The Best Soccer Audiobooks for Avid and Prospective Fans

The game is afoot in this action-packed collection of the greatest soccer listens of all time.

Soccer definitely has game. It’s played by more than 200 million people around the world, and it's the world's most-viewed sporting event. If you're in America, Canada, Ireland, or Australia, you probably call it soccer, and if you live in most other parts of the world, you call it football. (The term "soccer" is actually short for "Association Football," a sport using a spherical ball that's played by two teams with 11 people on each.) But no matter where you come from or what you call it, there's no denying soccer is a global phenomenon.

How did soccer become so popular? The game has been played in various forms for thousands of years—so, soccer has had plenty of time to make its way around the planet. Compared to other sports, it's also inexpensive to play. All you need is a team of friends, a round ball, and some space to kick it around. Easy to follow and action-packed, it’s a great spectator sport too. Imagine the excitement when the first World Cup took place in 1930!

Whether you're a casual player, a serious fan, or just interested in learning more about the game and its staying power, the following audiobooks capture what makes soccer such a sensation.

One Life

One Life

In her best-selling memoir, Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women's World Cup champion, looks back on the ups and downs of her life thus far, both on and off the field. From kicking her first soccer ball at four years old, to coming to terms with her sexuality in college, to suing the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination and equal pay, Rapinoe has lived an inspiring life. In One Life, she urges all of us to ask ourselves what we plan to do with the one life we have to live. Rapinoe narrates her own story, with her signature candor and humor.

Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson

As the manager of Manchester United for 26 years, Alex Ferguson led the team to win 38 trophies—the most won by any manager in the history of the sport—and is widely considered the best professional soccer manager of all time. His simply and aptly titled Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography is a must-listen for any true soccer fan. In this audiobook, Ferguson reflects on his record-breaking career, his take on management psychology, and the strategies he used to help lead his team to the top. Taggart actor James Macpherson narrates, while Ferguson lends his voice to the prelude.

Among the Thugs

Among the Thugs

If you're fascinated by the culture surrounding soccer, pick up Among the Thugs. In this audiobook, author Bill Buford, the editor of Granta magazine, dives into the world of England's soccer thugs, from their deep love of the sport to the aggression that leads to vandalism and riots. Buford narrates his own audiobook with humor and genuine fascination for his subject.

The World Is a Ball

The World Is a Ball

As previously noted, soccer is a global phenomenon. Inspired by this fact, Canadian journalist and cultural critic John Doyle devoted 10 years to traveling around the globe to see how soccer is played, watched, and celebrated. In The World Is a Ball, Doyle observes and discusses high-level soccer matches in different countries, concluding with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In between his encounters with delirious fans, he reflects on the evolution of soccer into the spectator sport and source of fierce national pride it is today. Whether you're a diehard soccer fan or someone who casually enjoys the sport, Doyle's style is perfectly engaging, and Chris Kayser narrates with the perfect mix of objectivity, insight, and enthusiasm.

Inverting the Pyramid

Inverting the Pyramid

Yes, soccer is a sport that is played pretty much everywhere. But everywhere the sport is played, tactics and strategies are going to be just a little bit different. In Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson looks at soccer tactics and how they have evolved through the centuries, from the pioneering maneuvers of the Scottish passing game in the 1870s to the tactical genius of modern-day Barcelona. How different is the game now from what it used to be hundreds of years ago? Wilson answers this question and more in this fascinating audiobook.

The National Team (Updated and Expanded Edition)

The National Team (Updated and Expanded Edition)

The US Women’s National Team is truly inspiring. They've won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals. They consistently draw massive crowds and earn huge revenues for FIFA and US Soccer. And yet, the team still struggles with low pay, poor playing conditions, and limited opportunities to play professionally. Leading soccer journalist Caitlin Murray looks at the full history of the USWNT in The National Team, focusing on both their triumphs and their battles throughout the years.

Zonal Marking

Zonal Marking

Soccer as a modern sport is always changing and developing new styles and trends. In Zonal Marking, Michael W. Cox takes listeners on a European tour through the recent shifting styles of soccer—from Italy's era of triumph to the four-year domination of Barcelona and Spain, from the way Germany took back control to England's long reign—with insights into how various national strategies, managers, stars, and characters have influenced the game. The result is a riveting tactical and cultural history of soccer, offering another perspective on its global appeal.

Soccer For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Soccer For Dummies, 2nd Edition

New to soccer? Looking to get a handle on the game's basic moves and plays? Soccer for Dummies is the listen for you. In this book, Thomas Dunmore and Scott Murray lay out the basics to help you improve your overall game knowledge and meet your soccer goals. There’s plenty of info for fans of the game as well. For instance, you'll learn what to expect when you attend a professional soccer game and where to find soccer on television. Whether you're new to playing or to watching soccer, you'll get the basics down in no time. Narrator Aaron Landon breaks it all down with clarity.

Masters of Modern Soccer

Masters of Modern Soccer

In Masters of Modern Soccer, Grant Wahl, journalist for Sports Illustrated, tackles a major question of interest for serious soccer players and coaches: How have the world's top soccer marvels of the past two decades become so exceptional at their game? Wahl, who also narrates, profiles brilliant players in every position in the game, breaking down how they strategize, both on and off the field. If you're aiming to improve your soccer skills or lead your team to victory, you need to listen to this audiobook.

Furia

Furia

A novel for fans of soccer and YA fiction, Furia is the story of a young Argentinian girl living two lives. At home, Camila is the dutiful daughter, keeping her head down and remaining in the shadow of her rising-soccer-star brother. But on the field? She's La Furia, an undeniably talented powerhouse of a soccer player. When Camila's team qualifies for the South American tournament, she knows this is her chance to prove her talent to the world. But what will her parents, who know nothing about her passion for soccer or her burning ambition, think? Will Camila be able to find a way to be a good daughter and still be La Furia? Sol Madariaga delivers a lively narration.

The Damned Utd

The Damned Utd

A thoroughly researched and utterly gripping work of historical fiction, The Damned Utd tells the story of the tough-talking, controversial coach Brian Clough, who in 1974, rose to the formidable challenge of managing Leeds United Football Club. During his tumultuous 44-day reign, Clough worked to turn around a corrupt institution, fighting against players who wouldn't play and management that looked the other way. David Peace's powerful novel celebrates a working-class hero who took on the system—and ultimately won the respect of a winning team.

The Passing Playbook

The Passing Playbook

The Passing Playbook has been described as a cross between Love, Simon and Bend It Like Beckham. 15-year-old Spencer loves to play soccer. He's also transgender, and no one knows. After his transitioning led to bullying at his old school, Spencer transferred to a private school in the hopes of getting a fresh start. At Oakley, he makes new friends and has an opportunity for a starting position on the school's soccer team. Will Spencer keep passing and playing it safe—or take the risk and publicly come out? Jamie K. Brown's narration makes Isaac Fitzsimons's uplifting debut YA novel even more compelling.

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