Friday, October 06, 2006

Forza Italia, Calcio, and the Italian Job

Being recently unemployed, I've been luckily surprised to find myself with the ability (and it is an ability) to not only enjoy the baseball playoffs, darts championships and a myriad of consumer-product driven television, but also the odd book about soccer.

I was a bit late to find Paddy Agnew's Forza Italia: A journey in search of Italy and its football, an excellent memoir-type book about his experience as the Irish Times' Rome correspondent. I highly recommend this, not just because it gives us some insight (much of which isn't surprising) into Italian soccer, but also because his style is very readable while watching other sports on TV.

John Foot's Calcio: A history of Italian football looks equally as intriguing, pointing as Agnew does at just intertwined soccer is into the rest of Italian society. Above all, the UCL professor of modern Italian history attempts to simplify what to a non-Italian seems complicated and murky.

The Italian Job, by Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti, who I recently saw on Chelsea TV, naming his favorite team in his history of following the Blues. Marcotti is an international sports writer who is well-known on this side of the pond for working with Sports Illustrated, but is a known for his work at The Times. Gianluca Vialli, former player manager of Chelsea during what I remember as the Gianfranco Zola-era, and was one of the most successful Chelsea managers before Jose Mourinho and works with Sky Italia.

Give us your thoughts on and suggestions for soccer books you've enjoyed.

Profiles: Paddy Agnew [The American]
Forza Italia and Calcio Review [Independent]
Calcio Review [Guardian]
The Italian Job Amazon review [Amazon UK]


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