The inside story of the world's greatest football club

by Simon Kuper

  • Published: 12 Aug 2021
  • Price: £20
  • Format: Demy Hardback
  • Extent: 352p
  • ISBN: 9781780724744
  • Short Books territories:
    UK & C/Wealth
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  • Buy it now from Waterstones

“Imagine the club not as a theatre of dreams but as a workplace. What is office life like day to day? Who are the people who run the club? How much power do they actually have over the players? What should the players eat, and how can you persuade them to eat it?”

From the author of bestselling Soccernomics comes a book that will reshape our understanding of football and the world’s most talked-about club: FC Barcelona.

After 30 years of unprecedented access, this book takes the reader behind closed doors into the changing room, the training ground and the boardroom to reveal the real stories behind Barça’s rise to global sports superpower – and its recent fall from grace.

It includes interviews with the towering personalities responsible for transforming Barça including Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. It details the work of coaches, medics, data analysts and nutritionists, as well as extraordinary players like Lionel Messi, in building not just a club but a football philosophy. It analyses the unique structure of Barça from the Catalan power politics at the top, the cutting-edge sports science hub it has created and its legendary youth academy known as La Masia.

This is truly a book decades in the making, which establishes how an army of coaches, medics, data analysts and nutritionists have built the foundations for one of the outstanding successes of the modern game.

“One of the best sports books I have read. About so much more: politics, Spain, elites in business... brilliant on Cruyff and Ajax, Messi... quite outstanding.”
Roger Alton, The Spectator

About Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper is the co-author of bestselling Soccernomics. His first book, Football Against the Enemy, won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and is acknowledged as one of football's seminal books. Simon writes a weekly sports column in the FT and has previously written football columns for The Times and The Observer.