"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."
World Football Records, (Fourth Edition 2013)
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Keir Radnedge, London, Carlton, 2012-11-22 ISBN 978-1-78097-130-8This is one of those books that you should curl up on the sofa with on a wet Saturday morning with a nice cup of coffee. Kindles etc have their place but what can beat an A4 size full colour physical book.
In 250 pages it covers countries and competitions. Major countries get up to six pages each of facts, history, records and trivia with at least three images per page. The design of information is sections, boxes and paragraphs makes it much more readable that a book of stats and lists – not that the stats and lists are missing here!
There is everything you ever wanted top know about the World Cup including Adbel Hamid Bassiouny’s 177 second hat-trick in 2001 in a qualifier against Namibia. There is even a 4 page section on World Cup goal-keepers, complete with a photo of Iker Casillas’s girl-friend.
There are sections on the European Championships, Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America as well as nine other FIFA competitions. Samuel Eto’o, by the way, has scored more goals in the Africa Cup of Nations than any other player.
It was good to see a six page section on the women’s game where I read about Kim Song-Hi’s hat-trick for North Korea in the FIFA Under 20s final as well as details of all the major world tournaments.
In case you miss anything, there is a comprehensive index at the back.
Any football fan will be enthralled to find this book in his stocking – but it will have to be a big stocking!
When you finished your coffee, head for the pub and be insufferable. Did you know that the last goal scored for England at the old Wembley and the first at the new Wembley were both headers? Or that Andy Cole was given his first four caps for England by four different managers?
Hang on, I have haven’t told you about who the most capped Ivory Coast player is…..