GOAL!: The Dream Begins

Overview

While growing up on the tough streets of Los Angeles, Santiago's greatest joy is playing soccer. So it is a dream come true when a British scout sees him playing in the park and offers him a trial with one of England's top Premiership clubs. Determined to succeed, Santiago leaves behind his struggling family and his modest home, and flies halfway around the world to give it his best shot.

But it's not smooth sailing when Santiago arrives in northern England. Team practices are ...

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Overview

While growing up on the tough streets of Los Angeles, Santiago's greatest joy is playing soccer. So it is a dream come true when a British scout sees him playing in the park and offers him a trial with one of England's top Premiership clubs. Determined to succeed, Santiago leaves behind his struggling family and his modest home, and flies halfway around the world to give it his best shot.

But it's not smooth sailing when Santiago arrives in northern England. Team practices are intense, and in this place where people live and breathe the sport, many seem eager to find fault with the new Latino player from L.A. The pressure even spurs Santiago to keep a secret that could sabotage his performance. There is no doubt that Santiago has skill, flair, and dedication. But does he have the stamina he will need for the English game?

Based on the action-packed movie, Goal! is a gripping tale of trial and tribulation set against the backdrop of the world's most popular and exciting sport.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152057985
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: Media Tie
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 321,861
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT RIGBY is a playwright, novelist, and television scriptwriter. His award-winning work with youth theater companies has been staged in Britain, Europe, the United States, and Africa. He is also the writer of the long-running BBC children's drama series Byker Grove.

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Read an Excerpt

Life was better now. Santiago eased his lean, toned body back on the pool lounger and gazed out over the shimmering, clear water.
 
           He adjusted his aviator glasses slightly as the afternoon sunshine beat down from a clear blue sky. Even the crucifix around his neck was hot against his brown skin.
 
           All around was luxury—sheer Southern California luxury. Palm trees swayed slightly in the warm, gentle breeze and water sprinklers played on manicured lawns, forming minirainbows as the sunlight caught the droplets. Beyond the pool, steps led up to a wide terrace and beyond that sat the sprawling mansion itself.
 
           Santiago glimpsed the Aztec tattoo he wore proudly on the inside of one forearm and his thoughts drifted back. To before. To ten years ago . . .
 
 
 
He sees himself, a ten-year-old boy, dazzling his playmates in a game of soccer on a dust-dry patch of waste ground down in the poorest quarter of a poverty-stricken Mexican town.
 
           Close to the makeshift playing field, tin shacks sit among overcrowded apartment blocks, their walls plastered with colorful graffiti. Washing lines stretch between the shacks and the soccer-mad kids’ game is accompanied by a cacophony of salsa music, shouts, crying babies, and the roar of traffic.
 
           But the boys are oblivious to all this. They think only of their game as they scamper about in the dust.
 
           Santiago is in a class of his own. He takes the ball on his chest, allows it to drop from knee to instep, and in a liquid movement he rounds another kid and slots the ball deftly between two beer crates serving as goalposts.
pt; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'" 
           And then the memory, and the picture, shifts, like a television flicking from one channel to another.
 
           Santiago is sleeping. He feels himself being shaken and he opens his eyes. His father, Herman, is staring down at him.
 
           “Get your things, Santiago.”
 
           The small boy scrambles from his bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. His grandmother, Mercedes, is lifting his baby brother, Julio, from the cot.
 
           “Quickly, Santiago.”
 
           The bewildered ten-year-old grabs his photograph of the World Cup, which he long ago tore from an old magazine, and then dives beneath his bed for his one truly prized possession—his soccer ball.
 
           The mental picture shifts again, fast-forwarding to the inside of a battered truck as it bumps along in total darkness. Santiago and his family travel in silence. Another family and a number of young men are also crammed into the ancient truck. Everyone has handed over the required amount of money for this one-way journey.
 
           A baby starts to cry. A match flares as a young man lights a cigarette, and in the sudden light Santiago sees nothing but frightened faces. He clutches his soccer ball even tighter.
 
           When the truck stops, the weary travelers climb out onto a dirt road, and as the vehicle rumbles and wheezes away they are ordered to follow their two guides through a maze of cactus and sagebrush.
 
; tab-stops: 24.0pt"           They reach the border. Searchlights, mounted on a U.S. Border Patrol wagon, scythe through the inky darkness. The illegal immigrants run up an incline toward a gaping hole in the high border fence.
 
           Just as Santiago reaches the gap, his soccer ball slips from his hands. It bounces away, downhill. He turns to chase after it, but his father grabs one arm.
 
           “Forget it, it’s only a stupid ball,” he hisses.
 
           Santiago catches one final, fleeting glimpse of his beloved soccer ball before he is bundled through the gap in the fence and his father urges him to “Run! Run! Run!”
 
 
 
Ten years ago. A long time.
 
           Santiago glanced at his tattoo once more and sighed. He heard footsteps, but before he could turn to see who was approaching, a heavy hand cuffed him, none too gently, across the back of his head.
 
           “Get off there. You want to lose us this job? There’s leaves to be cleared from the drive. Go get the blower.”
 
           Santiago said nothing. He just got up, grabbed his T-shirt, and shrugged as he walked away to carry out his father’s orders.
 
           Sure, life was better now. But not much.

Text copyright © 2005 by Robert Rigby
Film materials copyright © 2005 by Goal Limited
 
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
 
Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    This is my favorite book

    Goal the dream begins by Robert Rigby. Goal is a realistic fiction book because it shows how hard he tried to become a professional soccer player just to help out his family. Santiago is a Mexican kid that works with his dad and his dream is to become a professional soccer player. Gavin Harris is Santiago's friend he has a drinking problem his fans hate him because he does not try to give the win to his team. The setting is in Los Angeles and England in most of the story takes place in England where he tries to accomplish his goal. Santiago was sad when his father dies. Santiago never got the chance to prove to his father how good he was at soccer and how he wanted to help the family. I think all type of certain people would like this book because it shows to never give up your dreams. I give this book 5 stars because this is an exciting book to read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    Book Review

    The book "Goal! The Dream Begins" by Robert Rigby is a well written book about determination and hard work. This book takes place in Los Angeles, California and England during modern times. The main characters in this story are Santiago, Glen Foy, and Mercedes. Some of the minor characters in the story would be Roz, Gavin Harris, Erik Dornhelm, Julio, and Herman. In this story Glen Foy sees Santiago playing soccer one day and recognizes that he is a very good player. Glen Foy then talks to Santiago about trying out for the Newcastle United Soccer team in England, which is hard to make. Glen Foy then sets up Santiago with a trial with the Newcastle United team. However, during his medical exam Santiago lies about his asthma which threatens his chance of making it on the Newcastle United team. During this story, Santiago has to deal with criticism from his coaches and other players on the team, Herman, his father, who does not approve of Santiago going to England in an attempt to try to play for a professional soccer team, and his medical condition which threatens his chance of making the soccer team. I thought this was a pretty good book. This book shows that by not giving up you could get the chance to live your dream or do what you love. A quote to show that soccer is what Santiago loves to do is when it states "Home." he said." I'm not sure where my home is anymore." "I do," said Roz. "It's green, and it has goalposts at each end." This shows that soccer is his life and that he loves it so much that the soccer field is like his home to him. I learned by reading this book that you should not give up on your dreams, and that if you love something, you just have to work hard and not give up and it will eventually come if it's meant to be. I would recommend this book because of its message which was to have determination and to work hard. This is a good book that deals with the hard work that you put into something that you love and by not giving up, your dream could come true. I would also recommend this book because; it may inspire people to keep with their dreams and to not give up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    The book lover

    The book goal by Robert rigby is a great book. I like the way the movie and the book is different. So that you dont know every single part of the movie. When santiago tries to show his dad how good of a soccer player he is his goal doesn't happen because his father dies. No whats cool I used goal in my review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2007

    1 of da best books in da world

    I really liked this book because it portrayes some of the things that athletes have to go through to get to thair dreams. It is also a very inspirational book that encourages to be whatever you want to be in your life and to not give up. It helps you find what it is that you love and enjoy doing and the book is like watching a movie as you are reading it. I also liked the book because I could relate to having to go through obsticles and it takes alot of hard work and dedication to become what you want to become.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007

    Accomplishing dreams

    I found this book to be thrilling,dramatic,adventures,and had a great moral to the story line.I saw the movie and read the book simultaneously, obviously the book was rather more entertaining than the movie.Robert Rigby, the author, didn't really write the book in atmost detail, but it was definitely more detail than the movie I enjoy reading this book because I could see people I know or adore as well as myself becoming Santiago.I dont know whether this book is related to a true story but it is definitely inspirational.This book inspired me to pursue my dreams and accomplishments.No matter what anyone says or believes that you can do it.I play and admire the game of football.it is definitely a part of my and everyone elses lives.If it wasnt for football i would have never lost the wieght that i have lost.Well I could go on all day about this astonishing book but why dont you pick it up and read it yourself? I'd say you would agree with everything I've claimed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Soccer Fans this book is for you.

    This book is great for teens interested in soccer and kids. A boy named Santiago has a chance to becomeing a great soccer star. But one photo and bad news could ruin it all. Santiagos greatest joy in life is soccer. Any spare time he has he uses it to play soccer. Soccer takes his mind off everything. Once he is spotted playing in the park his life may change forever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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