Football is considered the number one national sport in Germany, and it is common knowledge that almost everyone considers themselves a national coach. But if you really want to have a say in modern soccer, you have to delve deeper into the subject matter with the help of knowledgeable experts. For this purpose, we have compiled the most recommendable soccer books for all ambitious fans. They have been written by high-profile experts or professional footballers, coaches, managers and other people involved in the soccer business, have become bestsellers and are highly regarded in the professional world.
Be it good footballer biographies, which let you understand the character and sporting developments of absolute top players, be it works about the most successful clubs and leagues and the most popular tournaments, be it standard works on the history of soccer or the currently most successful strategies and tactics, or be it other books, for example, around major scandals or interesting anecdotes – in our best lists should find every fan with regard to his special interests. howitstart
MATCHDAYS (RONALD RENG, 2013)
In 2013, the Bundesliga celebrated its 50th anniversary and the market was subsequently flooded with books on the subject. Some of them certainly worth reading, but many were inconsequential and aimed only at making a quick buck by celebrating the milestone birthday of Germany’s elite division and reproducing historical tables and results. Author Roland Reng takes a different approach. The Robert Enke biographer traces the history of the Bundesliga and its development from a staid playing class to a highly professional economic factor on the basis of a single man: Heinz Höher, who is probably only known to real soccer insiders, but who was always involved in the first 50 years of the Bundesliga – whether as a player, coach, sports director or talent scout. “By far the best book on the Bundesliga anniversary,” as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reviewed it, was awarded the “Soccer Book of the Year 2013” prize.
REVOLUTIONS ON THE TURF – A HISTORY OF FOOTBALL TACTICS (JONATHAN WILSON, 2011)
Ever heard of the “W-M system?” Or of the “Scottish furrow”? Or the “Scheiberln”? No? Then it’s high time! If you are the slightest bit interested in the subject of soccer tactics, you can’t miss Jonathan Wilson’s masterpiece, which was named “Soccer Book of the Year” in Great Britain in 2008. In a gripping narrative, Wilson describes the evolution of the game from its chaotic beginnings in Victorian England to the high-speed soccer of FC Barcelona in the 21st century, repeatedly focusing on players and coaches who have revolutionized soccer through their actions.
THE SOCCER MATRIX (CHRISTOPH BIERMANN, 2010)
In his Football Matrix, renowned journalist Christoph Biermann embarks on a “search for the perfect game” and examines the question from different angles: Can soccer be calculated? Biermann compares soccer to chess with Felix Magath, delves into the world of soccer data, provides insights into the mysterious laboratory of AC Milan and describes how digitalization has changed soccer. Biermann also explains how to take a penalty kick, why the introduction of the three-point rule has made the game more defensive, and how a club avoids bad buys partyguise. The Süddeutsche Zeitung’s conclusion: “Anyone who is really interested in soccer should read this great book.” Incidentally, this also applies to its successor, “Matchplan – Die neue Fußball-Matrix,” which was published in 2018.
90 (CHRISTIAN EICHLER, 2017)
A game lasts 90 minutes, that is well known. But Christian Eichler impressively shows that you can get much more out of this – at least in soccer – magic number. For in his book “90 or The Whole History of Football in 90 Games,” the sports editor fully delivers on his title promise. Eichler tells the story of 90 significant soccer matches, including triumphs of blatant underdogs, legendary World Cup finals or the crazy 4:2 between Barbados and Grenada at the 1994 Caribbean Cup. But also club matches like the “Finale dahoam,” Gladbach’s 7:1 against Inter Milan in the European Cup of National Champions or Liverpool’s comeback in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan are included. Eichler’s “virtuoso ball chart through more than 150 years of soccer history” was named Football Book of the Year in 2018.
SOCCERMATICS: FOOTBALL AND THE MAGIC OF NUMBERS (DAVID SUMPTER, 2016)
What do soccer teams have in common with the schooling behavior of fish? Do goals in soccer fall according to the Poisson distribution? What is game theory, anyway? Questions you might not ask yourself as a soccer fan, but David Sumpter answers them in detail. Admittedly: At first glance, the book by the professor of applied mathematics at the Swedish University of Uppsala on the connections between mathematics and soccer is heavy fare. However lifestylefun, anyone with a soft spot for the fascination of numbers should read “Soccermatics.
ALL AMATEURS (BENJAMIN KUHLHOFF & ILJA BEHNISCH, 2018)
The “real” soccer is not played in the Bundesliga or Champions League, but in the amateur classes. At the small clubs where all the national players also started out. There, where the showers are cold, the jerseys stink and the players on the pitch are not blessed with the greatest talent. But that doesn’t matter! All Amateurs editors Benjamin Kuhlhoff and Ilja Behnisch follow a typical village club in the midst of a relegation battle and impressively describe the fascination that amateur soccer brings. And of course, the third half of the season is not neglected.