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Golazo!: The Beautiful Game from the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How Soccer Shaped Latin America Paperback – May 6, 2014

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Golazo!: The Beautiful Game from the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How  Soccer Shaped Latin America + Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil through Soccer + Eight World Cups: My Journey through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer
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Editorial Reviews

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Taking the very long view of South American soccer, Campomar, a Uruguayan living in England, begins with the brutal ball games of the Aztecs, then disputes the commonly held notion that the British game first took hold on the docks (its origins were more clubby than that). He details the twentieth century, decade by decade, with its periods of Uruguayan, Argentine, and Brazilian dominance, and an uneasy playing relationship with Europe. The real strength of this comprehensive and well-sourced document is its engaging writing style, which impels the reader through the sometimes dense array of names, places, and dramatic games. Soccer is central but merely one part: Golazo! is packed with fascinating detail about the game’s interplay with national identity, politics, race, and culture. The author doesn’t neglect the four previous South American World Cups—and why would he? His country won the very first one, in 1930. --Keir Graff

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Praise for Golazo!

"[A] sweeping exploration of soccer intersecting with politics, history, economics and culture in forging a continent’s passion." -- Steven Goff, The Washington Post

"The most comprehensive history of soccer in the part of the world in which it may well mean the most... A thorough, engaging history of the development of futbol and its place in Latin American society... Campomar effectively brings out the color and passion for the game, its evocative langauge, its artistic power and its sometimes-martial ugliness... He accomplishes his task with verve... Fine, scintillating history." -- Kirkus

"Perfection, pride, politics and punch-ups. The South American way of football has never been more readable." -- John Crace, ESPN and The Guardian

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; First Edition edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594485860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594485862
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Baranowicz on August 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must for football lovers of Latin America history.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Certainly one of the finest books on soccer in Latin America ever. I loved the focus more on the Libertadores and Copa America as well as tours to Europe and across the globe by Pele's Santos and their ilk. The stuff on the breakaway Columbian league in the '40s and '50s was superb as I finally got a true feel for the whys and hows such players as Alfredo di Stefano and Neil Franklin ended up there.

It's not only a book focused on soccer. It interweaves the politics of the region as it relates to society and soccer without being too overbearing politically. Also, the trivia alone could be a book unto itself. From the team colors (and names) of many clubs in the region taking their cue from touring English sides back in the day to Brazilian fans not understanding the difference between Sweden and France (read the book to find out what happened after Brazil's 2-2 draw with France at the 1950 World Cup Finals).
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By Dreamcatcher on October 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book that is long overdue. Major topic for anyone interested in the history of football, and history of South America. Unfortunately very uneven in its content, excellent and informative read up too the '70's and then somehow slips in the quality, seems almost rushed in order to be delivered for the World Cup. My main problem is that history of some important teams like River Plate, Boca Juniors, Nacional, Penarol, are barely touched, others like Independiente, Racing, and Brazilian teams not even mentioned. With all these omissions the book will hopefully initiate a slew others that treat the topic of South American football.
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Format: Paperback
one of my favorite books
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Bartel on November 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Football came to South America through private school teachers, bankers, and railway engineers and managers but by the 1st World War while Europe was distracted the native population took over the game and the face of the sport was forever changed. CAMPOMAR calls this "Creollo Futbol" and this book explores this on a country by country basis. Sounds Interesting? It did to me and I devoured this book as soon as it arrived. Easy to read, GOLAZO (the Spanish word to describe a goal of spectacular quality) has the stories I'd expect to find along with new ones I had never read before. I think you will like this, I did
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Golazo!: The Beautiful Game from the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How  Soccer Shaped Latin America
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