A history of modern Spain told through one of world football's most intense rivalries' IndependentSports Book of the Year' Sunday TimesIt's Messi vs Ronaldo, it's Catalonia vs Castilla. It's the nation against the state, freedom fighters vs Franco's fascists. It's the best two teams on the planet going face to face and toe to toe.
'A history of modern Spain told through one of world football's most intense rivalries' Independent
'Sports Book of the Year' Sunday Times
It's Messi vs Ronaldo, it's Catalonia vs Castilla. It's the nation against the state, freedom fighters vs Franco's fascists. It's majestic goals and mesmerising skills, red cards and bench brawls. It's the best two teams on the planet going face to face and toe to toe.
It's more than a game. It's a war. It's Barcelona vs Real Madrid.
Only, it's not that simple. From the wounds left by the civil war to the teams' recent global domination, historian and expert on Spanish football, Sid Lowe lifts the lid on sport's greatest rivalry. Lowe has spoken to the biggest names and the forgotten heroes who defined their clubs. Men like Alfredo Di Stefano and Johan Cruyff as well as the only survivor of the most politically charged game in history, the Barcelona striker who knocked Madrid out of the European Cup for the first time ever, and the president who celebrated his club's defining moment by taking a midnight dip in the Thames.
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics and language, while never forgetting the drama on the pitch, Lowe demonstrates the symbiotic nature of the relationship between these two football giants. In doing so he reveals the human story behind this explosive rivalry.
Sid Lowe is the Spanish football correspondent for the Guardian and World Soccer. He is a regular contributor to the popular Guardian Football Weekly podcast and writes for FourFourTwo. He works as a commentator and panellist for Spanish, Asian and US television and appears regularly on Spanish radio show Al Primer Toque. His previous book, Catholicism, War and the Foundation of Francoism, is about the causes of the Spanish civil war, the rise of fascism, and the creation of the Franco state. He lives in Spain.
"One of the year's best football books ... an extremely well-informed and usefully myth-busting portrait" Guardian "Fascinating" Sunday Independent "Sports Book of the Year" Sunday Times "Football Books of the Year: Sid Lowe isn't an ordinary football writer and, as a result, this is not an ordinary football book. Lowe paces it all so well ... like an engaging lesson from your favourite teacher" Daily Mirror "A revelation. Anyone interested in Spain's two biggest teams can learn something new from this labour of love ... tackling tricky subjects with skill and weaving them into an engaging story. For that, this book stands out from the rest." talksport.com
Short-listed for The British Sports Book Awards: Football Book of the Year 2014 (UK)
Long-listed for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2013 (UK)
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