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Soccernomics

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  15,111 ratings  ·  695 reviews
Why do England lose? Why does Scotland suck? Why doesn’t America dominate the sport internationally... and why do the Germans play with such an efficient but robotic style?

These are questions every soccer aficionado has asked. Soccernomics answers them.

Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on
...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Nation Books (first published 2009)
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Md. Amin Got to read few pages of it and I am certainly interested.

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  15,111 ratings  ·  695 reviews


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Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann
As soccer being my favorite sport, I was really hoping to like this a lot more than I actually did; and it did have some really interesting parts to it. A big problem it had in fact was it took way to long to actually get to those good parts. If it had kept in my favorite sections and cut the length of the book in half, I would be giving this book 5 stars easily. I can't complain too bad though, because I did get some enjoyment out of it and I did get some really interesting facts as well.
Toby
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, football
Fascinating use of statistics to disprove the prevailing social mindset on how football functions, a real easy and enjoyable read.

Quick answers for you:
Why doesn’t America dominate the sport internationally? Actually it's because they still don't care too much and haven't imported enough European knowledge.
Why England loses? They're actually better than they ought to be.
Why Australia is destined to become the kings of the world's most popular sport? That's a lie designed to sell copies of the b
...more
Mark
May 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, sport, soccer
For a book that tries to equate MoneyBall to soccer it completely misses the point. It picks and chooses facts, wraps it in very basic stats to make it sound like they have done some work and maths and present there theories as fact which don't stand up to any scrutiny.

I have never been so relived that the last 10% of the book was acknowledgements and and index.

That said the passages about OL was interesting but the only thing I really took from it was under 23 is an ideal age to buy a player.
Daniel Solera
Soccernomics is a statistical study of the world’s most popular sport in the vein of Steven Levitt’s bestseller Freakonomics. Authors Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski delve into soccer by abandoning all conventional wisdom about the sport and studying it strictly by the numbers. Because of their data-heavy approach, the majority of the book focuses on European soccer, because it is from European sources that their findings are most reliable.

The book is framed around several questions: Which coun
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James Van
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting take on lots of stuff about soccer, and I learned a bunch of stuff, but I think some of the conclusions are flat-out wrong.

I think the authors tried to draw too many conclusions from a relatively small amount of knowledge of baseball and football. Many lessons have been learned since Moneyball (defense is valuable), and there's a lot more knowledge about football (running backs, not so much) than what was stated.

One chapter tried to argue that the NFL has no more parity than the EPL
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Sumit Singla
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is the Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything of football. The book explores common questions in football and uses data to dispel many mythical notions.

Why don't England win more often? Who are the best fans? What is the best business model in club football? What is the link between medical facilities in a nation and its on-field success? Why aren't there more Champions League winners from the biggest capital cities across Europe?

Apart from answering the
...more
Cristian
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
As I salivate over the obscenely large television I might be purchasing just in time for this year's world cup, I was really hoping this book would give me an overview of the global soccer business. Instead, it was a disconnected series of not-that-interesting anecdotes, with lots of statistics, some of which weren't bad, but none that exciting. These guys could have used Michael Lewis as an editor -- he could have maybe spun the book into decent shape.
Indecisive79
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
As a recent (~last five years or so) fan of soccer beyond watching the US at the World Cup, and as someone who respects how insightful data analysis can help us see through what turns out to be weakly justified or even flatly erroneous received wisdom, this book should have been in my wheelhouse. And indeed, parts of it were. There are a lot of interesting points made here about a range of topics, like how, contra the complaints of supposedly beleaguered fans, England actually overperforms in in ...more
Alicia
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Marcelo and I got into a screaming fit last night over this book. I was trying to tell him some things that this book said and he didn't believe me. And so he started going off about how anyone can put ANYTHING in a book, and how you can't always believe what books say. (I think he was supposed to be talking about the Internet, but whatever). I think he was offended when I said that English Soccer owners run their clubs very unlike Americans. So the English almost never make money, but the Ameri ...more
Sumit RK
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Soccernomics = Freakanomics + Soccer.
If you loved Freakanomics Or If you like either Soccer or Economics, you will love Soccernomics.
Adrian
In preparation for the World Cup. This book was published in 2012 and is a bit dated but still full of knowledge and theories about soccer. The pair are reporter and economist and naturally they use a lot of numbers and formulae to make their points. I'm not sold on all of these numbers in particular the significance of population size on a country's success at the sport. Nonetheless they write with wit and wisdom on many things including; the unreliability of the transfer market, the significan ...more
Mad Hab
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall good, very informative good encyclopedia for football fans. The chapter on suicides and football was a little too much.
Nobody likes Trump, but I don't think it is necessary to tell that in the book about football when he doesn't fit into context at all.
This review is about the World Cup edition.
Rob
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sport, 2015
Being precisely one of the people who tends to scoff at the supposedly American use of the word 'soccer', preferring and even insisting on 'football', there's a chastening moment in this tome when the writers, who have been using the word enough by that stage to really be sticking in my craw, point out that in fact the decline in the use of the word essentially dates to the late 1970s, when the NASL was formed. That it's essentially a form of cultural snobbery: you use it, then we won't. Which I ...more
Amr Fahmy
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is nice in some parts where the authors leave statistics aside, like when they quoted somebody else or didn't talk in just numbers. it was very nice explaining the Hiddink experience, south african football, whether club boards really care or not about silverware, working class values between English footballers and so. But it was really boring and a bit naive when it used regression and other techniques with some factors to check whether a certain country is overachieving or underperforming ...more
Karel Baloun
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This smart application of data to the business of soccer teaches a lot about business, in ways that are fun to quickly absorb. Nothing especially shocking, but I hadn’t known how bad a business soccer is everywhere in the world, which is just another way of saying that soccer has an efficient and meritocratic global market for transferring money from soccer revenues to the player salaries.

The authors go far beyond soccer, and prove that success at sports is highly correlated with the UN’s human
...more
Walker
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
The first 30% - 40% of this book was fantastic; It addressed really engaging topics like how to take advantage of inefficiencies in the transfer market to gain a competitive advantage, corruption in soccer's governing bodies, sexism and racism in soccer - all of which were backed up by tons of useful and well put together data. The middle of book was good. The only bad thing I can say about it is that a few of the book's conclusions were reached by evidence which was largely anecdotal and the to ...more
Ian
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very good book; dispels the myths behind some of soccer's biggest fallacies and uses numbers and data to show patterns often unnoticed and where the sport is likely headed in the near future. while sometimes a chore to get through due to its mass amount of data and numbers, its anecdotes are superbly interesting and a joy to read. would highly recommend this book to soccer fans, especially left-brained people. this book did open me up to the joys of numbers, data, and analytics, but sometimes it ...more
Leah Marchello
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was particularly interested in reading this book because of my family's recent interest in soccer. My little brother has been playing it for about two years now and my step-dad and step-brothers are obsessed. However, even though I'm surrounded by soccer-loving people, I don't know much about it. This book was a deeper dive than I intended to read and was more focused on numbers. Great for someone super into soccer/knows a lot about it, but that just isn't me.
Autumn Kotsiuba
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I live in Eastern Europe and have quickly learned that a knowledge of football is almost as important as a knowledge of Russian. I thought this would be a good place to start.

There are some interesting conclusions drawn from data here, but it is definitely a book meant for someone already immersed in the cult world of soccer. I had to google a lot of references and wasn't familiar with most players mentioned (a fault of my own, not the book's). Only recommended for hard-core fans.
Clinton Hutchings
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, soccer, kindle
As a fairly new soccer fan (go Reds!), this book is fantastic! There's a bunch of history about soccer (both league play, managers, players and by country) and engaging premises and conclusions, using some basic data and econometrics as a springboard. Definitely a book that should continue to be updated every decade or so to update/test the hypothesis.
Matthew
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is a deep dive analysis into all things soccer. It verges on academic, with statistics and studies galore, but it succeeds in drawing out fascinating conclusions the same way Freakonomics generally does. If analyzing the why of soccer interests you then this book is a must have.
Marin
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The authors seem to pick and choose data to prove various points they make – a proof that there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.
I admired the enthusiasm of the authors and some of the anecdotes they told are fun, so I will give them 2 stars instead of 1.
Lanko
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: football, 2019
Some really good insightful stuff mixed with absolute non sense making it clear sometimes the author and his sources were completely out of their depth.

Dave Purcell
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent read that many intriguing questions about the game of soccer from sociological and economic perspectives. It's a bit long in parts, but definitely well worth your time if you're interested in soccer. Be sure to get the latest edition, updated for the 2018 World Cup.
Vedran
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll put this in simple terms: If you love football, read this. It'll help you develop a deeper understanding for the most famous sport in the world through getting to know the financial and sociological background of the beautiful game. A must read.
Xavi Sallent Tonijoan
A must for people getting into soccer management.
Nick
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the best way to explain how fascinating and unusual this book is, is to look at the people that wrote it; it's such a curious combination that the book takes time to explain how they even met in its introduction (it was at a conference in Turkey). Simon Kuper is the kind of man you might expect, a sports columnist published in several broadsheets and with two previous books about football under his belt, but Stefan Szymanski holds a PhD in economics, has written about politics and arts for ...more
Rob
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A longer version of the following review can be accessed at: Why England Lose

I must confess that I entered upon the reading of Why England Lose with a heavy heart. Although I enjoyed the playful tone and sharp conclusions of Freakonomics, I found it to be a somewhat glib volume that exercised extreme selectivity with its data in order to “prove” its points. For the world of football to be afforded the same treatment by an economics profession that has largely lost touch with the real world, been
...more
Francis Kayiwa
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ian
I’ll be honest I saw the review

“A blend of Freakanomics and Fever Pitch, bringing suprising economic analysis on the world’s most popular sport… a thught-provoking, often amysing read –Bloomberg News“

trumpeted on the cover of this book and I instinctively knew it would be a chore to like it. I quite enjoyed reading Fever Pitch and the less I say about Freakanomics the better. As with Freakanomics *sigh* it is puzzling if one is expected to read this as a scholar or as a popularization of a schol
...more
Brian Sison
The quote on the cover sums it up: "A blend of Freakonomics and Fever Pitch, bringing surprising economic analysis to bear on the world's most popular sport." - Bloomberg News

The chapter on penalty kicks was outstanding, some others not so much.
A lot of the best parts of the book were seeming non-sequiturs relative to the primary push of the authors. Along with the question of penalty kicks, the authors whetted the appetite of the reader by touching on topics of discrimination in soccer, the ri
...more
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Zeta Book Recomme...: Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski 1 3 Nov 11, 2018 06:41PM  

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