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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey-and Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport [Paperback]

Simon Kuper , Stefan Szymanski

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Book Description

May 1 2012
Why doesn't the United States dominate soccer internationally... and how can it?
Which is the best soccer nation on Earth?
Who has the most passionate fans?
What impact does soccer have on suicide rates?
Which sport will dominate the Earth? NFL or the English Premier League?
Why are the people who run soccer clubs so dumb? These are some of the questions that every soccer fanatic has asked. 'Soccernomics' answers them. Written with an economist's brain and a sports writer's skill, it applies high-powered analytical tools to everyday soccer topics, looking at data in new ways, revealing counterintuitive truths about the world's most loved game. It all adds up to a revolutionary way of looking at soccer that could affect the way the game is played internationally.

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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey-and Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport + Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics
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Review

LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2009



Daily Telegraph

"If you're a football fan, I'll save you some time: read this book ... compulsive reading ... thoroughly convincing."



Observer

"Szymanksi has recently published the best introduction to sports economics ... while Kuper is probably the smartest of the new generation of super-smart sportswriters ... fascinating stories."



Metro

"[Kuper and Szymanski] basically trash every cliché about football you ever held to be true. It's bravura stuff … the study of managers buying players and building a club is one you’ll feel like photocopying and sending to your team's chairman"



Paddy Harverson, former communications director of Manchester United, Financial Times

"Demolishes ... many soccer shibboleths ... well argued, too. Szymanski, an economist, knows his stuff, and Kuper, a born contrarian and FT sports writer, is incapable of cliché ... great stories and previously unknown nuggets."



Sport Magazine

"One for the thinkers"



The Times

"More thoughtful than most of its rivals and, by football standards, postively intellectual ... Kuper, a brilliantly contrary columnist, and Szymanski, an economics professor ... find plenty of fertile territory in their commendable determination to overturn the lazy preconceptions rife in football."



Prospect

"Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski are a highly effective and scrupulously rational team, combining the former's detailed and nuanced understanding of European football with the latter's sophisticated econometric analysis. With a remarkable lightness of touch, they desmonstrate the limits of conventional thinking in football, as well as the real patterns of behaviour that shape sporting outcomes."

About the Author

Simon Kuper's first book, 'Soccer Against the Enemy', won the William Hill Prize for sports book of the year in Britain. His second book, 'Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War', was shortlisted for the William Hill Prize and has been translated into six languages. Kuper writes a weekly sports column in the 'Financial Times', and previously written Soccer columns for the 'Times' and in the 'Observer'. He has been interviewed hundreds of times on radio about sports-and-society issues, and many times on television. In December 2007 he won the annual Manuel Vazquez Montalban prize for sportswriting, awarded by the Colegio de Periodistas de Catalunya and FC Barcelona's foundation. He lives in Paris, France. Stefan Szymanski is Professor of Economics and MBA Dean at Cass Business School in London. Tim Harford has called him "one of the world's leading sports economists". Stefan has a global reputation, and has published in the ' Journal of Political Economy', 'Journal of Economic Literature' and 'Economic Journal'. He has also co-authored two books: 'Winners and Losers: The Business Strategy of Football' and 'National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer.' His next book, 'Fans of the World; Unite!', co-authored with Steve Ross and dealing with the reform of US sports leagues, will be published by Stanford University Press in autumn 2008. He has acted as a consultant to government and to several major sports organizations, such as the FIA (motor sport), UEFA (football) and ICC (cricket). He lives in London, UK.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably moving, much more enjoyable than I expected Feb. 23 2013
By Archer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Soccernomics does two things very well. One is expose widely accepted beliefs in soccer culture. This is precisely what I expected from this book, and it's worth buying just to be informed on that front.

It also uses statistics to reveal the social unity that soccer fosters. I was very moved by the chapter that focuses on suicide and fandom (and club loyalty at large).

Please do not be scared away by the word "statistics". I hate math as much if not more than anyone. This book is extremely accessible to the average reader, but still deep enough to pique intellectual curiosity.

In short, Soccernomics is an absolute must-read if you are a soccer fan, period.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read - though not without flaws July 1 2012
By Munko McCentral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on impulse during the month-long Euro 2012 tournament. I don't normally buy books on impulse but this one had me hooked quite quickly. Having liked Freakonomics and being a life-long soccer fan, this book was a great read. However, it was disappointing in a number of places where they resorted to long narrative of various hypotheses without rigorous data analysis to test the hypotheses. The prime example is of England's failure to achieve because of a reliance on players from working class roots and underrepresentation of the middle classes. An interesting hypothesis to be sure, but absolutely no comparison was done with other countries - so we don't know if how much this might be true. The book is strongest when dealing with data-rich analyses such as predictability of penalty-takers' tendencies. But it is definitely worth a read if you like soccer - probably not so much if you don't.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all May 15 2013
By Lost Gaijin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think most fans of the game will find this book enjoyable to read. You certainly learn a lot from it, but it can get a bit tedious in places. There were a few times where I had to just put it down for a few times when I just had to put it down because I got bored with it, so I am giving it 3 stars. I more diehard soccer or economics fan probably would find the book gripping.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any lover of soccer Nov. 23 2013
By Peter Harrold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am an economist who loves soccer. It was fascinating to read how they applied core economic and statistical skills to understanding soccer and what works and what fails. It was especially interesting to see the case for the under-achievers and over-achievers,and them transfer vs. wage bill argument. A fabulous book for any lover of soccer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight, but not a must read. Sept. 30 2013
By Readdear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Soccernomics was an insightful novel with some very interesting points. I would recommend the book to very enthusiastic soccer fans or economists only.
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