The Language of the Game

How to Understand Soccer


By Laurent Dubois

Formats and Prices




$21.99 CAD



  1. ebook $16.99 $21.99 CAD
  2. Hardcover $26.00 $34.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 27, 2018. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Essential reading for soccer fans as the 2022 World Cup approaches, this lively and lyrical book is "an ideal guide to the world's most popular sport" (Simon Kuper, coauthor of Soccernomics).

Soccer is not only the world's most popular game; it's also one of the most widely shared forms of global culture. The Language of the Game is a passionate and engaging introduction to soccer's history, tactics, and human drama. Profiling soccer's full cast of characters—goalies and position players, referees and managers, commentators and fans—historian and soccer scholar Laurent Dubois describes how the game's low scores, relentless motion, and spectacular individual performances combine to turn each match into a unique and unpredictable story. He also shows how soccer's global reach makes it an unparalleled theater for nationalism, international conflict, and human interconnectedness, with close attention to both men's and women's soccer.

Filled with perceptive insights and stories both legendary and little known, The Language of the Game is a rewarding read for anyone seeking to understand soccer better—newcomers and passionate followers alike.
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On Sale
Mar 27, 2018
Page Count
320 pages
Basic Books

Laurent Dubois

About the Author

Laurent Dubois is a professor of romance studies and history at Duke University, where he teaches the popular course Soccer Politics. The prize-winning author of five books, including The Banjo, Haiti, and Soccer Empire, he lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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