The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 2, 2008 - Sports & Recreation - 992 pages
1 Review
The definitive book about soccer, from the author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics.

There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.

In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport-now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

From cavemen to men on the moon, this book is full of history. The book offers a global view on soccer and where it came from. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, but it was rather long and comprehensive. I ended up reading it in two parts.

Nice book

User Review  - flapballchange -

Very detailed and easy reading. Read full review


Title Page
Britain and the Invention of Modern Football
Industrial Football
The Resistible Rise of Global Football
The International
The Commercialization
International Football and International
Latin American Football 19351954
João Havelange FIFA and
The European Crisis 19741990
Football under the Latin American
Africa 19741990
Football in the Americas 19902006
Football and Asias New Industrial
Football in Africa after the Cold War 19902006

European Football in War
Latin American Football 19551974
High Industrial Football in Europe
Football in Africa

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Among many other things, David Goldblatt is the author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics, and the writer and compiler of Dorling Kindersley's World Football Yearbook. Born in London in 1965, he now lives in Bristol, England.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information