If you like to read and you’re a soccer fan, you have plenty of options for reading material, but that’s the problem. There are hundreds of thousands of soccer books, but there are only hundreds of them worth reading.
Soccer is the most popular sports in the world, so there are plenty of publishing companies that want to make money off of the world’s favorite pastime. The lazy companies opt to publish mindless drivel (i.e. basic books about Messi and Ronaldo filled with facts everyone already knows), but there are some amazing writers who publish true art.
I’m here to save you some time and effort. Just check out our list of the Top Ten Books About Soccer That every Fan Must Read. Rest assured that we will update this list as we find/read more great books. Check back soon for our Top Top Autobiographies.
1. I Am Zlatan
By Zlatan Ibrahimović
This book is a must read for anyone who loves literature! Honestly, if I had never watched soccer and never heard of Zlatan, this book would still be one of my favorite books of all time. This book is daring, flashy, innovative, and volatile…like the man. Zlatan Ibrahimović is a legend on the field, but he has also become notorious for his antics. He’s the kind of person that just makes you ask why, and this book answers all of the questions. It makes Zlatan make sense. He also gives insider (one-sided, albeit) details about his explosive relationship with Pep Guardiola.
I’m just going to say it. There’s no doubt Steven Gerrard will always be a legend for his footballing talents, but there’s just something about his voice… I was expecting his book to match that monotony. Kindle had suggested it to me so many times, but, one day, when I was bored in the beauty shop, I finally gave in. From the first word, I was hooked. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I’ll just say if I suffered through the kind of gruesome freak accident Gerrard experienced as a child, I would never touch a football again.
3. Outcasts United
This true story discusses one of the only reasons we can say that soccer is more than a game. Soccer is a safety net for children who would be devoured by the streets. Soccer serves as the one and only joy in life for children who live in poverty. Soccer also serves as a ticket out of crippling poverty for some of those very same kids. This is a true story of a female coach of Arabic descent leading a team of mostly African refugees in a rural American town. You can imagine the kind of obstacles they had to face, but you’ll never imagine how they overcame them. This is a feel-good story that reminds us what exactly is beautiful about the beautiful game.
4. Among the Thugs
This book is not for the faint of heart. This book is not for children. This book looks graphic violence and pure hatred straight in the face. What in the world does it have to do with soccer? This book was written by a man who started his journey into the depths of mob violence by following around football hooligans, the very people who soccer fans claim don’t represent the game.
5. The Beckham Experiment
By Grant Wahl
This is a must read for anyone who feels anything about MLS. Whether you love the league or hate it, this non-fiction work by a world-renowned Sports Illustrated writer explores the facts behind the way European superstars, such as David Beckham, impact the league.
6. Solo: A Memoir of Hope
Hope Solo might have made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, but everyone is more endearing when you hear their life story. Whether you love her or hate her, you’ll certainly be entertained by the end of this book. This book is a memoir about family loss, and reconciliation from Hope.
7. Seeing Red
Referees are perhaps the least represented demographic of soccer people in literature. This autobiography of Graham Poll, a man who spent almost three decades refereeing in the Prem gives the kind of insight you’ve always wanted. Mr. Poll doesn’t hold anything back; the most high-profile referee. he’s controversial and opininated…you want to read this one.
8. A Life Too Short The Tragedy of Robert Enke
This biography was written by one of Enke’s closest friends. Enke was a German football who committed suicide at the height of his career. It is a chilling reminder that the mental health of footballer’s is just as, actually far more, important than their fitness.
9. One Night in Turin: The Inside Story of a World Cup that Changed our Footballing Nation Forever
Italia 90 is a World Cup that will forever be remembered in history as one of the best. This story is a non-fiction personal account of the events almost a year in advance of that fateful night that England lost. The writer tells the story so skillfully that it almost seems like fiction.
10. Star Spangled Soccer: The Selling, Marketing, and Management of Soccer in the USA
Many would say that soccer has finally “made it” in America, but it sure took a lot of work for that to happen. This book gives a lighthearted, yet fact-filled, take on the businesses and fans that helped soccer get to where it is now in America and are determined to continue making it grow.
Have you read any good books lately on this beautiful game. Let us know and we will check it out. As always we look forward to your comments.