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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 – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; Second Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568587015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568587011
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.


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Customer Reviews

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I don't normally buy books on impulse but this one had me hooked quite quickly.
Munko McCentral
I learned a lot about the history and future of soccer, and feel like I can hold my own in soccer conversations now.
Red
For any soccer fan or anyone interested in sports statistics, this book is an absolute read.
Greg Emmenegger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Archer on February 23, 2013
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Munko McCentral on July 1, 2012
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lost Gaijin on May 15, 2013
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Harrold on November 23, 2013
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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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Readdear on September 30, 2013
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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book explains a lot why soccer is not profitable in areas an clubs, where it should be played in areas, what contributes to the success of clubs an why...great read.
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By Puao on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book changes a little bit your view on soccer and explains a lot of things with stadistics. It is an interesting point of view, although I wouldn't be so sure about their predictions on the future.
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Very well written and raises many excellent points. If you liked money ball you will like this book for sure.
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