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Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football Paperback – July 1, 2011
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1. Altetico Madrid and Valencia got only brief treatment, which is considering the importance of these two teams for Spanish and overall European soccer.Since whole theme is morbo which in free translation means grudge this is understandable.
2. Like virtually almost all intellectuals from the British Isles Mr. Ball is leftist and he is not shy to show it. Franco's supporters are always thugs, on the other hand even people who tried to kill legendary Ricardo Zamora are described almost with sympathies, but this is as I said nothing new.
3. Patronizing view regarding the scandalous refereeing during the World Cup 2002 when both Italy and Spain were drastically hurt in favor of hosts South Korea. I highly doubt that the author would be so nonchalant if England suffered the same fate.
In spite of these expected biases it is good book and good introduction taken with grain of salt so to speak.
Though older now, the book still is very relevant in that it explains the background for all things Spanish football. In Spain, there's no separation of football, politics and culture. Ball does very well to capture the essence of this phenomenon and does so through creative first hand experience.
I found the Betis-Sevilla segment particularly enjoyable as Ball converses with the local taxi drivers and even the local barman. Ball makes the reader feel as if he is along for the ride and sitting in on these often entertaining conversations.
This highly readable and enjoyable book takes the reader through every nook and cranny of the Spanish landscape, and you feel as if you have a much better understanding of the often times complicated subject matter that is Morbo.