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Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football Hardcover – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Pub Ltd (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747547084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747547082
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Original and conventional ... Fascinating and individualistic, Brilliant Orange beguiles you like a Cruyff turn' The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Winner is a freelance journalist and has written two previous books, Those Feet and Brilliant Orange. He lives in Rome. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone that in interested in dutch history and football.
A. Duvall
If Dutch football was a living person then this book makes it very clear that the head is the most important organ; more valuable than the feet.
Avnish Anand
I couldn’t really understand it – what was it about the Dutch that made me almost spellbound when watching them play.
Riikka-Maria Turkia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I will tell you right off that I've been waiting for this book for 26 years. I, like the author, fell for the "total football" of Ajax Amsterdam (a Dutch soccer club which won three consecutive European Cups-'71,'72,'73) and the Dutch national soccer team, which impressed the world during the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. Being an American, I was starved for information about this generation of players who brought a revolution in tactical thinking to world soccer. I'm sure a lot was written about them at the time (some still is), but most of it was not in English or not easily availble in the States. I was convinced at the time that the progressive thinking of these teams must be, in some part, a function of the Dutch mentality. This book is an attempt to show that connection. The chapters essentially alternate between factual information and interviews with some former players and coaches and factual information and interviews with people unrelated to soccer but involved in other creative areas, i.e. architecture, art, etc. The book is not all about the positive side, either. The Dutch national soccer team has had a history of self-destructing at important tournaments and this too is linked with certain aspects of Dutch thinking.
The book also covers some of the more recent vintages of Ajax and the Dutch national team in the same way. This shows not only a continuity of cultural thought, but also helps to deal with situations that occurred after the early '70's, such as the influx of other ethnicities into the soccer teams, and the accompanying problems this brought.
"Brilliant Orange" is essential reading for all those who love Dutch soccer. But it will also be entertaining and insightful for anyone interested in the way cultural thought manifests itself in specific areas of life.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart Robert Harris on March 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Pele famously called soccer "the beautiful game" and at last here is a book that does justice to that thought. It charts the Dutch soccer renaissance that flowered from the late 60s, how Dutch culture shaped it and the way that historical events in soccer have themselves influenced Dutch culture and recent history. It's a touching, intelligent and insightful masterpiece.
Just as the Beatles and the Swinging 60s marked a turning point in Britain, so the new spirit in soccer marked a cultural watershed in the Netherlands. A key figure of those heady days was the prodigiously gifted and outspoken Johann Cruyff, cited by the author as probably the most important and best-known Dutch person alive. Here was a player of such intelligence and physical skill that even ballet superstar Rudolph Nureyev watched him in fascination.
David Winner has doggedly researched his subject, meeting and interviewing many of the key figures. They speak with a distinctive voice and overall the writing evokes a strong sense of place, people and events - not least the (self) defeat of the Dutch in the 1974 World Cup final against Germany. "How come you understand our country so well?" a Dutchman asked me after I shared some of the book's insights with him.
This is an outstanding read for anyone interested in soccer, anyone who has Dutch friends or has ever been to the Netherlands or ever intends to go there. Not to mention anyone who is interested in the importance of sport in the life of societies and nations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this was the best book i have read about soccer. the only books i can usually find about soccer have to do with coaching and drills. if you are interested in soccer beyond this level, this is the book for you. i have always compared playing soccer to "playing" life. and this book connects the too. but in a brilliant dutch way.
as a young soccer coach, this book gave me ideas about how to teach my players and make them understand the beauty of soccer.
i have travelled to the netherlands and even have a dutch girlfriend. this book explains there behavior just the way they explain it to the rest of the world. and when i am there i can see how they value space and take advantage of all that they have in an organized and effecient manner. this is then translated to the soccer field in a totalfootball explosion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By keithjohnson on December 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is not just a book for football (soccer) fanatics, although it helps. As Mr. Winner explains, it's his attempt to get to the bottom of Dutch football, albeit in a multidisciplinary sort of way. The creation of space on offense and the destruction of space on defense both have historical and geographical roots; likewise, the Dutch refusal to win the big one can be traced to socio-cultural factors. You can read it again and again -- the beauty of its organization (squad numbers, not chapters) makes it ideal for idle flipping, for lunch-time readings, for chapter-hopping and quick dips. A sheer joy -- you learn a lot, you'll press it on friends, you'd lend it out more if it weren't so good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland on June 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not only does this book take you in to the mind of Dutch soccer geniuses like Cruyff, Michels, etc. it gets into the mindset of the Dutch themselves. I also loved the stuff on the 1978 World Cup Dutch team which is probably my fave, even more than 1974., for making it to the Final without Cruyff, Krol and other top stars who boycotted the tourny.
For anyone who wants to understand what makes the Dutch tick on and off the soccer field.
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