Arguably the world's most popular sport, soccer has its own colorful lore, still little known in a nation only now beginning to give the game its due. This book offers the perfect opportunity to catch up on soccer's rich history-and to discover some of the funniest, most ironic, outlandish, and tragic stories ever to come out of the world of sports. Taking readers as far afield as the Faeroe Islands, Thailand, Madagascar, Belarus, Bhutan, and the North Pole, the selections in Soccer Stories range from the strange (Brazilian players paid in cattle by their cash-strapped club) to the wild (the Mexican prison warden who threw open all the cell doors in celebration of a World Cup victory) to the comical (the referee who ejected himself). Here is the plane crash that wiped out the Italian team on the eve of its fifth straight national championship; the spiteful African club that scored 149 goals against itself in one game; and the youngster who banked a shot into the goal off a passing seagull. As lively as it is informative, Soccer Stories will engage fans of all levels.
A longtime soccer writer, Donn Risolo served as ESPN/ABC's chief researcher for coverage of the 1994 World Cup for matches at the Rose Bowl. He is the coauthor of The Wilson Guide to Soccer.
Introduction1. Everyone, Everywhere2. History3. World Cup4. Misbehavior5. Soccer, War, and Peace 6. America7. Referees8. Coaches9. Superlatives10. Snafus11. Tragedies12. Only in SoccerBibliographic Essay