"The World Is a Ball" by John Doyle
The World Cup has begun and around the world people are glued to their television sets, cheering for their favourite team and enjoying what is known as the beautiful game. In The World Is a Ball: The Joy, Madness and Meaning of Soccer, John Doyle examines the global appeal of soccer and how the realities of life are played out on the pitch.
The book is written from Doyle's perspective as a journalist covering recent major soccer tournaments. Though he is a television critic, soccer was influential in his life starting as a young boy growing up in Ireland. But then his Canadian newspaper sends him to cover the World Cup in 2002 and from there he begins his account of exciting games, crazy fans, and the grip that soccer has on the world.
Doyle not only covers the tournaments and games in-depth, but he takes you behind the scenes, introducing you to fans, players, journalists, taxi drivers and everyone who is touched by soccer fever.
If you are a die-hard soccer fan and you have watched the major tournaments of the last eight years, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you are new to the sport or a casual fan, you may find yourself a little lost through the book, but this is one book that will definitely give you the background and knowledge you need going into the 2010 World Cup.