The U.K.-based Guardian newspaper has a thriving books section and maintains its own bookstore for its publishing wing. Readers might be surprised to discover that the most popular book is about soccer, entitled I Am the Secret Footballer.
The author, writing anonymously, is a professional soccer player in the twilight of his career who tells-all about his rise up the ranks of soccer in England, his excessive spending, and a lot about the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends), including some juicy tidbits about sex in swimming pools and infidelity. The more tender moments of the story relate to the author’s crippling depression and his criticisms of how fame corrupts relationships.
The Guardian has ingeniously published a video of the secret footballer juggling in full spandex and a hoodie, but the clip gives away a little bit (juggling styles are very personal, and anyway some fans suspect he is midfielder Jimmy Bullard.) It is a brilliant marketing ploy.
Much of the story has been written about before in other sports, but here is a tasty morsel for the writing world: the author is considering writing novels. While we haven’t been dazzled by his prose, it’s worth watching the shelves. Anthony Bourdain’s bold forays into writing and graphic novels prove that anything is possible, right?
Two goalless draws, misfiring new strikers, a Mancunian Van Persie wondergoal. All the ingredients are there for the overzealous pessimism that has surrounded Arsenal in recent years to thrive as we settle in this new season. The Premier League has only been back for two weeks and already that one irrational thought is ringing in the back of Arsenal fans’ minds: “What if Arsenal actually never score again without Robin Van Persie?”. Naturally the goals will come, but what will be more interesting to see is who will be taking charge of the scoring responsibilities.
“At 20 years old, Neymar is already the highest-paid soccer player in Brazil. He is the face (and future) of soccer’s South American mecca. He is, in the words of no less than perhaps the greatest player in history, a technical marvel, a wizard with magical feet. “
Since 2006, the Spanish national football team has been focused on maximising the greatest strength of its playing staff – midfielders passing the ball quickly over short distances. In the years since then, the numbers of both passes and midfielders have increased greatly in all areas of their game. On Monday 18 June – at approximately 22.31 hours local time – in the PGE Arena in Gdańsk, Poland played host to the apotheosis of Spanish football ideal; three midfielders combined to propel a ball over the goal line from the shortest range possible. This is the story of how Spain walked it in.