Kicking Off Around The World

Ramon Usall


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Pluto Press
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9780745348797
336 pages

From the publisher

Globe-spanning tour of soccer clubs that have shaped, and been shaped by, a century of political events

Can a soccer match trigger a war? Can soccer push back against the tyranny of dictatorship or usher one into power? Kicking Off Around the World shares some incredible stories in which football clubs have been a mirror to—and a maker of—world history.

Ramon Usall shows that almost no contemporary historical episode is not reflected in the trajectory of a soccer club somewhere. Taking the reader on a whistle-stop tour of the events that have defined the last century, we encounter anti-colonial rebellions, class conflict, Nazism, communism, national liberation struggles, and sectarian strife.

Full of anecdotes, little-known facts, and illustrations, Kicking Off Around the World mixes the grassroots with the greatest of all time: the unknown and the unforgettable. It looks at the women's game, soccer during the war in Ukraine, and stories of clubs worldwide: in Britain and the USA, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.