Praise for The World is a Ball

“John Doyle does a marvelous job of capturing the game’s special spirit. For those who want to learn more about soccer and the supporters’ culture, this book is a perfect read. For those who are veteran followers, it will deepen your love and passion..” — BORIS AGUILAR, President, Red Patch Boys (Toronto FC Supporters group)

“One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my father’s shoulders when the English soccer team marched through the crowded streets celebrating their world cup victory in 1966. I could not understand why he was crying. John Doyle’s brilliant book explains why soccer more than any sport has the power to reduce grown men to tears, to instill enormous passion, to fills one’s heart with pride. You also can’t go wrong with muddy men in short shorts.” — DEBBIE TRAVIS

“Even if you don’t like soccer but care about people, the games that people play and why they play them – this is a book to love. John Doyle’s sports-writing transcends competition and the score, and connects the sport to the primal needs and passions of the human spirit.” — LINDEN MACINTYRE, author of the Giller Prize winner The Bishop’s Man

“The Beautiful Game deserves a Beautiful Book – and John Doyle’s The World is a Ball is exactly that, and more. Part primer for the World Cup, it is also a lilting paean to the glorious sport of football, absurdly known in this part of the world as soccer. Doyle says he is not a sportswriter and, indeed, he is anthropologist, historian, literary executor, psychologist, world traveler and brilliant observer here…but he is also a sportswriter who stands with the best any game has known. It helps to be Irish to write such a marvelous book, but you only have to be human to love reading it.” — ROY MACGREGOR, bestselling author of The Home Team: Fathers, Sons and Hockey

“International football tournaments are extraordinary things: sporting rituals, commercial bonanzas, international TV events and popular carnivals. In The World is a Ball, John Doyle is our laconic, sharp eyed guide to the circus. This a football travelogue alert to the complex identities, and emotions that international football evokes, and tuned to the political and social meanings that emerge from success and failure, but never makes them hard going. Playful, humane, observant, Doyle delights in his fellow human beings capacity to conjure pleasure and purpose from football. There’s nothing quite like being there, but if you can’t The World is a Ball will give you an irresistible taste that will make you want to be there next time, and a learned eye with which to take it in and enjoy it.” — DAVID GOLDBLATT, author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer