Globe and Mail columnist John Doyle explores the international phenomenon of soccer.
It's a journey that begins with the first game John saw, in 1960s-era Ireland, through soccer in the 21st century - the World Cups in 02 and 06, the European Championships in 04 and 08. And Doyle has traveled the globe during the build-up to next year's World Cup 2010. In between the drunken fans, crazed taxi drivers, leprechauns and lederhosen, Doyle muses on the evolution of soccer as a global phenomenon. He shows a sport where for 90 minutes on the pitch anything seems possible. A game where colonized nations can tackle the power of their colonizers; where oppressed immigrant groups can thoroughly trounce their host countries. This book examines soccer from a new angle. John Doyle offers a compelling social history of the ultimate sport, each country and team competing in the historic 2010 World Cup, and how the game has kept pace as the global village has sprung up around the playing field. (hb)