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August 10, 2006

Calcio – The Most Interesting Book A Football Fan Can Read Today

5 out of 5 stars

I don't normally write reviews, but I don't often read non–history books and I know people don't really want to read about history books. But Calcio: A History Of Italian Football by John Foot is my current read and it is exactly described in the title of this article – it is the most interesting book a football fan can read today.

Like watching Fight Club or The Sixth Sense when you already know the ending, Calcio makes the perfect companion to the current troubles in Italian football. Names which anyone following the hilarious exploits of Juve, Lazio, Fiorentina and Milan will recognise keep popping up in curiously prescient scenarios, from long standing rumours of Juve's power of referees to the schemes and history of Luciano Moggi, the man behind much of the current crisis.

At 500+ pages it seems daunting but it's been written in nice, easy to digest, chapters which present things thematically. As a follower of English football it's also interesting to see how Italians stories meet English ones – from the failures of most British players who went over there, to the fact that Italians regarded England as the big rivalry for a long long time, they are worse at penalty shootouts than we are, and think England cheated in 1966.

I'm not very good at reviewing books so just go and read it, ok?

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