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Winning at All Costs: An Untold Story of Triumph, Tragedy, and Corruption in Italian Soccer

Overview

The 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France was a down-and-dirty game, marred by French superstar Zidane's head-butting of Italian defender Materazzi. But viewers were also exposed to the poetry, force, and excellence of the Italian game; as operatic as Verdi and as cunning as Machiavelli, it seemed to open a window into the Italian soul. John Foot's epic history shows what makes Italian soccer so unique. Mixing serious analysis and comic storytelling, Foot describes its humble origins in northern Italy in ...

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Winning at All Costs: A Scandalous History of Italian Soccer

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Overview

The 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France was a down-and-dirty game, marred by French superstar Zidane's head-butting of Italian defender Materazzi. But viewers were also exposed to the poetry, force, and excellence of the Italian game; as operatic as Verdi and as cunning as Machiavelli, it seemed to open a window into the Italian soul. John Foot's epic history shows what makes Italian soccer so unique. Mixing serious analysis and comic storytelling, Foot describes its humble origins in northern Italy in the 1890s to its present day incarnation where soccer is the national civic religion. A story that is reminiscent of Gangs of New York and A Clockwork Orange, Foot shows how the Italian game — like its political culture — has been overshadowed by big business, violence, conspiracy, and tragedy, how demagogues like Benito Mussolini and Silvio Berlusconi have used the game to further their own political ambitions. But Winning at All Costs also celebrates the sweet moments — the four World Cup victories, the success of Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, the role soccer played in the resistance to Nazism, and the great managers and players who show that Italian soccer is as irresistible as Italy itself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568583686
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 318,251
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

John Foot teaches modern Italian history at University College London. He writes for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the TLS and is the author of books on Milan and modern Italian history.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     ix
List of Photos and Illustrations     xi
Preface     xvii
Calcio and Football. Origins and Early History: 1880-1929     1
The Referee     42
Teams and Cities: Turin     79
Teams and Cities: Milan, Rome, Genoa, Florence, Naples     105
At the Back. Defenders and Defensive Football in Italy     131
Players. Directors and Fantasisti     149
Goalscorers     180
Managers, Tactics, Fixers     206
Scandals     230
The Media     272
Fans, Supporters, Ultra     302
Murder, Massacre, Normality: Calcio and Violence since 1945     325
Power and Politics     355
Foreigners     391
Italia - La Nazionale. The National Team     438
Conclusion - Money, Money, Money     489
Afterword: The Great Italian Football Scandal and the World Cup Triumph May-July 2006     501
Notes     529
Glossary     564
Appendix     570
Picture Credits     572
Index     573
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