From Cruyff’s “Total Football” to the epic rivalry between Guardiola and Mourinho, a gripping chronicle of the rise and fall of Barcelona’s dominance in world soccer.
Barcelona’s style of play–pressing and possessing–has become the hegemonic style in modern soccer. In The Barcelona Inheritance, author of the soccer classic Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson, reveals how and why this came to pass.
Now that the side is in decline–as they increasingly rely on the star power of players like Lionel Messi, abandoning their long-established philosophy–Wilson investigates what went wrong and who the rising influences are. What emerges is a deep analysis of the evolution of soccer tactics and style over the course of a generation. Starting with the theories forged by Cruyff and his successors, Wilson also writes about the people and personalities who gathered at the Camp Nou for what was effectively the greatest coaching seminar in history. The Barcelona era was marked by memorable friendships and rivalries and, in one case, an apocalyptic falling out that continues to shape the game.
This ambitious scope allows Wilson to delve into the tensions caused by the new relevance of geopolitics on rival teams because of the countries that own them, the distraction of players’ legal issues around tax irregularities, and how teams adapted in order to challenge and put an end to Barcelona’s dominance.