The Reading List – 4 September 2015

This week’s Reading List contains pieces on San Marino’s greatest player, an education on the phsycology of Italian football, Azerbaijan’s displaced champions, an Irishman in the Middle East and a team of great Poles in France…

Massimo Bonini: San Marino’s Champion by Dominic Bliss

A European champion and one of the keys of the great Juventus side of the 1980s, there is something rather admiring in the way that Dominic Bliss has put this piece together. A man of principle who gave up international glory with Italy to play for his country knowing full well they would not be good enough to even compete, Bonini is remebered here not only as a great player but a great person as well.

Auxerre’s Polish Eleven by Beyond The Last Man

Guy Roux’s managerial feats with French side Auxerre are incredible, a story straight from a video game, and at the heart of that story is a number of highly skilled Polish imports. Beyond The Last Man has done an excellent job compiling the best Polish imports into an eleven and it’s a very interesting read.

Eamonn O’Keefe: A Journey To Saudi Arabia by Will Sharp

These Football Times is a wonderful site I waxed lyrical about last week but their offering this week has blown last week’s out of the water. This is the story of an Irishman whose career has had more ups and downs than a theme park ride but his spell in Saudi Arabia is one of the most outrageous and incredible tales in football. The story of extravagance and an overly friendly Saudi prince is definitely a must read.

Qarabag Agdam – The Displaced Champions of Azerbaijan by Damiano Benzoni

Futbolgrad always produce quality stuff and this week’s pick is the story of Azerbaijan’s top team – Qarabag Agdam. Although they carry the name of Agdam, they haven’t played in the city for 22 years. War has left they city nearly derelict and their official home is now just rubble and a graveyard. This is a story of tragedy and triumph unknown behind the glitz and glamour of the Europa League coming to the country.

Understanding Italian Football Part II – Furbiza by Andrea Tallarita

A piece from early 2009 I saw someone link on Twitter, this looks at the art of guile – furbiza – in Italian football and what it truly means within the Italian game. It is a look at not only a small part of what makes Italian football but it also points to a ideology and psychology within the Italian game that is unique to it.

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