A German's View of Our Beautiful Game
A German's-eye view of our national obsession.
Wembley, 1966. 1–5, Munich, 2001. Mexico ’72 and Italy ’90. Bobby Moore and Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Gascoigne and Jürgen Klinsmann. Forty years of hurt, tabloid rabble-rousing and ‘Don’t mention the war’. But what do the Germans really think of us? Do they even care?
In Englischer Fussball, respected journalist Raphael Honigstein gives us a German’s-eye view of our national game. Nearly 150 years ago the English created a sport that the world has taken to its heart. Even today, English teams still fascinate audiences across the globe. So what makes our football special?
Starting with the origin of the modern game in the late nineteenth century, Honigstein traces the development of English football from its public-school origins to the glory years of Ramsey and beyond, exploring the culture and foundational myths of a peculiarly English invention. Is English football really about manliness, hard work, fair play and a never-say-die attitude? Why is there so little room in our game for individual brilliance? And just why are we so hung up on beating the Germans?
Provocative, incisive and very topical, Englischer Fussball is the product of an outsider’s life-long love affair with English football, a book that explores the difference between how we see ourselves and how the rest of the world sees us. From hooligans to sex scandals, Wayne Rooney to Stanley Matthews, it asks what football can teach us about the English national character.
“Enlightening and entertaining ... The holy trinity of football, fashion and music has rarely been written about so well and it takes a writer from the borderland between cultures like Honigstein to open our eyes to it”
“Honigstein offers a perspective on England's football and its culture that is stimulating and rather fascinating”