The Beautiful Game on Paper: The Best Soccer Books (2024)

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Soccer, football, the beautiful game, whatever you call this sport, there is no doubt that this is the world’s most popular sport. As a soccer player, youth or professional, a coach, or as a football fan, reading books is a great way to learn more about the game, while staying entertained and motivated, plus you get many benefits out of it.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best soccer books, ranging from books that have valuable tips and insights, tactic breakdowns, as well as biographies from your favorite players. If you are looking for something to read to keep you entertained as well as teach you many things about the game, then this list has just what you are looking for.

Benefits of Reading for Soccer Players and Fans

Increased Knowledge:

Reading exposes you to new ideas, perspectives, and information that you may not get anywhere else. This can help you to gain a deeper understanding of the game of football, as well as other topics that can help you become a better player, such as nutrition, hydration, fitness, injury prevention, recovery, and more.

Increased Vocabulary:

Reading can help to expand your vocabulary, which can be useful for communicating with coaches, teammates, and fans. This can also help you to better understand game strategies and tactics.

Improved Mental Focus:

Reading requires concentration and focus, which can help you to develop your mental strength on the field. By practicing the skill of deep concentration while reading, you can improve your ability to stay focused during a game or training session.

Reduced Stress:

Reading can be a great way to unwind and reduce stress after a long day of training or games. By immersing yourself in a good book, you can escape the pressures of the sport and recharge your mental batteries.

Best Soccer Books

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SCANNING – How to Train it and Develop Game Awareness: See More, Think Quicker, Play better

This is one of the best books you will be able to get your hands on that is meant to directly improve your football abilities by teaching you one of the most important actions that players should master and be doing frequently during a game and during training, scanning.

This book gives you useful tips on how to increase your game awareness by efficiently scanning the field like your own life depends on it. You can improve your ability to read the game and make wiser decisions by using the advice, exercises, and drills Abrahams offers in this book designed to make footballers better at scanning.

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Soccer IQ: Things That Smart Players Do, Vol. 1

Blank’s book, Soccer IQ, offers insightful advice for players of all skill levels on subjects like communication, reading the game, and decision-making.

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World Soccer Mastery Books: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference: Habits, Secrets and Strategies That Will Escalate Your Game to the Next Level

This book discusses a variety of soccer-related subjects, including physical preparation, diet, and game analysis techniques used by professional players and football clubs.

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Masters of Modern Soccer: How the World’s Best Play the Twenty-First-Century Game

In this book, Wahl provides insights into the strategies and tactics used by some of the best soccer players in the world. In order to teach both players and coaches valuable lessons, he analyzes the tactics and strategies of the best teams and coaches.

Best Soccer Book: Motivation

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When the Dream Became Reality: The journey of a professional soccer player, and the push for meaning, purpose, and contentment

Warshaw’s book “When the Dream Became Reality” provides a detailed look into the world of professional soccer and what it takes to make the dream come true. He discusses his experiences, obstacles, and perceptions of the sport’s psychological and emotional demands and will teach you the realities of chasing a professional contract.

Best Soccer Book: Soccer Tactics

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Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics

This book examines how soccer tactics have changed over time, from the game’s beginnings to the present. Wilson offers a detailed examination of the evolution of various playing philosophies and how they have impacted the growth of the sport.

Best Soccer Books: Autobiographies

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Luka Modric

Modric describes his journey from a war-torn childhood to becoming one of the best soccer players in the world in this autobiography. He shares his playing philosophy and the psychological and emotional difficulties that come with playing the game. Modric’s rise to success at the highest level of European soccer at the club and national team level has a lot to do with his childhood experiences and how they helped shape him as a person and a player.

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Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story

This autobiography provides an honest look at Vardy’s journey from playing non-league football to helping Leicester City win the Premier League. He offers insights into his playing style as well as the psychological and emotional demands of the game.

This book is a modern classic because it talks about one of the biggest fairytale careers in soccer world history. Jamie Vardy did not make his professional debut until a late age and he managed to win the Premier League, play at a World cup, and represent his country.

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Johan Cruyff: My Turn: A Life of Total Football

In this autobiography, Cruyff recounts his development as a young footballer into one of the sport’s most iconic legends. He shares his thoughts on the evolution of Total Football as well as his playing and coaching philosophies.

Cruyff is a player that is known around the world and he had a massive influence on the game.

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Andrea Pirlo I Think Therefore I Play

In this autobiography, Pirlo describes his development from a young footballer to one of the best midfielders in the world. He shares insights into his playing style, his perspective on the game, and the methods used by elite teams.

One of the most memorable parts of this book is how Pirlo explains that the day before he played at the Men’s World Cup final in 2006 against France, he was playing PlayStation with his Italian teammates and was not feeling stressed.

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I Am Football: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic describes his journey from a young soccer player to one of the best strikers in the world in this autobiography. The challenges and successes of his career are discussed, along with his playing philosophy and mental approach to the game.

Zlatan is one of the biggest names and soccer fans worldwide know exactly what Zlatan is capable of. This is a must-read book.

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Pulisic: My Journey So Far

Christian Pulisic describes his journey from a budding American soccer player to a star of the English Premier League in his autobiography. He discusses his playing philosophy, how he thinks about the game, and the difficulties of adjusting to a new league and culture.

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Pele: Why Soccer Matters

Best Coach Autobiographies

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Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich

Marti Perarnau provides an inside look at Pep Guardiola’s first campaign leading Bayern Munich in this book. The book offers coaches and players alike helpful insights into Guardiola’s strategies, practices, and leadership style.

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Pep Guardiola: The Evolution

Pep Guardiola’s coaching career, from his time at Barcelona to his current position as Manchester City coach, is thoroughly examined in this book. The book offers coaches and players alike helpful insights into Guardiola’s strategies, management style, and philosophy.

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Sir Alex Ferguson: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United

Best Soccer Books: Miscellaneous

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How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

How Soccer Explains the World is a book by Franklin Foer that explores the cultural and political impact of soccer worldwide. Using the sport as a lens, Foer dives into various societies, revealing how soccer reflects and influences issues such as nationalism, identity, economics, and globalization. Through compelling anecdotes and in-depth analysis, the book offers a unique perspective on the interconnectedness of soccer and global affairs.

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Spanish Football League Coloring Book

This spanish football league coloring books feature players from the top league in Spain including big name players from the biggest clubs in the world such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and more. This book is one of many great coloring books.

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The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer

The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer by David Goldblatt is a comprehensive exploration of soccer’s evolution across cultures and continents. Goldblatt takes readers on an extraordinary journey, unraveling the political, social, and cultural impacts soccer has had in history. This detailed work is a must-read for soccer enthusiasts seeking a deep understanding of the beautiful game’s global significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I read soccer books as a player?

Yes, reading soccer books can give you valuable tips and insights into the lives of top players, coaches, and teams. I would consider a book a great piece of equipment that can easily fit inside of your soccer bag so you always have a book at hand.

How can you learn more about the beautiful game?

Reading soccer books is a great way to learn more about the game, but there are many more things you can do to keep on learning. For example, you can listen to soccer podcasts, and interviews, or watch soccer documentaries, movies, TV shows, and even some anime such as Ao Ashi.

What is a good football history book?

If you consider biographies sort of like history books then any biography is great, but if you are looking for a soccer history specific book, The Ball is Round is a great book.


In conclusion, reading the best soccer books is a great way to learn more about the beautiful game, whether that is through biographies of world class players or through books with valuable tips and tricks.

In this blog, I shared with you some of the best soccer books to invest your money in so that you can keep it inside your soccer bag and always have a book to help you learn, stay motivated and inspired.

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