Reading list: five books about football

The football season is drawing to a close. A fortnight today, the season will end with the Champions League final at Wembley. If you want some reading suggestions to get you in the mood or tide you over until the new season kicks off, take a look at this list. [amtap book:isbn=0224064363] The Beautiful Game by David Conn Essential reading for any fan of the modern game. Conn tracks how money has transformed the game from a cornerstone of the community into a ruthlessly-managed global business. Read Shane's review Read James's review

[amtap book:isbn=0007354088] Why England Lose by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski Like Freakonomics but about football, Why England Lose offers an economist's look at the game. It's a fascinating explanation of why certain countries consistently produce good football teams while others fail. It also examines inequalities in the domestic game and is particularly strong on racism and sexism. Read Shane's review Read James's review

[amtap book:isbn=1862079889] How To Score by Ken Bray Another scientific look at the game, this time from a physicist. Bray analyses tactics, set pieces and even ball physics. His examination of penalty shoot-outs alone is worth the price of the book. Read Shane's review

[amtap book:isbn=0954013468] Morbo by Philip Ball If you fancy a change from reading about English football try Philip Ball's entertaining look at the evolution of Spanish football. He's primarily interested in the passionate rivalry between supporters but there is plenty more here to enjoy. Read Shane's review

[amtap book:isbn=0224064320] Garrincha by Ruy Costa This hasn't been reviewed on 26 Books but I strongly recommend it. Garrincha was an astonishing footballer and his life story is even more extraordinary. Costa tracks Garrincha's journey from an impoverished Brazilian village to a superstar lifestyle which saw him married to a pop star and gracing World Cups.