Stamping Grounds

Stamping Grounds : Liechtenstein's World Cup Odyssey

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Charlie Connelly follows the Liechtenstein national football team through their defeat-strewn qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Drawn in a group with Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and mighty Spain, it was hard ever to see the principality's part-time players scoring even one goal, never mind adding to its meagre international points total. So what motivates a nation of 30,000 people and 11 villages to keep plugging away despite the inevitability of defeat? Travelling to all of Liechenstein's qualifying matches, Charlie Connelly examined what motivates a team proudly to take the field in the shirts of Liechtenstein despite the knowledge that they are, with notably few exceptions, in for a damn good hiding. Sampling the delights of the capital Vaduz such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the State Art Museum and, er, the Postage Stamp Museum again, Connelly provides an evocative and witty account of the land where every year on National Day the sovereign invites the population into his garden for a glass of wine.

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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 134 x 210 x 26mm | 381.02g
  • Little, Brown & Company
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Section: 8, b&w
  • 0316859397
  • 9780316859394

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Connelly followed the Liechtenstein's quest to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. What masochistic urge motivates the part-time players of a nation of 30,000 people [with one of the highest standards of living in Europe] to plug away despite the inevitability of defeat ? To answer this question Connelly sampled the delights of the principality where every year the sovereign invites the entire population into his garden for a glass of wine. A wry narrative will delight fans of Bill Bryson and Harry Pearson.

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About Charlie Connelly

Charlie Connelly is a freelance writer specialising in European sport and travel and has written for BBC Match of the Day magazine, Four Four Two, Time Out and the award-winning Scottish Sunday Herald Magazine.

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