A revised and updated version of the Uruguayan author’s lyrical exploration of the beautiful game.
Like so many children born in Latin America, Galeano (Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, 2013, etc.) grew up wanting to play soccer. In his dreams, he was a star. During the day, however, he “was the worst wooden leg ever to set foot on the little soccer fields of my country.” Nonetheless, his love affair with the sport continued. After its 1995 publication, El fútbol a sol y sombra was instantly hailed as one of the finest works of sportswriting ever written; Sports Illustrated hailed it as one of the 100 best sports books of all time. This updated edition serves as a reminder that this is not just a classic sports book. In more than 150 chapters, sketches, really, most of not more than a page or two, the author explores soccer from a wide variety of angles and looks at some of the major touchstones, including the World Cup games and dozens of significant goals. Galeano does not endeavor to provide a complete history of the game but rather, set pieces exploring great players, moments and themes in the development of the game he deeply loves but does not spare from criticism. The author’s longtime translator, Fried, ably conveys the lyricism and poetry of Galeano’s prose. On virtually every page, Galeano uses a phrase or sentence that will leave readers in awe of his gifts. This updated edition scarcely touches the original book but adds four new chapters, longer than those preceding them, of “Extra Time,” covering the last four World Cups and developments in the game in the time since 1995.
A welcome update of a classic—Galeano’s gift to the game he loves.