La Roja: A Journey Through Spanish Football

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, Limited, Apr 30, 2012 - Soccer - 416 pages
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The author of a best-selling biography of Diego Maradona, and similarly widely acclaimed books on FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, digs deep into the roots of the most popular sport, to look at how football played in Spain became the most admired in the world.
From its early beginnings when the first football on the shores of Bilbao and Buenos Aires was played by British sailors and engineers, through to the influx of South American stars, and similarly inspirational Italians, Dutchman and Scandinavians, the author shows how the engagement of foreigners with home-grown Spanish talent overcame political adversity and produced football of sublime skill, passion, and unparalleled entertainment value.
The book takes us on a journey through some of the extraordinary characters, games, and moments that have defined Spanish football from the early days when a few enthusiasts developed their talent kicking a ball around on a piece of industrial waste-ground or beach, to the emergence of rival giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid - the most powerful and successful football clubs in the world - and a national team that, encompassing all that was most brilliant in the Spanish League, became the World Champions.

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About the author (2012)

Jimmy Burns was born in Madrid in 1953 of Anglo-Spanish parentage. His mother Mabel is the daughter of the doctor and writer Gregorio Maranon and his father Tom Burns, who died in 1994, was a publisher, journalist and diplomat. A senior writer for "The Financial Times," he has also contributed to many other media organizations around the world over the years including the BBC, CNN, National Public Radio, and Fox News. Winner of newspaper awards as an investigative reporter, he has also won the prestigious Somerset Maughan prize for non-fiction with his first book. His previous books are "When Beckham Went to Spain: Power, Stardom and Real Madrid" (Penguin), "The Hand of God: The Life of Diego Maradona" (Bloomsbury), "Barca: A People's Passion" (Bloomsbury), "Spain: A Literary Companion" (John Murray) and "Papa Spy" (Quercus). He lives in Spain and London.

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