As we all know, football is one of the greatest hobbies around! What’s better than travelling through the whole country – and sometimes even further – with your friends, watching games and having a few beers? Or meeting with people to watch a game on TV together? Or travelling to fan tournaments and playing yourself? Not much, that’s for sure! :)
Alas there is this dark time called off-season, where you have to find another way to satisfy your football addiction. That’s exactly the time of the year football books have been written for, and in this blog I’m going to recommend you three of them.Fever Pitch
Written by Arsenal supporter Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch is a nice book about football obsession in form of an autobiography. It doesn’t talk too much about the “dark” sides of fandom, but maybe that’s also the reason why it’s a good first football book. It’s not great, but I still enjoyed it quite a lot when I read it several years ago. It’s possible that maybe my unexplainable affection for the Gunners has something to do with it… There’s also a movie with Drew Barraymore based on Hornby’s book, but the story was moved to Boston and involves a baseball team. Need i say more?
I bought this story of a die-hard Chelsea supporter in a book shop in Cork and have never regretted this decision. “Hoolifan” offers good insight into the phenomen of football holliganism, far from all the clichés traditional media has to offer on this topic. A mighty good read, highly entertaining and interesting.
A season with Verona
This book by British author Tim Parks, who lives in Verona for more than 20 years now, focusses on Hellas Verona and their infamous supporters, the brigatte gialloblu. In this mixture of travelogue, anecdotes and match accounts Parks not only talks about football and fans’ obsessions in general, but also about the specifics of Italy’s serie A and the Italian mindset in general. I’ve just finished this book and really liked it, so I can only recommend reading it.
And although it’s not a book, I’d also like to recommend the ballester, one of the best German language magazines on football. Give it a try, you surely won’t regret it!