Synopses & Reviews
On the eve of the 2014 World Cup, New York Times
sports columnist George Vecsey offers a personal perspective on the beautiful game.
Blending witty travelogue with action on the field — and shady dealings in back rooms — George Vecsey offers an eye-opening, globe-trotting account of the last eight World Cups. He immerses himself in the great national leagues, historic clubs, and devoted fans and provides his up-close impressions of charismatic stars like Sócrates, Maradona, Baggio, and Zidane, while also chronicling the rise of the U.S. men's and women's teams.
Vecsey shows how each host nation has made the World Cup its own, from the all-night street parties in Spain in 1982 to the roar of vuvuzelas in South Africa in 2010, as the game in the stadium is backed up by the game in the street. But the joy is sometimes undermined by those who style themselves the game's protectors.
With his characteristic sharp reporting and eye for detail, Vecsey brings this global event to vivid life and has written a perfect companion for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"Spectators at an event as extraordinary as the World Cup deserve a tour guide equal to the task. During his remarkable career as a New York Times sportswriter and columnist, George Vecsey has opened his heart and mind to eight of these quadrennial spectacles, and here he takes us with him on his journey, enhancing our own every step of the way." Joe McGinniss, author of The Miracle of Castel di Sangro
"In Eight World Cups, George Vecsey writes with his usual elegance, humanity, and insight. As ever, his view goes beyond the field, and in this case well beyond our shores." Bob Costas, NBC Sports
"Baseball is America's game but soccer is the worlds game, and no American writer knows more about the world's game than George Vecsey. All of that knowledge is reflected in his terrific and timely book, which is a wonderful guide to a game whose inscrutability I have only now come to appreciate." Tom Werner, chairman, Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC
About the Author
George Vecsey has written more than a dozen books, most recently the bestseller Stan Musial: An American Life. He joined The New York Times in 1968, wrote the “Sports of the Times” column from 1982 to 2011, and is now a contributing columnist. He was honored in 2013 by the National Soccer Hall of Fame for his contributions as one of the first columnists at a major newspaper to cover the sport. He lives in Port Washington, New York.