La Roja: A Journey Through Spanish Football (Anglais) Relié – 10 mai 2012
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Lead review by Mark Damazer, Financial Times
'A splendid book' James Lawton, Independent
"A brilliant and comprehensive study" - Richard Wilson 06/11
Présentation de l'éditeur
From its early beginnings when the first football on the shores of Bilbao and Buenos Aires was played by British sailors and engineers, through to the influx of South American stars, and similarly inspirational Italians, Dutchman and Scandinavians, the author shows how the engagement of foreigners with home-grown Spanish talent overcame political adversity and produced football of sublime skill, passion, and unparalleled entertainment value.
The book takes us on a journey through some of the extraordinary characters, games, and moments that have defined Spanish football from the early days when a few enthusiasts developed their talent kicking a ball around on a piece of industrial waste-ground or beach, to the emergence of rival giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid - the most powerful and successful football clubs in the world - and a national team that, encompassing all that was most brilliant in the Spanish League, became the World Champions.
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Jimmy Burns has written an amenable yet substantive story about how Spain went from a bullfighting nation to kings of international football.
He goes way back to the 1880s and an English-owned mine in Huelva where the first games of football were played exclusively by Brits. The journalistic knitting continues as Basque teams assert primacy and then Argentines come to enliven the game with a quick passing style.
"La Roja" is about the places where such trends were born and the people who sowed them on Spanish soil.
Burns's chronicling of Barcelona F.C's role as an expression of Catalan culture and its rivalry with Real Madrid is deftly woven into discussion of the defeated Republic, the Monarchy, the Falange and, poignantly, the names of soccer players killed during the Spanish Civil War.
Noteworthy, too, is Burns's analysis of the Franco dictatorship's aggressive engagement with football as a tool to soothe tensions on the Iberian peninsula, as a propaganda weapon, and as diplomatic entry to worlds otherwise closed to the regime.
Burns suggests Franco made the Spanish national team a projection of homegrown fascism. A group possessing the "racial" qualities of true and pure Spaniards, and which brought to the playing field a particular "Spanish Fury." A sobriquet that stuck.
Like many people in Spain who had little time for the national selection over the years, Burns believes that the "The Spanish Fury" amounted to a whole lot of nothing, and that success in world-class tournaments would be elusive until a more modern and technical conception of Spanish soccer could be born.
Of course it happened. "La Roja" was released on the occasion of a repeat European Cup championship for the team of the same nickname. An unprecedented kind of success for such a national outfit.
Although his lead-up to the latest and most glorious chapter in Spanish soccer is first-rate, this reviewer did not find Burns very clear on why the ultimate transformation occurred.
Was it a special generation of players who learned how to transcend the rivalries carried over from the club level? Ditching Raul? Was it David Beckham's impact as a media and celebrity item on future Spanish stars? The Argentines?
Maybe it's in there, but in any case, "La Roja" remains an always engaging look at a sudden dynasty. Its author understands soccer as culture and an expression of collective identities without forgetting that it is still sport.
It's such a great book showing how football has come to be a global game and it traces back the roots for it so we can know exactly why that's the case.