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Book Review: The Football Fanatic's Essential Guide - 2014 World Cup Special

  • Book review for Novy Kapadia's The Football Fanatic's Essential Guide
Modified 17 Jan 2018, 16:26 IST

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, it is safe to assume that you know that the The FIFA World Cup is on.
It is perhaps the only month every four years where even cricket takes a backseat as far as Indian interests are concerned. Even first time viewers or casual fans who are not too familiar with players apart from the Ronaldos, Messis and the Neymars follow the journey and fortunes of countries far and beyond.

It is therefore fitting that The Football Fanatic's Essential Guide – Complete Edition (2014 World Cup Special) is the book you must have. Veteran columnist and commentator Novy Kapadia takes you on a journey through all the previous 19 editions of the biggest sporting spectacle in the world in a concise yet descriptive account.

From Uruguay’s initial domination to the era of Pele’s Samba Magic to the Dutch total football to Maradona’s genius. From 1930 to 2010, nothing has been missed.

Mr Kapadia also explains and lists the must-know facts about the newly introduced goal-line technology.

Venues, biggest encounters, top 10 goalscorers and possibly everything you wanted to know about each edition is covered. Venues, dates, goalscorers- you name it. The simple language used in explaining the trickiest of things make it an essential World Cup guide for both youngsters and adults. 

Special mention of India’s association and the myth surrounding their participation in the 1950 World Cup is covered in detail. It turns out disagreement over footwear wasn’t the only reason that prevented India’s participation.

Did you know Italy qualified for the knockout stage in 1982 without winning a single game?  Or that England captain Bobby Moore was accused of stealing a bracelet and arrested in 1970?

Every chapter has a ‘EXTRA TIME’ section with random trivia about that particular World Cup year. For instance, did you know that the match between Portugal and The Netherlands in 2006 dubbed ‘Battle of Nuremberg’ saw the referee flash 16 Yellow and 4 Red cards? Or that every football used in 2002 Korea-Japan was hand-stitched in Morocco?

In addition, Mr Kapadia also seeks to test your Football knowledge with 100 interesting questions about the event. 


In the present, whether you applaud Messi dribbling past 5 defenders to unleash a left-foot curler or are shell shocked by a trade-mark Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick or admire the German team’s grit and determination, this book will be your ultimate reference material for all that has happened in the past.

The end of the book has a special section about Brazil 2014 with a fill-in tracker.

In conclusion, it is a 236-page-journey of the biggest stage of The Beautiful Game.

Buy the book here for Rs 149 only

Published 24 Jun 2014, 13:08 IST
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