielding largely amateur t
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: football
Interesting & nice account of Liechtenstein's continued attempts to qualify for a world cup despite being made up of predominately amateur & part-time players.

Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book about the attempts by the tiny alpine nation of Liechtenstein to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: football
For a long time I thought this would be too obscure for me, and that reading variations of 3- or 4-nil match reports wouldn't endear me to a writer who likes following leftfield football teams around Europe, then decides to put it into a book. But as Connelly developed relationships with people involved in Liechtenstein football, he won me round and generated a bit of affection from me for his adopted side.

The premise is that Connelly has had a successful book but reached a crucial combination o
Barbara Moss
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trekker-europe
A cheeky thought, to devote time and money to following Liechtenstein's international football team through a succession of defeats in the World Cup qualifying round. He had a lot of fun, got to know many of the players and officials, and learned how the losing side may be the one cheered off the field while the winners go home grumpy.
Aidan Williams
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
In what is quite an intriguing concept which appeals to the international football geek in me, Charlie Connolly followed the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein’s 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign. However, my inner geek was initially disappointed to find that I as reading more about the lack of interest Liechtenstein’s streets, and the author’s interactions with surly barmaids, than about the football team.

I should point out that Connolly does state that he is a travel writer, which explains a
This book is a kick. The author has a sort of self-deprecating, humorous style, which is truly the only acceptable way to deal with the fact that he suddenly got obsessed by a tiny national football team made up almost entirely of hobbyist. What happens is that the author finds himself returning time after time to the tiny principality of 30,000 people to figure out what motivates the players during a World Cup qualifying season and to learn what he can about this tiny European tribe.

The best pa
Alex Poovathingal
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a tale of the journey of Liechtenstein football team in a world cup qualification tournament.

Football is not all about glory. It can boast of one too many stories similar to David and Goliath. Victory for David in many of these cases is not just a win or a draw, but a decent loss too. Liechtenstein is one such team. A team whose best performance is not the 2-1 victory it had a few years back, but a 2-0 loss against a strong team.

A principality with no more than 30000 population and 300 o
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Having read other books on foreigners adopting a new team in a new country (e.g. A Season With Verona by Tim Parks/The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss) I was immediately interested in this book. This was slightly different as those books were more football intense as they were following the teams around for a whole club season - minimum 34 games in about 9 months. And doing so in a country (Italy) where football is a religion and permeates all parts of life.

Stamping Grounds on the o
Travis Kurtz
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
What does it look like for Liechtenstein, total population of 30,000 people, to compete against such countries as Spain, Austria, and Bosnia for a place in the 2002 World Cup? Chris Connelly mixes history, culture, and football to pull out an interesting story from an insignificant country and their insignificant attempt to make the World Cup. This book is strongest in Connelly's humor, the dry narrative will make you burst out laughing. I also appreciated his explanations of Liechtenstein's cul ...more
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Quirky travel book. Totally brilliant. This time the spin on the reason for the travelling is to follow the Liechtenstein football team as they attempt to qualify for the world cup finals.

Deffo going to check out more by him (and let my mum keep the one about the Shipping Forecast and get my own copy).
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the more bizzare books I found myself reading, the reasons being because I developed a small fascination with the small nation of Liechtenstein-which is probably the longest word I can spell- bizarrely interesting book, although to this day I have yet to visit Liechtenstein: and probably never will.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting story, and well told. Too much football - you would really have to like soccer to enjoy the book fully.
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Very good and funny. Reminds you that sports are about more than money, even in this day and age.
Steve Malbasa
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Lighthearted, funny read on a tiny European nation in their World Cup qualifying, knowing they have no chance of making it. Funny read, especially a slam on Crystal Palace.
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Charlie Connelly (born 22 August 1970, London, England) is an author of popular non-fiction books. In addition to being a writer, Connelly also appears as a presenter on radio and television shows.

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster. His many books include Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, In Search of Elvis: A Journey To Find The Man

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