La Roja: How Soccer Conquered Spain and How Spanish Soccer Conquered the World

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PublicAffairs, May 29, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 384 pages
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La Roja is bestselling author Jimmy Burns tremendous opus on Spanish soccer. From its early beginnings when the first soccer 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, Burns show how the engagement of foreigners with home-grown Spanish talent overcame political adversity and produced football of sublime skill and passion that intoxicates fans around the world.

The book takes us on a journey through some of the extraordinary characters, classic matches, and brutal controversies that have defined Spanish football from the early days when a few enthusiasts developed their talent kicking a ball on a piece of industrial waste ground, to the emergence of rival giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid- the most powerful and successful football clubs in the world- to the Franco regime (that propped up the Madrid team) and democracy (where Barca has ruled), to and a national team that, encompassing all, became the world's champion.


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LA ROJA: How Soccer Conquered Spain and How Spanish Soccer Conquered the World

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The story of the rise of Spanish soccer against a deeply divided political background.In July 2012, the Spanish national men's soccer team won the European Football Championship, making them the first ... Read full review


The Boys from Almagro
Di Stéfano
Kubala and Other Hungarians
Herrera the Magician
An Officer in Charge
The Death of Franco
The Vulture Squad and Raúl

Growing Pains
Soccer with Cojones
The Magic of Mr Pentland
The South American Connection
Gathering Storms
Part 1
Part 2
Franco Rules
World Cup 1950
Of God Mammon and Philosophy
The Cruyff Factor and Venables
The Bruiser from Barakaldo
The Wise Man from Hortaleza
From Beckham to Guardiola
Champions of the World

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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 PeopleÕs Passion (Bloomsbury), Spain: A Literary Companion (John Murray) and Papa Spy (Quercus). He lives in Spain and London.

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