This, and God Save the Fan, have been my two favorite recent reads and I recommend both highly. I am not a serious fan of Serie A or Italian soccer in general. But thanks to the funny tales of James Richardson (a former Serie A TV host) on Guardian Football Weekly my interest in the game there was piqued. This book, available locally in many “big box” bookstores provides an engrossing overview of the history and culture of Italian soccer.
One of the highlights of the book is the afterward, where Foot recounts the “Moggiopoly“scandal of 2006. It amazing to think the depths to which Luciano Moggi of Juventus really controlled the entire sport of soccer in Italy. You come away from that chapter feeling that the punishment that Juventus suffered (fines, banning from Europe and relegation to Serie B) may not have even been justice for the crimes they committed.
Other great chapters include the chapters on the Ultra culture at the Italian clubs and discussions of clubs’ political affiliations and how they have changed over time. Overall it’s a great read and one I recommend to anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in Italian soccer.