Sunday, 26 November 2017

My favourite football reads with Freedom Brewery

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It seems like a fair while since I've done a post about arguably my biggest hobby, namely football. Seeing as I have the co-ordination of an Ostrich after having its wisdom teeth out, I've had to limit my love of the beautiful game to watching and reading about all things footie, and realising that my last Football books post is over 2 years old, I thought it time to have an update!

Books

Tor: The story of German football

A genre of football books that has truly burst into life in the UK in the past decade has been the footballing history book. From Alex Bellos' "Futebul: A Brazilian way of life" for Jonathan Wilsons' "Behind the curtain: Football in Eastern Europe", fantastic in depth books explaining how iconic styles of football have come to be, and how a national identity can be embedded into, or even forged from the great game, have emerged in their dozens, and Tor! is no different.

Although it naturally doesn't have the romanticism of Futebol, or the passion of Calcio (John Foots history of Italian football) it tackles how German football came to be in typical efficient style, from how the countries obsession with gymnastics and calisthenics founding the need of fitness in the game, to how a nation won a world cup 9 whole years before they even had a professional league, this is a must read for anyone interested in what makes the Germans so bloody good at the biggest sport in the world. Football Cliches Everything that Tor! is, Football Cliches isn't. Sitting very much on the opposite end of the spectrum, Twitter must follow Adam Hurrey uses his almost outsider take of football terminology to shine a light on it and show how bizarre it is that seemingly only goalkeepers have a union, or that only small footballers can be described as diminutive. Having grown up watching the premier league, there are so many parts of the footballing language that only when you take step back, do you realise how strange it is (why do I immediately know the difference between slotting it past the keeper lashing it past?!) and Hurrey does a great job of turning this weird cliches into an entertaining read.

The Football Ramble

Anyone who anything about football podcasts will have heard of the football ramble, the largest independent footballing podcast in the country, and last year they finally brought their light hearted take on football to paper form. Navigating through several key parts of what makes football football, from the fans to the stadiums themselves, the 4 writers take it in turns put put their spin on what allured them to the sport they love. Not a book for those looking for in depth knowledge, more like having a chat with your mates about weird anecdotes that make someones relationship with football such a unique experience.

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Magazines

Mundial

A magazine that seems much older then its 11 issues, Mundial is a master magazine when it comes to tapping into the nostalgia and sentimentality that people possess around football. With issue 11 focussing on Beckham, Baggio, le tournoi and a section dedicated to female fans of the game, its clear that Mundial shifts like many modern football magazines do, into in depth and alternative looks into iconic figures and events, as well as delving into footballing culture in general. As the availability of footballing news becomes more and more, magazine such as this become the perfect places for more in depth general footballing stories, and there aren't many better than Mundial.

Glory

As previous discussed, with the information and insight into football becoming easier and easier to find for free, paid for magazines are having to find more and more niche sudjects to tackle, and they frankly don't get more niche than Glory's 1st edition; an entire issue on the Faroe Islands. Now a lot of people might accept that a book on german football is fine, but a magazine on the Faroe Islands would make even the most ardent of footballing hipsters raise an eyebrow, but her me out, it's actually quite good...

Talking less about the ins and outs of Faroe Islandian (Faroeian? Faroe Islandist?) football in itself, Glory focusses more on what drives the people taking part, be it the players themselves or the hardcore fans, to do so. Including an entire section on the Faroes win against Austria in 1990, the magazine shows how all footballing acheivement and national pride is relative, and that nations such as this, ones which have no chance of success beyond the islands them self, represent the romance of the sport in its purest forms. And as a little bonus, it even has a breakdown of the 6 best (and possibly only?) beers made in the Faroe Islands, what's not to like?!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Freedom Breweries, who as part of their 25th Hour campaign have been encouraging people to find an extra hour in the day to spend on their hobby or passion project, and I've had great fun reading these books and magazines, as well as re-reading some old favourites, in my extra hour. I'm a big fan of the beer, and thoroughly suggest that you try them out!
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