La Roja
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La Roja : A Journey Through Spanish Football

3.65 (311 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The author of a best-selling biography of Diego Maradona, and similarly widely acclaimed books on FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, digs deep into the roots of the most popular sport, to look at how football played in Spain became the most admired in the world. From its early beginnings when the first football 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, the author shows how the engagement of foreigners with home-grown Spanish talent overcame political adversity and produced football of sublime skill, passion, and unparalleled entertainment value. The book takes us on a journey through some of the extraordinary characters, games, and moments that have defined Spanish football from the early days when a few enthusiasts developed their talent kicking a ball around on a piece of industrial waste-ground or beach, to the emergence of rival giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid - the most powerful and successful football clubs in the world - and a national team that, encompassing all that was most brilliant in the Spanish League, became the World Champions.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 28mm | 300g
  • Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16pp colour illustrations
  • 0857206540
  • 9780857206541
  • 107,223

Review quote

"[An] absorbing book....this book is a must read. It will make you appreciate the game even more than you do."--Barcelona Soccer Institute (blog) "Combining keen observations, informative research, and groundbreaking interviews with everyone from del Bosque to Kubala, Burns brings the dynamic history of Spanish soccer to life. "La Roja" is the inspiring journey of the circumstances and individuals who have shaped, nurtured, and created the superpower that the rest of the soccer world envies today."--The Soccer Room (blog)""La Roja" shows in colorful detail how the traditions and loyalties of one country ended up by giving us the finest clubs and national team of the present moment."--"Wall Street Journal" "Those who like to sneer that the world's most popular sport is a grossly exaggerated and often meaningless metaphor for the battle of real life should get hold of this splendid book."--"The Independent" "[A] vivid survey of Spanish football"--"Financial Times" "There is so much people don't know about Spain and Spanish football, and that is not a bad thing for as long as a complete writer like Jimmy Burns has a look at it and bring his unique vision of it. "La Roja" fills a hole in the knowledge of both Spain and Spanish football, as it goes beyond the football to explain a country, a society and its transformation through, thanks and despite the beautiful game."--Guillem Balague, Sky TV correspondent "Spain is a place where football, politics, history and regional identity are impossible to separate. "La Roja" is a fascinating and path-breaking study of the role this game has player in Spanish society right from its origins until the present day. Much of this history took place in the shadow of fascism, and Franco is an ever-present figure for a large part of this book. But Burns also studies the role football played in the transition to democracy, and the rise of one of the greatest teams the world has ever seen: Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, as wellshow more

About Jimmy Burns

Jimmy Burns is an award-winning journalist and author of seven other books. He was born in Madrid in 1953. He has reported for the Financial Times, London Observer, BBC and the Economist, and was the FT correspondent in South America in the early 80s and his book on Argentina and the Falklands War, The Land that lost its Heroes, won the 1988 Somerset Maugham Award for non-fiction. When not in Spain, or travelling elsewhere, he lives in London.show more

Rating details

311 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 18% (55)
4 41% (129)
3 31% (95)
2 9% (28)
1 1% (4)
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