Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Soccernomics” as Want to Read:
Soccernomics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Soccernomics

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  13,267 ratings  ·  613 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Soccernomics, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Md. Amin Got to read few pages of it and I am certainly interested.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
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
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
...more
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
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.
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
...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.
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
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: 2015, sport, non-fiction
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Damon
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soccer
Soccernomics is done in the style of "Freakanomics," but with a sports writer's eye for details and story. Having studied Statistics and Data Analysis, I know that all data and surveys results must be taken with a grain of salt. Although, the writers do have a persuasive argument for how economics and location, strongly effect why certain countries continually do well in international competitions, and others continue to struggle.
One particular chapter I liked, discussed Game Theory, and how it
...more
Michael Scott
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Inspired by Levitt's Freakonomics, Soccernomics is yet another book about ... wait ... it's the first book that tries to datamine everything about soccer (ahm, football.) Two authors with affinity for football and statistics have embarked in the eternal game of showing that you can prove anything you want with unverified data and faulty methods. Much as in the case of Freakonomics, I disliked the results: using the method of this work (regression of multiple rather thin and shaky datasets), you ...more
Omar
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book, highly recommended for any soccer enthusiasts.
Caleb
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book in the Freakonomics, Moneyball genre, and it is quite good. These guys have a strong mastery of the sports end plus the math to back it up. They certainly make some great points about overpaying for veterans and the lack of professionalism in managing.

Though I suppose a good thing, I had my quibbles. It's another book claiming there is no more parity in the NFL than in the Premier League and top soccer, and that's nonsense. The same few teams win every year in soccer, and the fact
...more
Ben
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm not a mathematician, but I am a lover of 'the beautiful game', and I found this book really engrossing and read it quickly. It has a completely different way of looking at football from a socio-economical/mathematical angle, and made some really good points. I didn't agree with all of their arguments though, I thought the logic was flawed in places, but I loved the fresh perspective and occasional appearance of dry humour throughout the book. In several places it hits you with some truths wh ...more
Matt
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: numbers, kindle, soccer
Soccernomics is a fantastic look at a soccer from a completely different point-of-view than you're probably used to seeing. Using statistical techniques like regression and massive amounts of old match results and other data related to both the classic and modern game of soccer, Kuper and Szymanski bring a new insight to how we think of the beautiful game. There are sections on national teams, club teams, and fans, and they all bring a style similar to Freakonomics and its look at different popu ...more
Christopher Bashforth
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent football book, whose premise is to provide statistical background to why certain teams do well and others do not. The authors provide 3 factors why certain countries do well; tradition, wealth and population and guess what – England actually do as well as statistically they should be expected to do. This provide ammunition to my argument that the English media overhypes the team’s chances and should learn a little humility. Other surprising revelations included that World Cups actually ...more
Prasanto Bimantio
Moneyball versi sepakbola!
Memang begitulah adanya, hal ini pun disebut pula oleh sang penulis yang beberapa kali mengutip berbagai hal dari "Moneyball".
Beberapa pembahasan di buku ini bagi orang awam mungkin akan terasa seperti semacam "cocokologi" belaka. Namun bila dipahami lebih mendalam, ternyata proses penarikan kesimpulannya sungguh sangat logis, buku ini menerapkan konsep big data sebelum konsep itu mulai populer belakangan ini.

Beberapa analisis yang menurut saya menarik perhatian diantar
...more
Nate
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had previously read How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer. In that book, Soccer is used to explain globalization. I thought this book would use soccer to explain global economics. This is the diametric opposite of that - it uses economics and statistical models to explain soccer. None the less, it is a great book. The authors have examined a mountains of data to illustrate the past,present, and future of global soccer. The potential dryness of stat ...more
Peter Stopford
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfect blend of stats and explanations, debunking some common footballing myths, and leaving me as a much more informed football fan than when I started. A highlight for me was linking football to socio-economic factors, using wealth - experience - population as variables to show how national teams were over, or under, performing relatively. A second highlight was looking at the history of British clubs and why industrialised cities outside of the state city became so successful. Brilliant bo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Zeta Book Recomme...: Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski 1 1 Nov 11, 2018 06:41PM  
soccer 1 20 Oct 28, 2013 07:35AM  
  • Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Football
  • The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer
  • Behind the Curtain
  • Tor!: The Story of German Football
  • The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong
  • The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime
  • Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer
  • Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life
  • Morbo: The story of spanish football
  • The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
  • The Beckham Experiment: How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America
  • A Season with Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character . . . and Goals!
  • Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten Game
  • Calcio: A History of Italian Football
  • Soccer in Sun and Shadow
  • Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics, and the First World Cup in Africa
  • The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness and Meaning of Soccer
“It seems that soccer tournaments create those relationships: people gathered together in pubs and living rooms, a whole country suddenly caring about the same event. A World Cup is the sort of common project that otherwise barely exists in modern societies.” 18 likes
“Whereas fanatic is usually a pejorative word, a Fan is someone who has roots somewhere.” 9 likes
More quotes…