Calcio: A History of Italian Football

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HarperCollins Publishers, Jan 21, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 592 pages
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The first history of Italian football to be written in English, ‘Calcio’ is a mix of serious analysis and comic storytelling, with vivid descriptions of games, goals, dives, missed penalties, riots and scandals in the richest and toughest league in the world.

‘Calcio’ tells the story of Italian football from its origins in the 1890’s to the present day. It takes us through a history of great players and teams, of style, passion and success, but also of violence, cynicism, catenaccio tactics and corruption.

We meet the personalities that have shaped this history – from the Italian heroes to the foreigners that failed, the model professionals to the mavericks. ‘Calcio’ evokes the triumphs (the 1982 World Cup victory) and the tragedies (Meroni, the 'Italian George Best', killed by his number one fan), set against a backdrop of paranoia and intrigue, in a country where the referee is seen as corrupt until proven otherwise.

Calcio is no longer a game. It is sometimes difficult to define it as a sport. It is certainly big business and a fanatical civic religion. There is no moral code here. Winners are always right, losers always wrong. This history of Italian football reveals all about the richest and toughest league in the world.

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About the author (2010)

John Foot is Reader in Modern Italian History in the Italian Department, University College London. His previous books include ‘Milan since the Miracle: City, Culture and Identity’ and ‘Modern Italy’. He writes for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement. He lives in London and Milan.

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