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Publisher's Summary

Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey - and Even Iraq - Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport

Why does England lose? Why does Scotland suck? Why doesn't America play the sport internationally...and why do the Germans play with such an efficient but robotic style?

Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game works, Soccernomics reveals the often surprisingly counterintuitive truths about soccer.

No training in economics is needed to read Soccernomics. But the listener will come away from it with a better understanding not just of soccer, but of how economists think and why they know.

©2010 Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[W]hether analyzing the relationship of spending to winning or applying game theory to the penalty kick, the authors’ delight in discovery proves both persuasive and contagious. It’s a fascinating book with the potential to effect genuine change in the sport." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Very very good.

Informative and engaging, the main complaint I have with this book is that when it comes to tables and statistics, the audiobook format is just plain hard to follow. Not the fault of the authors, but while the first half of the book was great as an audiobook, I couldn't help but feel that I should pick up a hard-copy for the tables in the second half.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Hansi
  • Brooklet, Georgia, United States
  • 05-08-13

Interesting but older version of the book

This seems to be a recording of an early edition (entitled "Why England Lose"), so it doesn't include the revisions and additional chapters of more recent versions. Still, it's an interesting book, and the narrator does a great job at imitating foreign accents. Ultimately, the number-crunching may be a bit much for English majors -- those might want to wait for an audiobook version of Franklin Foer's "How Soccer Explains the World."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Freakonomics but for football!

Very interesting book which I would recommend to any football lover. It has that Freakonomics vibe to it, searching for underlying reasons for the success or failure of specific countries or teams. Interesting and funny, it was a very easy audiobook to go through. BUT, those tables which the narrator goes through are completely useless as halfway through them you just hope he stops reading and go on with the conclusions. The other minor problem is that the information is slightly outdated but this still remains a very interesting listen.

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honestly: not insightful, boring

dont waste your time and money. i gave up after 4 hours of sheer boredom. this is coming from a career quant

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Fascinating for soccer fans looking for details

Szymanski and Kuper blend wit and expertise in laying out why England isn't a world beater (anymore) and kept my interest throughout. A tremendous job by Colin Mace. I appreciated his efforts to sound like a Dutchman, American, et al. Only knock was on all the readings of the tables, though I've run into the same dilemma as I've narrated non-fiction before.

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Good except for the dull graph reading

Loved the book and learned alot, but hard to keep interest when reading the graphs

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Perfect for Soccer fans new and old

The book does a great job of breaking down a lot of fascinating topics. The first half of the book is amazing. World Cup stories. Premier League tales, and a unique analysis that begs me to wonder how I went so long (I'm an American) without falling in love with the sport.

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Wish the tables were available via additional download.

Great book. Wish I could look at a visual copy of some of their data tables. It's difficult to visualize the data as they go through. Thankfully they summarize the data at the end of reading through each table.

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I love Soccer

What made the experience of listening to Soccernomics the most enjoyable?

I love soccer. I found a deeper love for that game after reading it.

What other book might you compare Soccernomics to and why?

A guy that I play soccer with recommended this audio book. This was the first book that I<br/>have read about the sport and I loved it. Because it deals with number and statistics you will find none like it, I imagine. But it isn't just about the numbers. I didn't find it dry but informative.

What about Colin Mace’s performance did you like?

The narrator did a good job on this book. He was easy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Every American fan of the sport should listen to this book.

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Very Insughtful

Enjoyed the book and the scientific approach to a romantic game. I had to fast forward through the reading of data tables. Hard to keep track of it all without visualizing it.