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A Beautiful Game: The World's Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives [Kindle Edition]

Tom Watt
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $17.99
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

Foreword by Arsene Wenger, Introduction by David Beckham

Soccer writer and bestselling author of My Side, Tom Watt, talked to the world's top soccer players about growing up and falling in love with the game: Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Gilberto Silva; England's David James and Scotland's Craig Gordon; Italy's Fabio Cannavaro, Spain's Iker Casillas, and France's Franck Ribéry; South Africa's Benni McCarthy and Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu; USA's Landon Donovan and Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura; and the world's most famous player, David Beckham.

A Beautiful Game tells their stories, in the players' own words—stories of boys who would grow up to be heroes for a new generation of young players and fans. They look back to their childhoods: to their family homes, to their schoolrooms, to the friends they grew up with, and to the places where they first played the game that has made them stars. Combining stunning photographs with the world's greatest players sharing their personal stories of how soccer transformed their lives, this inspiring book is an intoxicating celebration of the "beautiful game."

Editorial Reviews


“Full of vibrant images, the book is an inspiring ode to the sport.”

About the Author

Tom Watt is an English actor, writer, and broadcaster. Television, film, and stage credits include EastEnders, Patriot Games, and Fever Pitch. Tom has broadcast about soccer extensively in the U.K. and the U.S. He co-produced the innovative children's sports series Rookies for Channel Four television and created the successful Row Z for BBC Choice TV. After presenting sports shows over the past ten years for BBC and independent radio and television stations, he is currently the lead presenter for BBC London's soccer coverage and hosts weekly programs for Arsenal's club TV channel.

As well as writing about soccer for every major U.K. newspaper, Tom is the author of several books about the game: The End, a groundbreaking oral history of Arsenal FC; A Passion for the Game, ninety firsthand accounts of life behind the scenes in English football; The Greatest Stage, the official history of Wembley Stadium; and, most recently, My Side, the bestselling autobiography of David Beckham. Tom also produces schoolbooks built around soccer, the latest of which, a twelve-book series called The Jags, was published earlier this year.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6245 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (June 17, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The game is the big star May 29, 2010
By M.S.
The bigger picture this book paints of how the game affects lives, all over the world, in profound ways is what is most impressive. The photographs are moving and interweave brilliantly with the short biographies of world famous professionals. Stories from tiny countries to the worlds super powers help you get a sense of what this game represents globally. I suppose it could be any sport, soccer happens to be the most popular game all over the world for good reason: it's simplicity plus it is a universal language. It has a massive impact on lives.

My son loves this book and loves to learn about some of his favorite players. The stories are short and you don't need to read it from front to back. Easy to pick up and flip through for a few moments, gives the reader a real sense of some far away land. It truly is a moving book for anyone, not just a soccer fan
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for a young soccer fan July 31, 2010
I bought this for my son's birthday (15). I got a brief chance to look through it before and was impressed with the whole thing. I do plan to go back and read it all. He loves it and has commented a few times how much he likes it and thanked me more than once! He said he has read it through 3 times. He loves the game and this was just a great way to get more info on players he loves and some he doesn't. You won't be disappointed whether for you or as a gift.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for any fan of the beautiful game January 10, 2011
This is, simply, a fantastic book. I can't imagine a better read to give a sense of soccer and its role in the world. The photography is incredible and really makes me appreciate the passion this sport has garnered. Some of the interviews seem choppy and shallow but this is clearly the result of translations and casual interviews. It is this lack of polish that makes it a true gem. I read it electronically and now am buying a hard cover for my office coffee table.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING CENTERPIECE! July 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I purchased this book I was a little surprised by its physical size as it is very large. That being said, I think this book is a great representation of the beauty of soccer, the way that it is written where the players tell about how they fell in love with the game is really interesting especially because some great players are featured. This book more or less changed the way I address the game whenever I am able to play where now I try to smile as often as possible while playing and remember the game for what I loved when I was younger growing up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars crowd pleaser for all November 22, 2012
By Frangie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We bought this book for christmas 2011. I have 4 sons between 9-13 who have almost memorized the book. short bios on players from humble backgrounds are not only inspiring, but a geography lesson as well. The big format makes the book easily approachable, and you find yourself wanting to read "just one more". The book puts a human face on professional soccer, and helps focus on the journey more than the success. Highly recommended for young and old alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Share It! January 25, 2011
By Txarito
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for a gift, and the person I gave it to was excited to to share it with his son. I peeked throught the pages before handing it over, and found it to be a wonderful book full of stories not only about the game but also about the players and the worlds they come from. It's a good read all in one sitting, or even a book to come back to again and again over time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful book August 31, 2012
I have never written a review before but this book inspired me to. It is a beautiful book with amazing photos and players telling their stores in their own words. My son is 2 and loves to look at the photos now. I can't wait to start reading him all the stories. The book really captures the importance of soccer in many (most) parts of the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing back Beautiful....
My daughters coach loved the book...he is a soccer spirit and this gift was perfect!
Published 1 month ago by Sgt_Pain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Came fast and as described
Published 4 months ago by Brett J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book was in fantastic condition and very beautiful!
Published 7 months ago by alice13
5.0 out of 5 stars Aptly Named
A moving read even if you aren't a fan of soccer. This book is about people who have an intense passion for something and follow it - no matter the struggle. Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. Schroeder
5.0 out of 5 stars For My Friend
My life long friend over the past 70 years grew up in England and played and coached soccer for most of his life. Read more
Published 16 months ago by richard e whitelock
5.0 out of 5 stars What a cool book!
The pictures and the stories in this beautful coffee table book are fantastic! I purchased this for my daughter, who is a soccer player and a huge fan of the sport. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Traveler29
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Spent time with my son looking at the photos and reading each descriptions, for a budding soccer player or aficionado I definitely would recommend
Published on April 26, 2013 by Cindycap
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Inspiring!
This is a fascinating, beautifully-photographed book profiling some of soccer's greatest players. Well-written, full of interesting information, and very inspiring! Read more
Published on March 14, 2013 by Miki Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a coffee table tome
For any enthusiast of the game, this book not only illuminates the game we all know and love, but it's also a tool for learning what's not taught enough on and off the field: a... Read more
Published on January 13, 2013 by Derek Hambrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Nailed it!
I bought this as a gift for one of my nephews who loves the sport. I come from a "die-hard soccer family" - 3 generations strong; coaching, refereeing and playing, This... Read more
Published on January 10, 2013 by Robin
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