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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia-and Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport Paperback – April 22, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 217 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia-and Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport
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  • The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Since the publication of the first edition of Soccernomics there have been several attempts to copy its content. Yet few authors in the world of soccer writing can tell a human story like Simon Kuper, and even fewer academics can write an understandable narrative with numbers like Stefan Szymanski. Together the two men raise the bar again, bringing new insights to an already great body of work that is accessible and interesting to the quant and casual reader alike… I highly recommend you pick it up for yourself, even if you have already read the first edition. You will not be disappointed.”
—Zach Slaton, Forbes (online)

“[Q]uite an entertaining read.”
—Simply Futbol

“[W]onderful book.”
—Pro Soccer Talk (NBC Sports blog)

Soccernomics… remains essential reading for anyone seeking an analytical take on the game.”
—Keeping Score (TIME Soccer Blog)

Soccernomics is the most intelligent book ever written about soccer.”
San Francisco Chronicle


“With Soccernomics, the FT's indispensable Simon Kuper and top-flight sports economist Stefan Szymanski bring scrupulous economic analysis and statistical rigor to a sport long dependent on hoary – and, it seems, unfounded – assumptions…Gripping and essential.”
—Slate.com, Best Books of 2009

“[The book] is a sporting tale in the Freakonomics mode of inquiry, using statistics to come up with fascinating conclusions.”
Independent (UK), Best Books of 2009

“[Szymanski and Kuper] entertainingly demolish soccer shibboleths…Well argued and clear headed.”
Financial Times, Best Books of 2009

“Using data analysis, history and psychology, [Soccernomics] punctures dozens of clichés about what it takes to win, and who makes money in soccer – and in sports in general.”
—Associated Press

“[Kuper and Szymanksi] do for soccer what Moneyball did for baseball—put the game under an analytical microscope using statistics, economics, psychology and intuition to try to transform a dogmatic sport.”
New York Times

“[A] must read for any fan of the business of soccer…”
—Footiebusiness.com



“Many explanations [of England's poor form] can be found in the book Soccernomics in a segment entitled “Why England Loses.” (This is well worth a read for any English football fan; essentially, you overvalue your football heritage and undervalue the benefits of innovation.)”
—Stephen J. Dubner, co-author Freakonomics on the Freakonomics blog

“Fascinating.”
—VanityFair.com

“The authors take what ‘everybody' knows about success and failure in soccer and subject it to rigorous empirical analysis embedded in good stories that carry the narrative along…Highly recommended. All readers.”
Choice

Soccernomics [is] a sharply written and provocative examination of the world's game seen through the prism of economics and statistical data. It demolishes almost everything that most soccer fans believe about the game and how professional soccer teams should operate.”
—Globe & Mail (Canada)

"Oh, Rooney's the best. [My son] Ben thinks that England might be in the top four, but that's it. He knows the starting line up of every European team. We're reading this very interesting book about football together, you know Soccernomics."
—Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs and Birds of America

About the Author

Simon Kuper is one of the world's leading writers on soccer. The winner of the William Hill Prize for sports book of the year in Britain, Kuper writes a weekly column for the Financial Times. He lives in Paris, France. Stefan Szymanski is the Stephen J. Galetti Collegiate Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology Tim Harford has called him “one of the world's leading sports economists.” He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2014
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Top international reviews

Avid Film Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Stats and Analysis meets joyous reading - a book for all
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2016
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Henrik Warne
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2017
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hjacko
5.0 out of 5 stars Would sell my Gran's inhaler for this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 8, 2017
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History Geek
5.0 out of 5 stars 95% interesting - and I have the figures to prove it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2014
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P. Counter
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but felt it could have been better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2017
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Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read for footy enthusiasts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020
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A. G. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start.. flawed finish...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2012
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richard gregson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
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Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, well evidenced read. For the football fan with a brain
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2017
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RickyW
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2012
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venerablejohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless sports writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2013
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PabloMendoza
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2012
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rgenders
4.0 out of 5 stars Good alternative read on the game
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 8, 2019
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Stephen
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, very readable and thought-prooking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2013
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Billy Hanley
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2020
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