Monday 7 August 2017

10 Best Footballers and the Books written on them

A rectangular field, 11 players, two goals on the opposite sides and a referee running equally with the players from one side to the other watching the rules all the time, showing cards when the players stamp on the feet of each other; all these are more than enough to indicate which sport I am talking about.

‘Association football’ better known as Soccer or simply Football.

The most popular sport of the world which dates back to 19 Dec 1863 is played in more than 200 countries and is one of the most financially rich sport of the world.

I am not going to go in the rules of the game or bore you by telling you the history of the game, however, before writing this post I was more into knowing what some of the great players of this very sport felt before they were superstars, how they got inspired by the sport, what motivated them to take up this game, beat the odds and reach the place they are now at.

Well, the stories can be dug from disparate sources one of which is YouTube or sports channels but the only source which can make you totally dive in the worlds of these players is Books.

Yes, the books written on these great players!

Therefore, I am writing about the 10 greatest footballers including coaches of all time and the names of some of the great books written on them. Here we go -

#1 Lionel Messi 

Lionel Messi - The greatest footballer

Best player on the planet, 5 times Ballon D’ore are enough for anyone to realize that we are talking about Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi, also known as the little man, plays from FC Barcelona and from the Argentina National Team.

Thanks to his calm mind, he has provided us the pleasure of watching some amazing goals.
But Lionel Messi beat quite a number of odds to reach where he is today.

At the age of 11, he was diagnosed with a rare growth hormone deficiency, the treatment of which his family couldn’t afford, so, at the age of 13 he relocated to Spain and joined FC Barcelona because the club agreed to pay for his treatment.

Lionel Messi in an interview even revealed that as a part of his treatment, for nights, he slept with a needle stuck in his leg.

Today, Lionel Messi is a sportsman every aspiring soccer player, coaches, soccer fans and even peer footballers look up to.

You can know about Lionel Messi through these gems -

The Flea: The Amazing Story of Leo Messi – Micheal Part

Messi : A biography by Leonardo Facio

Messi: The inside story of a boy who became a legend

Lionel Messi – Marie Morreale

#2. Diego Maradona

Books on Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona led an average Argentina football team to victory in the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

‘The Goal of the Century’ and the ‘Hand of God’ are the two terms which are associated with Maradona who is considered as the greatest footballer of all times. He holds the joint award for the FIFA player of the century with Pele. 

Maradona played for several football clubs apart from Argentina National Team but mainly he received kudos and praises for his performance while playing for Napoli FC. He is famous for his fabulous dribbling skills, a demonstration of which was seen in the 1986 quarter final when 

Maradona on a single run dribbled past 5 England players beating them one by one and scoring the second goal.

After exactly 2 decades, the goal was recreated by Lionel Messi at the age of 19.

Books on Maradona include

Touched by God: How we won the ’86 Mexico World Cup

Maradona: The autobiography of Soccer’s greatest and most controversial star

#3. Pele

FIFA Player of the century - Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento widely known as Pele is the greatest player of the century. Pele has scored 1281 goals in 1363 games (official, friendly and unofficial games) and has won 3 world cups for his team Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970, the most by any player on the planet.

At a point of time, Pele was an epitome of Soccer and for a brief period was the best paid athlete of the world. He played as a forward and was most known for anticipating the moves of the opposition players and taking shots with same power from both his legs.

Pele along with Diego Maradona holds FIFA player of the century.

These are the books which you can read about Pele

Why Soccer Matters: A look at more than sixty years of international soccer

Pele 10 : What makes a Great Play from the Master

Pele – The autobiography

#4.  David Beckham 

Bend it like Beckham - the great footballer

The best outfield player we ever had in association football, this handsome footballer was one of the highest paid player in the world.

David Beckham has been famous for demonstrating multiple football skills which a young footballer crave to have such as accurate range of passing, effective cross kicks and the most famous bending free-kicks.

David Beckham’s career lasted for 20 years and is considered as the most loved player of all time. He has been a runner up at Ballon D’ore and FIFA player of the year.

A young lad with a football on his side always dreams of playing for Manchester United and David Beckham started his career with this club in 1992. He, throughout his career, played for Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Preston North End and Milan.

Also, he has captained the England National Team for 6 years which include the world cups of 1998, 2002 and 2006. With his charming image, he is labeled as a British Cultural Icon.

Following are the books which are about David Beckham

Both feet on the ground.

David Beckham’s soccer skills

David Beckham – My Side

#5. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo - 4 times ballon d'ore

Cristiano Ronaldo has won Ballon D’Ore 4 times just 1 short of Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United at the age of 18 and helped the club won several titles like FA cup, UEFA Champions League and Premier Cup.

Ronaldo was bought by the Spanish Club Real Madrid in 2008 for a whopping $132 million which is considered as the most expensive transfer in the history of the association football.

Ronaldo has scored 32 La Liga Hat-tricks and is the highest goal scorer of ‘Real Madrid’. He is compared with Lionel Messi who is also termed as his rival when it comes to awards like FIFA player of the year and Ballon D’ore.

His popularity can be estimated by the fact that the airport of Madeira, which is the hometown of Cristiano Ronaldo, was renamed as the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport in 2016 in the honor of this great footballer.

Following are some of the books written on Cristiano Ronaldo -


Cristiano Ronaldo: The way I feel

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography

#6.  Neymar Jr

Neymar Jr - the newest transfer to PSG

Neymar Jr started playing at the age of 17 for the same club for which Pele played, Santos (Brazil). He has often drawn comparison with Pele for himself and is one of the phenomenal footballer of the current times.

Neymar Jr plays as a forward and forms the deadly trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in FC Barcelona. His performance has been widely recognized both in Brazil National Team and Barcelona although his performance in the 2014 World Cup was affected by injuries and a suspension.

Neymar is known for some amazing dribbling skills and is a great finisher. Watching him and Lionel Messi creating and scoring a goal is totally a pleasure to the eyes of any sports lover.

Neymar Jr was inspired greatly by Lionel Messi when he was a kid and still considers him as the greatest player of the world.

Below are some of the jewels written on Neymar Jr -

Neymar : The unstoppable Rise of Barcelona’s Brazilian Superstar

Neymar : The making of the world’s greatest new number 10

My Story : Conversations with my Father

#7. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs - one of the greatest footballers of all time

Ryan Giggs is a former footballer who played for Welsh football team and the famous football club Manchester United as a midfielder. He earned several accolades for his performance as an effective midfielder and has worn the captain cap of Manchester United numerous times.

Ryan Giggs played for Manchester United for his entire career which lasted for 23 years and was made its interim team manager in 2014.

Ryan Giggs has won many titles throughout his career and has played in the first 21 sessions of the Premier league.

Books on Ryan Giggs include -

Ryan Giggs: My life, My story

Giggs : The Autobiography

#8. Jose’  Mourinho

Jose Mourinho - One of the best managers

The greatest coach in the history of association football, Jose Mourinho is the current coach of the club Manchester United. He is known for his effective and strong managerial skills and has led football clubs of 4 different European countries to league titles.

Mourinho has been responsible for taking the football club Chelsea to its premier league title after 50 years with record 95 points in 2005. Mourinho has also been responsible for taking Real Madrid to victory in 2011 before joining Chelsea back.

Mourinho earned FIFA coach of the year 2010 award and has been viewed by many commentators as the best manager of all time. Mourinho has also been a controversial figure throught his career, he has faced several match bans and got involved in several squabbles with the coaches of opposition teams.

Below are the books on Jose’ Mourinho -

Jose’ Mourinho : Up close and Personal

Mourinho on football

Jose Mourinho: Special Leadership: Creating and managing successful Teams

#9. Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore - Former England team captain

Guess who is the greatest defender Pele played against, it is Bobby Moore. Bobby Moore is widely regarded as the greatest defender the world has ever seen and is also the member of the 20th Century World Team of football.

He was the captain of the England National Team and led his team to victory in the 1966 World Cup. Bobby Moore was also the captain of the club West Ham United and captained the team for 10 years.

Moore is recognized as a gentleman by his fellow footballers and teammates. He died of cancer at the age of 51 in the year 1993.

Some gems on him are as follows -

Bobby Moore: By the person who knew him best

Bobby Moore: The life and times of a sporting hero

Bobby Moore: The Man in full

#10. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho - the best footballer of his generation

Two times FIFA World player of the year and 1 time Ballon D’Ore, Ronaldinho is often said by many as the greatest player of his generation and is often found in the team of top 11 footballers created by commentators, managers, critics and former footballers.

A midfielder who was often placed as a forward in team formations, he is known for his dribbling ability, technical skills and effective tricks to deceive the opposition defenders and take the ball towards the goal.

Ronaldinho started his career from Paris Saint Germain and joined FC Barcelona in 2003 where he helped Barcelona win successive La Liga titles and UEFA champions league. Ronaldinho was also instrumental along with Luis Ronaldo and Rivaldo in the victory of Brazil in the 2002 football world cup.

Wouldn’t it be fun to know about such a great footballer through these books -

Ronaldinho Ga├║cho – Aldo Wandersman

Ronaldinho: Football's Flamboyant Maestro – Jethro Soutar

Soccer Star Ronaldinho – John Torres


Be it Manchester United vs Chelsea or FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, watching football doesn’t give you a hangover less than any fine booze. It’s an addiction but a cool one which teaches to you to beat the odds and be better than your rivals.

Through football, you can learn to be on top of your game.

I know that after reading about these footballers you would want to check out their videos out on YouTube and you must do so.

While surfing about these legends if you encounter a footballer who doesn’t appear in this list then do mention about him in the comments and let us know about his achievements.

So books about which of these legends are you planning to read first? Have you made up your mind?


Also, try

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Moreover, it doesn't charge any commission from its users and the registration is also absolutely free.


Sunday 6 August 2017

8 Cricket books which a cricket lover & spectator must have in his book-shelf

We are all familiar with Cricket. In some countries, it is not just a sport but a religion. Even in countries which do not have a cricket team, the masses love to watch Cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Don Bradman, Virat Kohli are some of the players which are epitomes of the game, the game that is capable of sweeping the people off the streets to their homes in a country when a world cup match is going on. It is considered as the second most entertaining sport in the world after association football.

Cricket has evolved a lot from the first match played in 1844 between USA and Canada at the ground of the St George’s Club till date. It has seen many generations of players, has seen more than a century and a half, and has seen many rough patches but its evolution is still unstoppable.

With time, advanced technology has found its way in Cricket too. Many things are controlled by advanced technologies like event replay for aiding 3rd Umpire decisions, ultra motion cameras, Spider cam etc.

But, one thing which hasn’t changed is the spirit of the cricket. The spirit among the cricketers and the spectators is the same, which is to watch the country they support win. 

The spirit is the same among the young lads who are aspiring cricketers, teenagers who want to pursue Cricket as their profession and contribute to their country. 

When we talk about this spirit, there often arises curiosity to learn what went on in the minds of the great cricketers when they used to be on the field defending a total in a world cup match or chasing a mammoth target, the curiosity to know how the game has changed over a period of time, the struggle of some great cricketers before they made their way to the top.

This thirst for the knowledge of the game can be quenched through books written by some of the great players and authors who were able to understand the game more than the common masses. So, here are 8 books which a cricket lover like you and me must read and have in the book shelf.

1. Playing it my way 

Sachin Tendulkar - Playing it my way

Playing it my way is the Autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar coauthored by Boria Majumdar. No one can deny the fact that a person who is familiar with Cricket will also be familiar with Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar with his MRF bat broke records over records and has been solely responsible of forging a new era of the game of Cricket. However, even a prodigious person like Sachin had to do a lot of hard work to reach the annex.

Playing it my way exemplifies the hard work, dedication, and immense perseverance of the epitome of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar. The Cricket lovers admire Sachin Tendulkar ‘s long and large career but very few people know that to play for his country and for the love of the game he took more than 100 cortisone injections. The first one he took was in the year 1993 to overcome a wrist injury.

2. The Art of Cricket 

The art of cricket - Don Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman was the superstar of the early years of the game who was idolized by the batsmen across generations. With an average of 99.94, Sir Bradman would have made a perfect 100 average but fell short of just 4 runs in his last test against England at ‘The Oval’ in 1948.

Well, if you or your kid is an aspiring batsman and imagine if Sir Donald Bradman is his coach, wouldn’t it be surreal?

This is actually possible. Sir Bradman may not be present in person today but his techniques still prevail and inspire many current batsmen of the world. The Art of Cricket is one such book which describes the batting techniques of Bradman.

It is an instructional book written by Sir Don Bradman himself in 1958. ‘The Art of Cricket’ contains several diagrams which are very helpful for any young cricketer, coach or even an umpire. It contains black and white photographs too and carries a lot of detailed information on different areas of Cricket.

3.  Learn to Play Cricket 

Learn to play cricket by Mark Butcher

Learn to play cricket is an instructional book written by Mark Butcher co-authored by Paul Abraham. Every young cricketer must have this book with himself/herself. This book guides you in every area of the sport, be it batting, fielding, and bowling, even in the areas of umpiring.

The advises given by the authors can help you improve your game drastically. Coaches of the school, district or state team must also read this book in order to improve their coaching skills and impart improved and efficient batting, bowling or fielding skills to the players in making.

Handling the pressure and scoring is very much important in the game of cricket. It is very important to analyze and prepare for the situations,well in advance for example, when 15 runs are needed in 5 balls with only 2 wickets remaining and you are at the crease. Well, this book might prove useful for you to learn to tackle such situations. 

4. A corner of a foreign field – Ramachandra Guha

This book describes the plight of cricket in the colonial and post-colonial period of India. When you read this book, you come to know that Indians were not always as curious about the game as they became later. It also tells how British would use the game to get rid of the boredom and bring entertainment to themselves.

This book also talks about Palwankar Baloo who was the first talented slow bowler Indian team saw. But, the times were tough and during the tea interval he was made to sit separate from the rest of the team because he belonged to a lower caste. 

If you really want to know how the game has evolved through various times like those of independence movement and World War II then this book is the best choice.

 It will also introduce you to some of the finest cricketer of old times one of whom was Douglas Jardine, who was adored in India. It also carries some of the great anecdotes of history when the cricket haters got caught into charm of the game.

5. Rahul Dravid Timeless Steel

Rahul Dravid Timeless Steel

This book is a compilation of various articles written on Rahul Dravid, also known as ‘The Wall’.
It is a sneak peak in the life of Rahul Dravid with a word from his Kent Team mate Ed Smith, admiration from the former Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.

It also features some interviews of Rahul Dravid and a beautiful gallery of his photos. Rahul Dravid always exuded patience when it came to crisis in the game. If you have been a fan of Rahul Dravid then you should have this book in your collection.

6. Cricket’s greatest rivalry

Cricket's Greatest Rivalry

If you are familiar with Ashes then you must have an idea that it is just not the name of a cricket tournament between Australia and England, it is also the name of a 135 years old rivalry.

And imagine a book written on 10 series of Ashes. This book ‘Cricket’s greatest rivalry’ depicts several anecdotes of Ashes including the last test of Sir Donald Bradman in 1948, the bodyline bowling introduced by English players under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine and many more.
The book is very enjoyable to read particularly for Cricket historians.

7. Cricket: The game of Life – Scyld Berry

Cricket:The game of life - Scyld Berry

A lovely book by one of the great writers of Cricket, Scyld Berry. He does an awesome job in this book by highlighting the evolution of the game by focusing on countries like England, Australia, India and West Indies.

Very few people know that in India Cricket was forged as a result of a healthy relationship between the English and the Parsi community. This book throws light on the history of cricket which is evident because of the mention of the Kent v England Match in 1744, it is the first cricket match in the entire history of which a match report and stats still exist.

Also, in this book there is a mention of the Parsis and the GF vernon’s XI held at the Gymkhana ground in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1890. Another book which a cricket lover, who is curious to know about the game, must have in his/her collection. 

8. The Art of Captaincy – Mike Brearley

The Art of Captaincy  - Mike Brearley

‘The Art of Captaincy’ has been written by one of the best captains of English cricket Mike Brearley who led his team to victory in Ashes in 1981.

 This book is a must read for all the young cricketers who want to be captains and even those young men who are leading their school, college or even the street team.

The book teaches on various challenges encountered by a captain of the team. The book contains a couple of chapters on field placements too and surely can prove useful for a captain or a coach seeking effective team management. 

Wrap Up

Cricket helps you in many ways. It helps you bounce back when the odds are against you. It makes you love your country more & more. It helps you develop a different perspective altogether. It makes you rise above the social boundaries, racism, creed, caste and put together everyone in a single zone of hope when it comes to supporting your team.

A Cricket world cup brings cheer and ecstasy to life when the trending topic for more than a month is nothing but scores of Australia vs New Zealand or South Africa vs England matches. 

Cricket has often been watched on TV but reading about it through books will add value to your perspective.

You will come to know the facts which have been unknown till now by reading books on Cricket. You might know what went in the mind of the captain in the last over of the world cup final match when he had 12 runs to chase. These things are precious and may add a lot when you decide strategy in any area of life.

So which books out of these 8 have you read? Do you want to share the names of any other books not mentioned here?


Also, try

Here, you can buy second hand books from people around you at low prices. The concept behind bx-zone is people selling/buying used books to/from people that is why the discounts here vary from 40%-100%.

Moreover, it doesn't charge any commission from its users and the registration is also absolutely free.